How's the fishing?

Lake County, IL - Fishing Information

How's the fishing?

Postby crankybass » Jul Mon 23, 2018 3:43 pm

I noticed that there hasn't been any activity on this board for a while. I am surprised because according to a reliable source the fishing can be good. Anyone who has fished this lake, can you give me some idea of where the best shallow, pads/weeds, areas that are accessible from shore are located?
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby vman01 » Jul Mon 23, 2018 7:10 pm

Cranky,
I never fished the grove so hope someone chimes in on this one as well.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Grain » Jul Mon 23, 2018 9:22 pm

I've been there a few times, but always with a gaggle of 10-12 year olds, fishing bluegills from the south pier. I've seen people catch sizeable bass and some cats. Keep in mind that if you are not a Lake County resident you have to pay for parking.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Woohoodude11 » Jul Mon 23, 2018 10:56 pm

Nearly the entire lake is accessible to shore fish except the area around the beach. Its just such a big lake though. If I was a Lake County resident I'd explore it more.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby vman01 » Jul Tue 24, 2018 12:53 am

Woo,
How clear is the water compared to the other FP lakes nearby and the weeds/pads?
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Grain » Jul Tue 24, 2018 8:10 am

The water is clear and not stained. There are large weed beds throughout the lake, if you look at the depth map wherever there are shallows there are weeds. Also, plenty of pads - again look at the map wherever the bottom is not steep you'll find some pads. I've seen some completely overgrown coves, but in other places vegetation is sparse.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby crankybass » Jul Tue 24, 2018 12:38 pm

Grain wrote:The water is clear and not stained. There are large weed beds throughout the lake, if you look at the depth map wherever there are shallows there are weeds. Also, plenty of pads - again look at the map wherever the bottom is not steep you'll find some pads. I've seen some completely overgrown coves, but in other places vegetation is sparse.


I checked out the Lake Reports for Lake County: https://www.lakecountyil.gov/2400/Lake-Reports. The most recent for this body of water was 2016. As I suspected, Independence Grove waters are Mesotrophic:

“Meso” means middle or mid; therefore, mesotrophic means a medium amount of nutrients (Phosphorus and Nitrogen). Mesotrophic lakes are usually found in central Minnesota and have clear water with some algal blooms in late summer.

Mesotrophic lakes are great fishing lakes and are home to many sport fish such as walleye, perch, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and northern pike (more information on fish).

Mesotrophic lakes behave differently than oligotrophic lakes in that they stratify, meaning they separate into layers in the summer (more on lake stratification). The top layer of water becomes warm from the sun and contains algae. Since the by-product of photosynthesis is oxygen, oxygen concentration remains high at the surface of the lake. The bottom layer remains cooler and can become anoxic in mid-summer. This change occurs because as all the algae and other organisms die and are decomposed at the bottom of the lake, oxygen gets used up. Since this bottom layer of water does not mix with the top layer of water in the summer, oxygen cannot be replenished. The implications of anoxia are that no fish or other organisms can live where there is no oxygen; therefore, in late summer, fish move shallower where there is still oxygen available.

There is a good mix of bottom types, as well.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby crankybass » Jul Wed 25, 2018 9:42 am

Woohoodude11 wrote:Nearly the entire lake is accessible to shore fish except the area around the beach. Its just such a big lake though. If I was a Lake County resident I'd explore it more.


Woo, the size of the lake is one of the reasons I've been less than excited about fishing it. At 115 acres, it's a little over 10x bigger than Old School, but much smaller than Busse at 600 acres. I think that you have to have a strategy for attacking a lake of this size, and being bank-bound means focusing on visible cover, using your contour map, and even photos (Google Maps) so that you spend less time walking and searching. The numbers of big bass in this lake, as in Busse, exceed Old School, I am sure, but you have to accept that you may get less bites, or none at all seeking the bigger bass. For a weekend angler like me, that can make me a bit nervous.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Aux Pleins » Jul Wed 25, 2018 5:15 pm

Ice fish the hell out of it, ice fishing is great. Since moving to the area last year, I really gave it a go at ice out this year from shore. Caught some hammer pike and had one huge musky follow from a mid 40's looking fish. Seen two others cruising the shoreline during the spawn. I solely tossed for musky up until the bass spawn. Saw plenty of nice looking bass shallow in my last few outings there.

The place is huge, you can always find relief from the wind. But I dare you to cast a few times around the canoe launch on the river in that park. You might just get hooked.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Grain » Jul Wed 25, 2018 6:12 pm

Also, you can always stop by the boathouse and look at all the fish swimming around it. :lol:
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Woohoodude11 » Jul Thu 26, 2018 7:40 am

Aux Pleins wrote:But I dare you to cast a few times around the canoe launch on the river in that park. You might just get hooked.

I checked it out very early in the season but the water levels were brutally low so I just skipped it :(

I might need to make a weekday appearance next time I have $5 in my pocket. Although I've never had to pay the fee.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Aux Pleins » Jul Thu 26, 2018 4:49 pm

Woohoodude11 wrote:
Aux Pleins wrote:But I dare you to cast a few times around the canoe launch on the river in that park. You might just get hooked.

