Rend Lake Overview And Fishing Report
Rend Lake Fishing Report
*Fishing reports are ascertained through various sources included trusted locals, fishing guides, fish off results, water conditions, past conditions, as well as firsthand experience. *
Week: April 22nd-Aprill 28th, 2022 Rend Lake Fishing Report
Rend Lake Fishing Report
Still only a handful of bass are being caught on long stretches of bushes and in some of the ponds. Expect conditions to begin to improve as long as water levels fall over the next couple of weeks.
As predicted last week the first wave of crappie moving into the bushes began but was halted after Monday’s major cold front. Ramp chatter was rampant with reports that the fish had moved back out to their staging areas once again. By this weekend they should be right back in there with next weekend being the largest wave of the spawn.
Channel cats are really turning on. This week was my best week of the year, and I was informed of others doing well. The night bite is coming on strong, but days can produce just as well. six to ten feet deep near riprap on cut shad is yielding the best results.
Bluegill are migrating to their spawning grounds and are still difficult to pattern at this time. Bridges providing a pinch point are your best bet with quick action that only lasts a few minutes.
We have no reports on the white bass fishing at this time.
About Rend Lake
Located in Franklin and Jefferson counties is the second largest lake located completely within Illinoi’s borders. Averaging around 19,000 acres, it was created by damming the big muddy river in the early 70’s after being authorized by congress a decade earlier.
Fishing and camping are the two most popular things to do at Rend Lake.
Known well for its catfish and crappie populations, there’s a good chance you’ll be coming back to camp with a stringer full of fish to serve up a fish fry.
Rend Lake is a tourist attraction bringing tens of thousands of visitors to its campgrounds and local cabins. Hobbyists have unlimited options when visiting the local area!
Rend actually fishes like 2 different lakes. Dividing the north and south end via State Hwy 154 is how most locals view the reservoir.
North of 154 the lake is considered shallower on average and a little muddier. Stump fields are scattered throughout causing possible water hazards. Less fishing pressure is the main attraction for the locals as not knowing the navigation routes puts visitors at a disadvantage.
The south end is used more by recreational boaters with the deeper averages of the lake. With the largest party cove located in the South Marcum area just east of the dam, and a marina setting directly across from it.
When the lake level reaches 409 feet above sea level buck brush becomes flooded making for great spring and summer fishing opportunities but once it reaches over 410 becomes extremely difficult to pattern.
When the lake drains then the hundreds of offshore brush piles along with visible laydowns, and finally the bridges become primary targets.
Camping At Rend Lake
You won’t find a larger campground selection full of amenities and things to do then at Rend Lake. Whether you’re an RV, tow behind camper, or good ol fashion tent camping, plenty of hookups await!
Rend Lake Campgrounds
- Close To Town
- Great Fishing opportunities
- Located In Party Cove
- Clean Playgrounds
- Pay Boat Ramp
- Not A Great Kayak Area
South Marcum Campground
South Marcum is located on the farthest southeast end of the lake and has outstanding fishing opportunities right off the shoreline. The riprap holds gamefish all year long. The DNR has actually placed brush piles in close proximity so be careful when fishing near the bottom!
South Marcum also has several playgrounds throughout for the kids, beautiful hiking trails where you’re almost guaranteed to see all kinds of wildlife, and one of the nicest boat ramps on the lake. Note that the boat ramp is a pay boat ramp!
It is also the closest campground to several department and outdoor supply stores, as well as access to many familiar restaurants.
- Closest Campground to Largest Beach
- Closest Campground to Marina
- Excellent for Large RV’s
- Popular Bike Trail Runs Right Through The Campground
- Farther From Convenient Stores
- Pay Boat Ramp
South Sandusky Campground
While not as popular of a fishing area, South Sandusky is in close proximity to great crappie, bass, and especially catfish opportunities!
If staying here you will enjoy beautiful site seeing, quiet campsites, and be less than five minutes from both the public beach as well as the Rend Lake Marina!
- Beautiful Bike Trail
- Close Proximity To The Beach
- Close Proximity To The Marina
- Close Proximity To The Famous Custard Stand In Sesser
- Close Proximity To Grocery Store In Sesser
- Pay Boat Ramp
North Sandusky Campground
North Sandusky is a beautiful campground that has some really great waterfront locations with above average fishing opportunities.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’re in luck! The famous Custard Stand is less than fifteen minutes away and you can grab anything you forgot to pack with you while in town.
The boat ramp is one of the largest on the lake but is a pay ramp so be sure to purchase a daily pass.
- Close Proximity To Golf Course
- Close Proximity To Winery
- Closest Campground To Interstate
- Farthest Campground From The Public Beach
- Pay Boat Ramp
Gun Creek Campground
For those who want to be close to other amenities, Gun Creek Campground is a top choice!
Go Tee it up early in the morning out on a beautiful golf course only minutes away and get back to camp in time to enjoy lunch. Launch the boat from the free boat ramp on the north side of Hwy 154 to take the kids out tubing and afterwards some of the adults can go enjoy the beautiful award-winning Pheasant Hollow Winery within ten minutes of the campground!
Kayaking Rend Lake
Whether you enjoy fishing from, or just exploring with, rend lake offers great kayaking whether you bring your own, or you need to rent one! This is my absolute favorite way to fish this lake!
Best Kayak Areas To Explore At Rend Lake
West Gun Creek Launch
From this easy access location just off of State Hwy 37, you’ll be able to explore quiet coves in the far upper east reaches of the lake. You’ll be able to go under train trussells with trains traveling through every half hour or so just inches above your head.
Winds are usually light and variable in this area of the lake and fishing can be excellent!
GPS Location To Access
Probably the best kayak exploration area on a hot summer day. You will launch at one of the secondary feeder creeks that feed Rend Lake. The creeks are well shaded, and few folks travel by boat up to the area!
Jackie Branch Launch
Once launching, paddle on back to the west under a low hanging bridge and explore the creek leading up the old mine pond! There are plenty of places to stop off at and swim or picnic!
Things To Do At Rend Lake
If you’re looking for pontoon rentals, then check out the Rend Lake Marina on the west side of the lake just off of Rend City Road!
Wrapping around the lake, across bridges and streams, awaits several bicycle trails connecting campgrounds around the lake. In total 20 miles worth of smooth paved trails take you in and out of wooded areas to experience nature at its fullest!
Looking to hit a few balls? Then Rend Lake Golf Complex needs to be your destination! A breathtaking eighteen-hole golf course borders the southeastern side of the lake and brings players in from all over the country. Located just a couple of minutes off of interstate 57 at the Sesser exit you will find yourself entering a beautiful lodging area sitting right on the course!
At the same exit as the golf course, less than 2 minutes off of interstate 57 sits the famous Pheasant Hollow Winery known for its award-winning wines! Entertainment, a gift shop, and beautiful views await!