Tips for Fishing in Freshwater Lakes

When the dog days of summer set in, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as a day of fishing out on beautiful Lake Carroll. The waters of our large private lake are stocked each season with a variety of freshwater species like northern pike and largemouth bass for fantastic sport fishing. Whether you are new to fishing or an old hand at it, keeping in mind a few freshwater fishing tips will help with your catch.

Know Your Depth

The first step to successful fishing is a little research. You’ll want to think about the sort of fish you are interested in catching and then position yourself to best reach them. Freshwater fish of different varieties live at various depths, with some of the larger species preferring deeper, colder water.

Use a topographical map of the lake you are fishing to find good potential spots. For those freshwater fishing on small to medium sized lakes, reaching deeper spots will require a small boat. Lake Carroll, for example, offers overs over 600 acres of lake surface and a variety of depths.

Topo maps designed for fishing may also show the location of fish cribs, man-made areas where fish are easier to catch. Fish cribs are man-built structures that provide protection for smaller fish on their inside and attract larger fish to their outside.

Think Like a Fish

In addition to a preferred depth, many fish also have temperatures and times of day that they are most active. Many freshwater fish spend much of their time amidst croppings of underwater plants or close to other sheltering environments. Tailoring your fishing to when and where your fish is most likely to be greatly increases your chances of a great catch.

Set Your Bobber Right

Another important aspect of researching water depth is understanding how to set your bobber so your hook is ideally positioned for the fish you want. The easiest way to do this is to combine the information from your topo map and the preferred depth of the fish you are pursuing.

Use a slip bobber to make setting your line easy. A slip bobber has a hole through it where you can thread your line through. The bobber is secured by simply knotting the line at both ends so the bobber rests at the surface and your hook sinks to the desired depth. Using a slip bobber makes casting easy and increases the precision of your fishing.

Choose the Right Bait

The best bait is something that also depends on the type of fish you are after, but some types of live bait are effective for a wide swath of freshwater species.  Live worms, minnows and crayfish are all great options for attracting your catch.

If there is a specific species of fish you are looking to catch, read up on its bait preferences. Catching a larger fish, like northern pike, usually requires bigger bait. Some fish may prefer live frogs. Lures are also designed with specific fishes in mind, so match the lure you use to the fish you want to catch.

Be Prepared

Freshwater fishing usually requires you to be out in a boat for several hours, so be prepared. Use sun protection and bring extra sunscreen with you as light reflecting off the water can make sunlight extra intense. Additionally, be sure to bring enough water, snacks, maps and supplies.

Though most freshwater lake fishing involves quiet water, you’ll still want to wear a life vest. Accidents can happen, and when fishing in deeper water, there is always a danger of drowning. A life vest is always a good idea when freshwater fishing in rivers, as surprising currents can easily pull you under.

Fawn Ridge Realty

Do you love freshwater fishing and wish you spent more time on the water? Lake Carroll is a beautiful community built around Illinois’ largest private lake, offering great fishing all year round. With a huge gorgeous and fully stocked lake in your backyard, getting out to fish is as easy as 1-2-3.

Ready to start looking for your new home in Lake Carroll? Nobody knows the area like Fawn Ridge Realty. We specialize in connecting people with the home of their dreams in this vibrant community in the lovely rolling landscape of Western Illinois.