Fishing action heats up in southern Illinois

December 18, 2010 at 12:32 AM

Marion, Illinois - The holidays are here, waterfowl season is winding down and warming spring temperatures will soon be here.  Discharging of warm water used to cool power plant equipment increases fish activity on Lake of Egypt.

Lake of Egypt is southeast of Marion just off Interstate 57 on the south edge of Williamson County.  This sprawling Williamson County lake, with its 93 miles of irregular shoreline, contains 2,300 acres of prime bass habitat.  In the early months of the year fish are to be found in the shallows and backs of bays.  In colder weather, a stickbait or a Rattlin Rogue is a good lure fished over weed beds.  Some anglers recommend the Rat-L-Trap.  Spinnerbaits and jigs are effective in the weed beds up to eight feet deep.

Soon fish are hitting a variety of baits including the spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms.  Most of the larger fish are taken on large jigs, with a big pork rind, in the far reaches of the lake.  Some bass can be enticed from brush piles with a slow-rolled spinnerbait, crankbaits or a jig-and-pig.

Lake of Egypt has two marinas on the northeast portion of the lake and one on the eastern shore further south.  There are site specific regulations and a boat launch fee.  For more information on these contact the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, P.O. Box 143, Marion, IL 62959 for information.

By late March, the fishing action begins to heat up all across Williamson County.  Crab Orchard Lake, Devil’s Kitchen Lake, and Little Grassy Lake all begin to provide angling opportunities.  Fish such as bass, trout, crappie, redear, bluegill, catfish, white bass and carp begin to take the anglers offerings.

These three lakes are part of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in the southwestern part of Williamson County.  Information about the site specific regulations and user fee for the refuge can be obtained at the Visitors Center (618- 997-3344) on Illinois Route 148, two miles south of Williamson County Airport.

Williamson County Tourism Bureau has available a free color brochure that describes fishing in the area.  It is available upon request from the Bureau at 1-800-GEESE-99.  Those with Internet access can obtain information about the area at the Williamson County Tourism Bureau Web Site.  The email address is: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).