Illinois > Ice Fishing Illinois

Where to fish around Chicago?

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Just as I'm chomping at the bit for the water to freeze here in Minnesota, I have a possibility to move to Chicago for a job.:-[ I just bought a new portable shack at the end of last season and can't wait to use it. What do I do if we move to the windy city? Are there nearby lakes to drag my shack out on? Can you ice fish on Lake Michigan? How far out do you need to drive to dip my lines? This could be a deciding factor as to whether or not I take this job. Help.

Cityfishin ,   there are a lot of lakes around Chicago to ice fish , around here we don't nearly get as much time in/on the ice as you Minne"snow"tons do. Depending what old man winter decides to deal us, we may get 2 months on hard water, like last year, or sometimes 3 weeks at most or anywhere in between. Lake Michigan is questionable, you can fish the harbors on ice, but usually the lake itself still open, unless we get a real harsh winter, in that case the lake will be full of pack ice.That pack ice can be in by shore 1 day and move out a mile or 2 the next.

There are many areas to ice fish just depending on where you live.  I have been in Minnesota for a few winter trips and I must say don't expect to be able to drive your truck on the ice.  I'm not too sure how anybody can do that but I would never try in illinois.  I would say if your crafty you can count on atleast a month if its a poor winter but normally you can get atleast 2-3 a season.

Thanks for the reply. I've got to say that it freaked me out to drive out on the ice the first time. You could hear the ice "pop" as you drove. Now, it's not even a question for me. Hell, there are highways out on the ice. It doesn't seem like Lake Michigan is really an option if you want to be safe. I'd hate to pack up from an evening of fishing and realize I'm on my way to Canada. It sounds as though there are a few options. How far out of downtown do you have to be? Is it best to try to live west, east or south of the city for the most options? Thanks for all the replies.

I live straight north of the city by the Wisconsin border in Lake county.  There are a bunch of lakes out here including the very popular Fox Chain of Lakes.  You can find any fish from bluegill to muskie out there.  There are so many options out this way, just look at a map and take your pick.  As far as west and south of the city I can't tell you about your options but I beleive you choices are a little more limited.  Lets put it this way, if you make the move you will have plenty of options to choose from.


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