Lonnie Winn holds up his fish for a picture during last year’s Megabux weigh-in. Photo by Chris Young.

Lake Springfield earning reputation as top bass lake

April 05, 2013 at 09:49 AM




Lake Springfield is getting a reputation as one of the top lakes in the state for bass, catfish and other sport fishing.

Don’t believe it? Just try to schedule a fishing tournament.

“From mid-April to September, there is a tournament practically every weekend on this lake,” said Steve Parker, who organizes bass tournaments on Lake Springfield. “It’s hard to schedule tournaments now because the lake is so good. There are so many bass clubs and big tournament circuits wanting to come here. It is a challenge every year to get a spot on this lake.”

“And it’s not only bass fishing,” he said. “Catfish fishing has really taken off. It’s huge. Crappie fishing is good too. It’s a really good lake.”

Coming up April 27-28 is the 22nd Megabux bass tournament, an event that usually attracts 30 to 40 boats, each with a two-person team of anglers.

Add the Summer Trail (with six events), Air National Guard Family Support Tournament and the laid-back Thursday night tournaments, and there are plenty of bass fishing opportunities for those who like friendly competition and to socialize with fellow anglers.

Thursday night tournaments begin April 25. For a full schedule, visit: http://tinyurl.com/spfldbass.

Parker said the lake has earned its reputation, becoming one of the “premier lakes in the state.”

“Five years ago, you couldn’t catch the quality of fish we catch now,” he said. “We catch a lot of big fish, and a lot of small fish look really good and healthy.”

Parker said last summer’s drought restricted the “fishable area” of the lake, but otherwise didn’t make much difference to anglers.

“Hopefully, everything will be back to normal (this summer),” he said.

“The lake looks good. It looks healthy to me. I’m happy.”

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Things to know if you go

Lake Springfield information has four boat ramps:

Lindsay Bridge
Spaulding Dam
Just off Interstate 55, Exit 88
Sailboat Ramp off Center Park
The lake has 15 species of sport fish. The daily limit is six bass with a minimum length of 15 inches. Tournament limits are five bass over 15 inches per team.

Parker shared some general lake rules tournament anglers are required to follow:

A lake fee of $15 is required for a 48-hour permit.
35 mph speed limit
Life jackets, one per person
Boats must have a paddle, oar or pump
Anchor with 50 feet of rope
Horn
Batteries covered
Statewide boating rules must be observed
For more information:

Lake Springfield boating rules: http://tinyurl.com/cwlpboatrules
Illinois Department of Natural Resources boating page: http://tinyurl.com/idnrboating

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528. Following him at twitter.com/ChrisYoungPSO.