Heidecke Lake – Morris, IL
Size: 1995 acres
Max Depth: 60 (average max depth: ~15 feet)
Location: 5010 N. Jugtown Road, Morris, Illinois 60450
Fish: Largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, crappie, channel catfish, musky (since 2007), bluegill, warmouth, sunfish, yellow bass, pumpkinseed, bullhead, carp
Hours: Boaters: 6:00am – sunset; Shore: 6:30am – sunset
Sunset times are posted at the shore access area and at the boat launch
The Heidecke Lake fishing season for 2013 begins Monday, April 1st at 6am for boats and 6:30am for shore angling.
Heidecke Lake is a former cooling lake for the Collins Station Power Plant in located in Morris, Illinois. The plant was shut down in 2005, which has changed the habitat, but lake still features some premiere fishing opportunities.
Musky, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and catfish are all available in decent numbers and some great size. One of the most popular species at Heidecke is Hybrid Striped Bass – or as they’re commonly referred – “Stipers”.
If you’ve not fished Heidecke Lake before, it’s a little different than most lakes. It’s “perched” above ground in order to have caught wind, thus aiding in the “cooling” process – it’s original use. Shore access is limited to one entrance and can require a fair amount of walking in order to access many spots. Also be aware that there is NO shade whatsoever so be well armed with sunscreen and a hat to keep cool in the summer heat. The entire shoreline is riprap so be prepared to be walking on rocks to get to your area of choice. In the past there has not been too much in the way of aquatic vegetation but that’s changed in recent years with the closing of the power plant. Still, you won’t find areas of lilypads or many beds of milfoil. There is also little to no timber in the water. Dropoffs will be the main structure to attract larger predator fish, as well as schools of a very healthy population of gizzard shad. Oftentimes the areas by the bridge on the center dike are the first spots to be taken by shore anglers. Many get there right at opening to stake out their turf.
Boaters will benefit from electronics to find underwater structure or schools of larger fish.
Chicken livers are a very popular choice of bait for many anglers at Heidecke. Commonly used primarily as a catfish bait, chicken livers also do quite well at attracting the hybrid bass. It’s not uncommon to fins stripers in excess of 10lbs so be prepared! Cut-bait is also a very popular among Heidecke regulars.
Walleye were stocked in fall of 2012 and have been stocked annually.
The boat launch area is being completely re-done so currently there are 3 temporary boat launches. The new facilities are expected to be completed by late June 2013.
There is no concessionaire or boat rentals for the 2013 season.
For more information you can contact the park office at 815-942-6352
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