Average Depth: 12.47 feet
Shoreline Length: 18.6 miles
Boat Fishing? Unrestricted
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? Yes
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
The bluegill population is poor in Lake Jacksonville, which is common in a lake with a lot of structural habitat. Only 14% of the bluegill population measures 6-7”, while the remainder measures <6”.
The channel catfish population is excellent both in quantity and quality. Channel cats are collected every year weighing 2-10 lbs in good numbers and are in excellent body condition. Anglers can catch channel catfish in the warmer months using bottom fishing techniques near deadfalls, woody debris, and shallow flats with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers.
Hybrid striped bass have been stocked on alternate years since 1988 and have done well. Fish collected in the fall 2012 survey ranged from 5-10 lbs. They are not targeted enough by anglers and can provide a great fishing opportunity for those looking to diversify their catch.
Lake Jacksonville is known for its largemouth bass population. The bass tend to be in very good body condition. The population structure is excellent with 52% of the bass collected in the Fall 2012 survey measuring over 15", 19% over 18" and 4% over 20". The largest bass collected in the 2012 survey weighed 6.1 lbs and 14% of the bass collected weighed over 4 lbs. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, stickups, and along aquatic vegetation beds in the spring and fall with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. The largest bass ever collected during an electrofishing survey weighed 6.8 lbs and measured over 22" long.
The redear sunfish population is similar to the bluegill population, but shows higher numbers of 7-8" fish.
During the 2014 fall fish survey, the crappie population was composed mainly 8-11” fish with 45% of the population measuring over the 9” minimum length limit. No crappie less than 6” were collected in 2014. The lack of young crappie may be due to electrofishing bias caused by small crappie hiding in aquatic vegetation or the cyclic spawning nature of white crappie. Anglers can catch white crappie on stickups and submerged structures in the spring and fall using spinners, jigs and minnows. The largest white crappie ever collected during an electrofishing survey measured over 15” and weighed 1.8 lbs.
Location: Lake Jacksonville is located 3 miles south of Jacksonville and 30 miles west of Springfield just off of I-72.
Description: Lake Jacksonville has a maximum depth of 31 feet, an average depth of 12.5 feet, 18.5 miles of shoreline, and maintains abundant aquatic vegetation beds. The lake has a nice double ramp on the north shore.
History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement with the City of Jacksonville in 1984 to manage the sport fishery. Due to the poor sportfishery, the lake was completely drained, rehabilitated and restocked in 1986. This project produced one of the best largemouth bass populations in the state.
A total of 19 fish species have been collected in Lake Jacksonville since its rehabilitation in 1986. While their numbers and potential for successful angling are low, anglers may catch black crappie, green sunfish, black or yellow bullhead, common carp, or yellow bass.
Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only.
Contact Information: Site Superintendent 217-479-4644IDNR County Fisheries Biologist, Nerissa McClelland309-543-3316, ext. 224
|2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments|
|Start Date||End Date |
(if different from start)
|April-29||6234||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|April-30||5528||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||8||Largemouth Bass|
|May-06||6297||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||15||Crappie||No|
|May-07||5606||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-13||5021||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-21||6182||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass|
|June-04||5943||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass|
|June-11||6817||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||30||Largemouth Bass|
|June-25||5573||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-09||4612||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-19||5667||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-23||5547||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||12||Largemouth Bass|
|July-30||5524||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||8||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-06||5482||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||35||Largemouth Bass|
|August-19||4704||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||30||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|September-16||5666||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|September-24||5063||Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31)||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|