Deep Lake – Lake Villa, IL
Deep Lake Facts
Size: 200 acres
Max Depth: 52 feet
Location: Lake Villa near Grand Avenue (Rt 132) and Deep Lake Road (east of Rt 83)
Fish: Largemouth bass, northern pike, crappie, bluegill, perch, gar, bullhead, carp.
Hours: 6am to Sunset (fishing past sunset is allowed and earlier launch hours can be arranged.)
Jay’s General Comments
In a word, Deep Lake is a gem. Located in Lake Villa, IL, about an hour northwest of Chicago, it’s been a destination of mine for over 30 years. While this area of northeast Illinois is abundant with fishable lakes, including the very popular Fox Chain, Deep Lake offers excellent fishing at an affordable cost, easy experience, and far less pressure than the Fox Chain.
If one has fished Deep lake before, they are certainly familiar with Jack and Lydia’s Resort on Deep Lake. They have been in business for over 35 years and are the sole source of boat rentals. The boat rentals are modest 12′ aluminum rowboats, which cost around $15 bucks, not per hour, but per your entire stay! They assist in getting your gear from your car and down the hill to the launch and get you going. It’s an experience and price that is unmatched for such a good body of water to fish. Outboard motor rentals are no longer available, but outboards can be brought, as well as trolling motors. Even at 200 acres, a trolling motor is plenty for getting around and unless it’s real windy, rowing around is always an easy thing to do.
Deep Lake is a natural glacier lake which is 200 acres in size. The deepest holes are 52 feet and 38 feet. The lake is rich in a variety of vegetation, structure, drop-offs, timber and flats. Excellent habitat throughout for a variety of fish. The #1 fish at Deep Lake is the largemouth bass. The numbers and size are excellent. On any given outing there is a chance at a largemouth bass 20″+. Deep Lake also supports a healthy northern pike population. Panfishermen will enjoy excellent crappie and bluegill populations. When the “bull” bluegills are running, it can be a frenzy of catching these ferocious little buggers.
Deep Lake is also very aesthetically pleasing. The lake is surround mostly by homes and forestry. Launching at sunrise and heading out in search of big bass at Deep Lake feels like a true big fish angling experience.
One will be able to use a full variety of techniques and lures when fishing Deep Lake. Topwater baits early and late can be deadly in all the classic locations such as near lilypads, weed pockets and timber. Drop-offs can be worked at a variety of depths from 8 feet to 30+ feet. Trolling is an option too. One can also fins a nice quiet bay or area of Deep Lake and let a bobber float while relaxing in the boat under the warm sunshine.
Aside from the popular largemouth bass and northern pike at Deep Lake, there are the occasional walleye. Deep Lake is by no means considered a walleye lake, but there are a few in there. Gar are also present and in decent numbers. While traditional baits can work to catch them, the very nature of their anatomy makes it difficult unless targeting the gar with gar specific equipment.
Windy days can be a challenge at Deep Lake and the waves can become quite formidable. If you’re planning on heading out on a windy day, might be best to check with jack and Lidia’s first for conditions.
Deep Lake Accommodations
Deep Lake is located minutes from Grand Ave(Rt 132) and very close to a variety of restaurants, stores, etc. It’s also only 15 minutes from Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee Mills. At Deep lake itself, Jack and Lydia’s resort has clean washrooms with sinks, soap, etc. The bar provides cold drinks, respite, and frozen pizzas which always hit the spot while taking a break during your outing. The outstanding Reflections restaurant is 1 block away and overlooks Deep Lake and features amazing food and incredible atmosphere. Very good accommodations that still have a rustic feel.
Jack and Lydia’s Resort can be reached at 847-356-1389
Jay’s Bottom Line
Enough can’t be said about how many times I have enjoyed Deep Lake over the years. First and foremost for the excellent fishing for largemouth bass and northern pike. Secondly, and very importantly is the ease in which one can get a boat and enjoy it for an extended period of time at an extremely affordable price. Jack – resort owner is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet and always goes out of his way to make sure visitors have a pleasant experience.