I checked it out very early in the season but the water levels were brutally low so I just skipped it :(



Yeap, the DPR really became fishable only a week or two ago. June was wet as f$%#. Go check her out brother, crystal clear in a lot of areas. Something about the dpr river bottom is just hypnotizing. Pike bites are as good as it will get from now thru August.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Woohoodude11 » Jul Fri 27, 2018 6:51 am

I checked out the DPR at 60 late last week. It's the clearest I've ever seen it. My lack of a 'yak/waders limits my accessible areas, though.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby crankybass » Jul Fri 27, 2018 9:33 am

Aux Pleins wrote:Ice fish the hell out of it, ice fishing is great. Since moving to the area last year, I really gave it a go at ice out this year from shore. Caught some hammer pike and had one huge musky follow from a mid 40's looking fish. Seen two others cruising the shoreline during the spawn. I solely tossed for musky up until the bass spawn. Saw plenty of nice looking bass shallow in my last few outings there.

The place is huge, you can always find relief from the wind. But I dare you to cast a few times around the canoe launch on the river in that park. You might just get hooked.


Aux, would you recommend a spinnerbait or chatterbait for Northern Pike in that area?
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Grain » Jul Fri 27, 2018 12:02 pm

Aux Pleins wrote:Go check her out brother, crystal clear in a lot of areas. Something about the dpr river bottom is just hypnotizing. Pike bites are as good as it will get from now thru August.


What WH said. Without kayak or waders you can't get decent access, and besides where I live it's incredibly shallow - I mean I was crossing it at Lake Cook the other week and I could see geese standing in inch-two of water. I stopped at Potawotomi today (no fish, but I might have witnessed some drug dealing), and it's about a foot deep, although it feels like in a pair of knee-high wellies you can get around a bit. I can bike to DPR trail from home, but then I'd need a hazmat suit to get to the water what with all poison ivy.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby Aux Pleins » Jul Fri 27, 2018 7:24 pm

crankybass wrote:
Aux Pleins wrote:Ice fish the hell out of it, ice fishing is great. Since moving to the area last year, I really gave it a go at ice out this year from shore. Caught some hammer pike and had one huge musky follow from a mid 40's looking fish. Seen two others cruising the shoreline during the spawn. I solely tossed for musky up until the bass spawn. Saw plenty of nice looking bass shallow in my last few outings there.

The place is huge, you can always find relief from the wind. But I dare you to cast a few times around the canoe launch on the river in that park. You might just get hooked.


Aux, would you recommend a spinnerbait or chatterbait for Northern Pike in that area?


I would go both. What ever you can work around weed beds without too much hang up. There are plenty of drop offs to focus on as well.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby toyasu » Aug Wed 08, 2018 7:41 am

crankybass wrote:I noticed that there hasn't been any activity on this board for a while. I am surprised because according to a reliable source the fishing can be good. Anyone who has fished this lake, can you give me some idea of where the best shallow, pads/weeds, areas that are accessible from shore are located?
Cranky, I checked out Independence Grove for a couple of hours a few weeks ago armed with zero information. It was a cloudy overcast day so I was feeling good about my chances. I agree, as a bank fisherman, it's overwhelming trying to figure out where to concentrate your efforts. I ended up on the North end walking around casting wherever it looked decent. The water is super clear, but the vegetation is HEAVY. Every cast required yanking and ripping to free whatever I was throwing. Very frustrating. I found some more clear pockets here and there, but couldn't entice a bite. While I was tossing a frog in a pocket of one area, a guy walking by with his wife yells out, "hey, what do you got there, a Spro? Booyah?" I thought, ah yes, one of my people. He pointed at a corner across from where I was where there were a couple of tall birdhouses. He said to toss my frog there and also to cross the path and toss my frog into the other bay where there was a big field of lily pads. I headed over toward the birdhouses, nestled into the corner and started tossing a frog. He was right. 5 casts in I had a 2-pounder. Had a few more blowups, but couldn't seal the deal. I went across the path to the huge lily pad field. Got a few blowups, but didn't hook up. From my one short experience, I'd say your best bet is topwater. I struggled mightily with anything subsurface. It would be worth it to explore the place in a boat. And with someone who knows what they're doing.
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Re: How's the fishing?

Postby crankybass » Aug Wed 08, 2018 10:57 pm

toyasu wrote:
crankybass wrote:I noticed that there hasn't been any activity on this board for a while. I am surprised because according to a reliable source the fishing can be good. Anyone who has fished this lake, can you give me some idea of where the best shallow, pads/weeds, areas that are accessible from shore are located?
Cranky, I checked out Independence Grove for a couple of hours a few weeks ago armed with zero information. It was a cloudy overcast day so I was feeling good about my chances. I agree, as a bank fisherman, it's overwhelming trying to figure out where to concentrate your efforts. I ended up on the North end walking around casting wherever it looked decent. The water is super clear, but the vegetation is HEAVY. Every cast required yanking and ripping to free whatever I was throwing. Very frustrating. I found some more clear pockets here and there, but couldn't entice a bite. While I was tossing a frog in a pocket of one area, a guy walking by with his wife yells out, "hey, what do you got there, a Spro? Booyah?" I thought, ah yes, one of my people. He pointed at a corner across from where I was where there were a couple of tall birdhouses. He said to toss my frog there and also to cross the path and toss my frog into the other bay where there was a big field of lily pads. I headed over toward the birdhouses, nestled into the corner and started tossing a frog. He was right. 5 casts in I had a 2-pounder. Had a few more blowups, but couldn't seal the deal. I went across the path to the huge lily pad field. Got a few blowups, but didn't hook up. From my one short experience, I'd say your best bet is topwater. I struggled mightily with anything subsurface. It would be worth it to explore the place in a boat. And with someone who knows what they're doing.


Thanks, toyasu, I appreciate the tips. I think that early spring and fall may be the best times for bank fishing IG, unless you are in a boat.
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