Seems to me that over my 70 years on Earth the bass fishing in IL has improved substantially. Probably 3 reasons - C&R, the DNRs recognition that bass fishing is good for local businesses, & the EPA/Clean Water Act.
It was the Clean Water Act that provided the funding for the dredging of Skokie Lagoons in the 90s. Before that the 'goons had silted up so badly there was maybe a foot of water & 10 -12 feet of muck. They'll have to do it again in 30 years or so.
Same goes for pike & musky fishing. When I was a kid it seemed you had to go to WI, MI or MN to catch either.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Lake MI perch or smelt fishing.
Keep calm and fish on...
There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid