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SARA, LAKE


Lake Information

County: Effingham

Acreage: 614

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Shumway Cove Larsons Landing Gypsy Cove Moccasin Cove Ridgerunner


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Gypsy Cove, Larson's Landing, Moccasin Cove, Ridgerunners Cove,     Shumway Cove

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

The size structure of the bluegill population remained poor. All of the bluegill in the sample were less than 7” in length. Body condition remained stable, but poor, and growth rates remained below average. The bluegill population in this lake will likely always be hindered by the presence of gizzard shad. Anglers can expect to catch an abundance of fish 5” – 7” in length.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Fair

Channel catfish numbers are low in Lake Sara due to low natural recruitment. Recent supplemental stocking may help to improve numbers. In 2021, growth rates remained average and body condition was below target. Anglers can expect to see most fish in the 1 to 2 pound range, with some fish over 5 pounds.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Improving

In an attempt to improve the size structure of the population, regulations were changed on April 01, 2017 to a 15” – 18” protected slot limit. Early results indicate that the regulation appears to be working. In 2021, the percentage of the adult bass in the sample over 15” was 21% and 4% exceeded 18”. Bass over 15” were in good condition. Bass numbers below the slot remained high and body condition was still poor but should improve with time. For 2022, the majority of bass below the slot will range from 0.5 – 1.5 lbs., while those exceeding 18” will be 3 pounds or greater. Harvest of bass below the slot limit (less than 15”) is encouraged.

WHITE BASS

Fair

White bass numbers remained high in 2021. However, average body condition was very poor. Angling opportunities for white bass should be fair/good in 2022 with most fish 10” – 14” long and weighing 0.5 to 1 pound. Harvest of white bass in Lake Sara is encouraged.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Good

Both black and white crappie are present in Lake Sara, but white crappie are the dominant species. Data collected from the annual population survey indicated that 19% of the adult white crappie were greater than 10” in length and 66% were in the 8” – 10” size range. Average body condition for white crappie improved, but it was below the lake management plan target. No black crappie were collected in the 2021 survey. Crappie fishing in the coming year should remain good with most fish weighing 0.2 – 0.5 pounds.

Location: Lake Sara is located in Effingham County approximately 5 miles southwest of Effingham, Illinois.

Description: Lake Sara was constructed in 1957, and it has a surface area of 614 acres, a maximum depth of 47 feet, and a mean depth of 19 feet. The lake has 38 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 7,560 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Lake Sara is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white and black crappies, white bass, and channel catfish. Other common species include common carp and yellow bullheads. The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. Boat permits are required and can be purchased at either of Lake Sara's two Marinas, the Mach 1 gas station on Rt. 33 West, or Lake Sara Marina in Effingham.

Site Regulation:
Largemouth bass: 6 fish daily limit, protected slot length limit of 15 – 18"
White, black, or hybrid crappie: 25 fish limit (collectively)

Contact Information:
Lake Sara Water Authority
217-868-2787
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732

There were 52 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2021.

Species Total Fish Caught
Crappie 223
Largemouth Bass 1740

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2022 tournaments:

1     7.78 lbs
2     7.22 lbs
3     6.89 lbs
4     6.61 lbs
5     6.42 lbs

Top 5 Total Tournament Weight of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2022 tournaments:

1 220.19 lbs
2 187.14 lbs
3 178.83 lbs
4 142.00 lbs
5 133.81 lbs


Multiple day tournaments are listed with * end date.

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2022 – 2023 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
March-2523616ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
18Largemouth Bass
NoNo
March-2623330ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-01
*April-02
22524ApprovedAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-0222702PendingMarina Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-15
*April-16
22791ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2222428ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2723126ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
April-2923116ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-0423128ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-06
*May-07
22770ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-06
*May-07
23723PendingAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Spotted Bass
NoNo
May-1123129ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-1323118ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-1823130ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2022501ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2122844ApprovedAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-2523131ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2722473ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-0123132ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-0322485ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-03
*June-04
22563PendingAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-0823133ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-10
*June-11
23010ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-1023120PendingMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1023593PendingMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1122727ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-1123594PendingMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1523134ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1722498ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2223135ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-2523608ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2923136ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-0623138ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-0823058ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-1323139ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-1522505ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-2023140ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-2223121ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-2723142ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-0323143ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-1023144ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-1223122ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-1322912ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
16Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
NoNo
August-1723146ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-1922518ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-2423147ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-2623149ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
September-0923124ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
September-16
*September-17
22947ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-23
*September-24
22452ApprovedAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
19Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-07
*October-08
22888ApprovedAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
18Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-14
*October-15
22589ApprovedAnthony Acres Ramp boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-21
*October-22
22996ApprovedMarina Ramp boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
NoNo