Lake of the Week: Pistakee Lake

Add together unlimited boating, easy access to boat launches and some of the best fishing action in Lake County, and you’ve got Pistakee Lake.

Pistakee is the Algonquin Indian word for ‘buffalo,’ which once roamed Illinois prairies. At 1,700 acres, Pistakee Lake shares the position with Fox Lake as the largest lake on the Chain O’Lakes—one of the most popular inland water recreation destinations in the country.

You’ll find that Pistakee Lake is exceptionally picturesque, with much of its 22-mile shoreline designated as conservation land. The average depth is six feet, but there are significant drop-offs reaching up to 34 feet.

Name your favorite water recreation, and you’ll find it here. Boating options are unlimited, with all types and sizes of watercraft welcome. Access to the water is easy, with several full-service marinas and 10 launch ramps to choose from. And Pistakee Lake is ideally located. From here you can cruise the rest of the Chain as well as take your boat directly onto the Fox River.

With its varying depths, Pistakee Lake is a fisherman’s favorite, including in the winter when the lake is open for ice fishing. You can catch a variety of fish including black crappie, bluegill, carp, channel catfish, largemouth bass, logperch, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, sucker, walleye, white bass, white crappie, yellow bass and yellow perch.

Around Pistakee Lake you’ll find a wealth of lodging, restaurant, entertainment and marina options, including:

Famous Freddie's Roadhouse in Fox Lake—a one-of-a-kind entertainment complex with 100 slips for boats of all sizes.

Dockers in Fox Lake—offering delicious food with a stunning view of Pistakee Lake. It’s a favorite location for boaters—just pull up to the dock.

Bald Knob Marina —Johnsburg’s premier boat dealer, marina and storage facility, which has been family owned and operated for over 24 years.

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