On Outdoors: Illinois fishing resorts and lodges well-kept secrets

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

While Illinois is known for its fishing, some travelers are unaware of the number of lodges in the state dedicated to the sport. Home to several sprawling lakes and winding rivers, the resort and fishing lodge community, although somewhat small, caters to the trophy catfish, bass, musky and other species that are landed in Illinois every day. These top establishments pride themselves on making visiting anglers feel at home and each cast as memorable as possible.

Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast

In the Shawnee National Forest, Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast sits on a more than 2-acre lake and offers a variety of luxury suites. The lake is rich in bass and panfish. Because catch-and-release is standard in Hidden Lake, fish grow to optimum size, allowing some of the best fishing in the area.

The quaint resort is also minutes from Little Grassy Lake and Crab Orchard National Forest.

Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast

433 Cook Ave.

Jonesboro, IL 62952

(618) 833-5252


River House

Located minutes from Rockford on the historic Rock River, River House offers rooms in two lodges: Getaway Lodge and Timeaway Lodge. The Getaway is known for its romantic setting and award-winning breakfast, while the more leisurely Timeaway is equally charming for families and special events. Anglers can fish the Rock River from the lodge or find fishing within minutes at Rock Cut State Park and other popular waters.

River House Bed and Breakfast

11052 Ventura Blvd.

Machesney Park, IL 61115

(815) 636-1884


Jeff Yergler’s Lick Creek Lodge

Jeff Yergler’s Lick Creek Lodge, in Pekin, offers private lodging and fishing in its 55-acre spring-fed lake. Built in 1958, the lake is home to several healthy species of fish, such as bass, bluegill, crappie and trophy catfish.

The facility also includes a 1,000-acre nature preserve. Boats with trolling motors are allowed, while camping is offered during the fishing season. Membership is required.

Jeff Yergler’s Lick Creek Lodge

3201 Sheridan Road

Pekin, IL 61554

(309) 347-7191


From the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue

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