Thanks! I never fished those lakes myself so unfortunately cant help with any tips. Some day i will explore up north. I'm mostly south burbs and west burbs lakes/rivers. I love the challenge of new waters so soon I will run out of waters out here and find my way up north. I even tried getting into Argonne park near water fall glenn this day to check out a lake near 91st but chickened out when sign said employee park only.
Speaking of south burbs -- We moved to Chicago area in 2008 from San Diego. Wife and I both have family out there and prior to '08 would come out to visit. Her dad and sis lived in Homewood, my aunt and uncle in Niles. We'd stay in Homewood for a few days, then go up to Niles to stay with cousins. My father-in-law was kind of gruff and cantankerous (WWII vet) but I think he liked me. He liked to fish and a couple of times he'd drive us to different lakes in that area. One of them was Maple Lake off Archer Ave. At the time I didn't know anything about the supernatural stories about Archer Ave and had never heard of The Maple Lake lights. I was used to the freshwater lakes of So Cal, where you have to pay a fee to fish and park. I thought it was great that you could drive into any forest preserve and fish for free! California isn't like that (except for the ocean, of course). I checked the map and it looks like there's a fair number of different lakes in that same Maple Lake area: Bullfrog, Tomahawk, Joe's Pond, Saganashkee, etc.
Twice he took us to a nice lake that was almost due south of Homewood, in a rural area. We caught a few fish and it wasn't crowded either time we went. I've been trying to figure out what lake that was and it's been driving me crazy. It was off some main road that we headed south on and we turned left onto a forest preserve road that took us to the lake. (That narrows it down, eh?) I need to ask my sister-in-law if she remembers what lake that was. I've looked at maps to check out lakes just east of some of the main roads but none of them seem like the right one.