Boating Lake County Blog

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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