Guide to Fishing & Hunting in Southwestern Illinois

Southern Illinois is a beautiful part of the state, filled with ample hunting and fishing locations. Here are a few of our favorites close to Pike County:

Fishing in Southwestern Illinois

Southwestern Illinois is home to roughly 99 species of fish including crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish. There are ample fishing holes, lakes and streams for a fisherman to choose from, each offering a unique beauty and experience.

Crab Orchard Lake

Located in Carbondale, Crab Orchard Lake is one of the most famous and popular largemouth bass fisheries in the region. Fisherman flock to Crab Orchard to have a chance at reeling in a boast-worthy bass. The orchard does operate under annual size and stocking restrictions, offering up lots of opportunities to pull in a great catch. If you’re looking for something other than largemouth bass, the lake is known to be home to crappie and bluegill species as well.


Pittsfield Lake

One of the best spots in Pike County, IL is Pittsfield Lake. This body of water is laden with a wide variety of fish species including bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. There is also a large number of striped bass, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and walleye. The eastern shoreline is a more attractive location for fisherman to set up camp for the day. The terrain is flat and full of beautiful aquatic vegetation that attracts fish.

Pine Lake

If you’re looking for something a bit less rural but still a great fishing spot, Pine Lake is something for you to consider. Pine Lake encompasses two beautiful, pristine bodies of water. Surrounded by 10 acres of gorgeous views, it’s a beautiful, peaceful setting for a day on the lake. The lake is fully stocked with largemouth bass and channel catfish every season. It’s open the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October each year.

Hunting in Southwestern Illinois

Southwestern Illinois is a great place to shoot, especially if you’re seeking whitetail deer. Pike County specifically has been a top name in the whitetail deer hunting community. It’s one of the highest rated counties in Illinois for whitetail deer, as there is such a large number available.

Heartland Lodge

Located in Pike County, the Heartland Lodge has a well-established reputation for being one of the best whitetail deer hunting lodges in the United States. Its unique location is the main reason that the deer are so prolific at Heartland Lodge. Located between the Mississippi and Illinois River, the habitat is perfectly maintained to attract whitetail bucks. If you choose to hunt at Heartland Lodge, you’ll have access to thousands of hunting acres year-round.


Eagle Lakes Outfitters

Eagle Lakes Outfitters is another favorite spot for whitetail deer hunting in Pike County. Dates and pricing vary but it is known to be a place hunters can rely on getting a large whitetail buck. If you’re interested in hunting turkey, you’ll have that option here as well. Eagle Lakes is rated one of the top locations in the country for both whitetail deer and turkey hunting.

Southwestern Illinois is a great spot to spend some time hunting and fishing in the great outdoors.


7 Interesting Things to Know About Pike County IL

Pike County, Illinois strives to be a great place to live, work, and visit. Pike County is a historic place to stay, and the community has lots of traditions. Pike County has ties to former President Abraham Lincoln, the New Philadelphia Site, and is also known as an early Mormon settlement. Here are some more interesting facts about Pike County.

1. Old East School

The Old School is significant because of its architecture. The Old East School is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are many historical displays and artifacts in the Old East School building. There is an overview of the history of Pike County and the State of Illinois. The Old East School is considered a historic part of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

2. Jellystone Park at Pine Lakes

Jellystone Park at Pine Lakes is the perfect place to bring your family to enjoy some fun. The resort offers different camping sites, cabins, and cottages. You can fish, swim, boat, or choose to enjoy some other activities. It is the perfect destination for summer fun.

3. Mormontown

Mormontown was a community originally inhabited by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. The Saints left Missouri to avoid persecution. Mormontown thrived as an active community, as there were a school and church built in the area. Brigham Young preached in Mormontown during the 1800s.

4. Abraham Lincoln Civil War Reenactment

Every Saturday and Sunday in June, the Abe Lincoln Project sponsors the Lincoln Days Civil War Reenactment in Pittsfield. Union and Confederate forces will prepare for battle. There is Calvary, infantry, and artillery events, along with a tea and fashion show. There are enough activities to keep the entire family entertained.

5. Lots Of Different Places To Shop

Pike County residents can find all of their necessities by shopping at one of the many different stores around the area. Ackles Farm Market is a popular choice in Pike County to find fresh produce and other essential items. Other favorite stores in Pike County include Bloomers, The Hen House, and Eastside Gardens.


The Pike-Adams Sportsmen’s Alliance is a community service organization that strives to promote all of the different shooting sports and outdoor recreational activities. PASA hopes to create some different leisure and economic benefits to the Illinois/Missouri region. The PASA Sportsmen’s Park is one of the best outdoor shooting sports facilities in the World.

7. New Philadelphia

New Philadelphia was the first town established by a free African American before the Civil War. It also served as a rest point on the Underground Railroad for slaves fleeing toward the North. The New Philadelphia Association was established to help preserve the memory of the original town site. New Philadelphia is designated as a National Historic Landmark.