Ice Fishing in Lake County

The snow is on the ground, the weather is below freezing and there’s ice over the lakes of Lake County.

So how in the heck do you get through these non-boating seasons in Lake County? It’s about that time to grab your tackle, rod and tons of bait for some ice fishing.

There are a collection of ice derbies starting this weekend in Lake County. However, before you start heading to your shanties and get the heat up the pans to prepare for a succulent northern, bass, crappie, bluegill or perch, the Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale at the Lake County Fairgrounds is rapidly approaching. The event will take place March 3-6.

As for fishing derbies, here’s what Lake County has for you anglers. You’ll have a reel good experience.

LVVA 7th Annual Fishing Derby
January 30; 7 a.m. in Wauconda

Win the catch of the day at this fishing derby in Lake View Villa Park. Bundle up and pack your tackle,The LVVA 7th Annual Fishing Derby bait and rod. Join your fellow anglers at the LVVA Seventh Annual Fishing Derby in Wauconda. Entry forms can be downloaded to streamline the registration process before arriving. Registration begins at 5 a.m. and the fishing starts at 7 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the fisher with the largest northern, bass crappie, bluegill and perch. There will also be side raffles for additional prizes. During the Star Bangled Banner, a special fly over by a North American T-6 will make a special flyover appearance. Smitty’s Bait & Tackle will have bait available. If the ice is bad, the make-up date is set for February 13.

Walk on Water Ice Fishing Derby @ Lindy’s
Sunday, February 7

Bring the family out for this great event. In preparation for the 12th Annual Walk on Water Tournament we wanted to post some reminders on Parking and Derby Rules and General House Keeping. Parking is available at Lindy’s, Homer T. Cook Park, and Slice. No Trailer Parking at Lindy’s. Homer Cook is the primary launch location for participants with trailers and machines. Please visit the website for more information.

56th Annual Chain O’ Lakes Fishing Derby and Winter Festival
Saturday-Sunday, February 13-14; Satu 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Chain O’Lakes Fishing Derby and Winter Festival is just good ole’ fashioned winter fun.
There will be raffles and games for the children and adults both days. Weather permitting. This year fish judging and food will be inside the tent. Come watch the fishermen register their catch of the hour hoping to win a prize for the smallest or the largest fish. When you get hungry there's plenty of good food at the Conservation Café. Don't forget the children's auction held on Sunday at 3:00pm. The adult auction is next followed by the main raffle. There will also be Ice Shanty Contest.

Ice Fishing Throughout Winters

There are a few places around Lake County where you can fish until April. Here are Lake County Forest Preserves and other areas that permit ice fishing.

Lakewood Preserve Winter Sports Area

Van Patten Woods

Independence Grove

Bangs Lake


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