Axehead Lake – Cook County, IL
Axehead Lake Facts
Size: 17 acres
Max Depth: 31 feet
Shoreline: 3400 feet (.64 miles)
Location: Southeast corner of Touhy and River Road in Park Ridge, IL
Fish: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass(?), bluegill, perch, crappie, trout (spring and fall), carp
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Boating Regulations: No boats allowed
Fishing Regulations: Axehead Lake fishing regulations
Trout Fishing: Illinois’ Catchable Trout Program – 2013
Axehead Lake Photo Gallery
Jay’s General Comments
Axehead Lake is primarily known as one of the “inland trout” lakes for the State of Illinois’ Catchable Trout Program. Every April and October the lake is stocked with 1000-1500 rainbow trout that range in size from 1/2 lb. to sometimes 2lbs. The lake closes for 5 days during the stocking to allow the fish to acclimate. On the day of the day of the “trout opener”, the lake can be very crowded, literally elbow to elbow with fishermen. The days following the opener can be crowded as well.
The inland trout program is designed so that anglers can keep the fish with a daily creel limit of 5 fish. The trout usually last for about 2 weeks, with the majority taken in the first few days. It is important to note that fishing for these trout requires an inland trout stamp as part of your fishing license. You are guaranteed to be checked for this so make sure you have one.
Axehead Lake supports a modest largemouth bass population, with common catches being in the 8″ – 12″ range. Axehead does have some larger bass, but they seem to be few and far between. Traditional methods will catch bass. Stick type baits such as Senkos work well, as do wacky-rigged baits such as FlickShake worms. 3″ Slug-Go’s are very effective for catching largemouth bass at Axehead Lake.
During most of the 2000’s and as recently as 2011 smallmouth bass have been stocked at Axehead Lake. Despite the smallmouth bass stocking efforts, reports of catches have not been common.
Axehead Lake Stocking Information
2009: Rainbow Trout – 2,054 (as part of spring and fall inland trout program)
2009: Smallmouth Bass: 3,500
2011: Rainbow Trout – 5000 (as part of spring and fall inland trout program)
2011: Smallmouth bass – 1750
Axehead Lake Accommodations
The only bathrooms at Axehead lake are porta-potties in each parking lot. No running water. Non-designated areas for picnicning around the lake are available. Restaurants and stores are as close as 1/4 mile away at Des Plaines River Road and Touhy Avenue. The gas station at Touhy and Des Plaines River Road sells nightcrawlers, wax worms and red “trout” worms.
Jay’s Bottom Line
Axehead Lake is an easily accessible lake for the shore angler and provides some decent action for smaller sized largemouth bass and panfish. During the “trout seasons” in spring and fall, Axehead Lake receives good sized crowds. During the rest of the year it’s a nice place to stop if in the neighborhood. One would probably not plan a day trip to Axehead Lake for fishing – other than for the inland trout times. Axehead Lake is a good place to bring kids – as shore fishing is easily accessible and the water is quite clear.
Axehead Lake Location and Information Map
View Axehead Lake in a larger map
Axehead Lake Depth Map
Axehead Lake Discussion Forum
Visit our Axehead Lake discussion forum on our message boards.