Chicago Area Paddling/Fishing Pages

(Lepomis Machrochirus)
We are not responsible for errors or omissions.
When boating, regardless of water depth, wear a PFD!

Description Regulations Habitat Records

Gamefish in the Chicago Area include:

  • Fishing for these requires a trout stamp in addition to your fishing license.


Bluegill can be taken during the summer months on a variety of baits. The most popular is the nightcrawler on a small hook, but crickets and grasshoppers work well. Fish near obstructions such as brush piles, stumps and weed beds and try to drop your bait as close as possible to the obstruction. Use a bobber to keep your bait about halfway between the surface and the bottom. Summer Bluegill fishing is best during the evening, June thru September. During the winter months, wax worms or corn borers can be used to icefish for bluegill.

Please check the fishing advisories for information.


There are no statewide creel or length limits for Bluegill. You still must follow any site specific regulations. Site specific limits

Habitat, habits and breeding

For much more information on breeding, habits and habitat, you can read the entire U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for Bluegill This link is a scanned photocopy of the actual reports used by your local government to decide what fish to stock in particular locations. The reports are normally printed on heavy stock blue paper (You'll see the paper reflecting in the background of the scans. Warning: This report is nearly 2 meg in size and will require you to have Adobe Acrobat installed to view properly.


Illinois record: 3 lb. 8oz

North American Record: 4lb. 12 oz

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