By Tim Huffman

Our cover photo was taken at Rend Lake, Illinois. The lake has been on the upswing in its crappie fishing for a few years. The 18,900 acre lake includes much of the timber that was present on the north end of the lake extending down to about a mile north of the 154 Highway. There are many creek channels and secondary creeks, too. From 154 south is primarily cleared but there is a lot of manmade structure along the channels out in the main lake. Bridges, riprap and bushes offer a wide variety of fishing in different seasons.
Waters are stained with water as deep as 25 feet but most depths are in the 8 to 12 foot range or shallower. Both black and white crappie can be caught. The limit is 25 per person with only 10 of those fish being over 10-inches.
Bridge fishing should be good and get better when it gets colder.
Accommodations include several places including a bait shop at the gas station at exit 77. My last stay was at Rend Lake Resort with lodge, restaurant and launching. www.rendlakeresort.com. 618-629-2211. Also check rendlake.com and rendlake.org for more information.