Shabbona aims for walleye record

April 03, 2008 at 01:22 AM

On Saturday, April 12, anglers will have the opportunity to night fish Shabbona Lake until 10 p.m. for trophy-sized walleye, maybe even a state record.

The Illinois DNR and Shabbona’s Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental are combining for the third annual thank-you opportunity to anglers who help make Shabbona Lake State Park a great fishery. Shabbona Lake, located in southern DeKalb County, for years has been a brood stock lake for walleye because of its habitat and forage base. The lake was designated by the IDNR as a lake capable of producing very large walleye and muskie, and has trophy size limits: 18 inches for keeper walleye and 48 for keeper muskie to help protect trophy fish.

These limits ensure the IDNR with brood stock that can be used to supply state hatcheries every spring with eggs and sperm. Four state-record muskie and two state-record hybrid crappie already have come from man-made Shabbona. The only missing ingredient is a state-record walleye. Previous IDNR spring collections of brood stock have seen walleye and muskie capable of being state records, if caught by a lucky angler.

This will be the third opportunity for anglers to night fish for the big ones. Lakeside Bait has a certified scale to weigh any potential record. Lakeside will be open until 10 p.m. April 12, with the scale closing a 9:45 p.m.

Lakeside is offering $100 for the largest legal walleye caught April 12, an additional $100 if the walleye breaks the current lake record of 9.9 pounds and $500 if the state record of 14-0 falls, a potential payout of $700.

No entry fee will be charged and no pre-registration is required. Just show up and fish. For more information visit Shabbona or call Lakeside Bait at (815) 824-2581. Lakeside will have a limited number of rental boats available with lights for that night.