Independence Grove – Lake County, IL
Max Depth: 45-50ft (average max depth: 11 feet)
Location: Independence Grove Forest Preserve Preserve – Lake County, IL, 16400 West Buckley Road, Libertyville, IL. Main entrance located on Buckley Road (rt 137), 3/4 mile east of Milwaukee Avenue (rt 21).
Fish: Largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, musky, black crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, perch.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Fishing Regulations: Catch and release only
Jay’s General Comments
Independence Grove is a former gravel quarry which was reclaimed by the Lake County Forest Preserve District and opened to the public in 2001. This 115 acre lake features steep slopes and islands which provide excellent habitat for fish proliferation.
Most of the shoreline at Independence Grove is accessible to the shore fisherman and will provide good opportunities for a variety of fish including largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, crappie, bluegill, and even musky. Boat rentals are available at the marine 7-days a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and on weekends from mid-April through mid-October.
Independence Grove has a single public entrance on Buckley Road (Rt. 137). Non-Lake County residents will be charged a parking fee. In past years, this fee has been $10.00 on weekends and holidays, $5.00 on weekdays. There are several parking areas throughout this beautiful preserve.
Structure and drop-offs will be the main target for most anglers. While there is indeed vegetation in many areas, this former gravel quarry is mostly comprised of gravel and sand bottom with several fish cribs and structure such as trees and concrete pipes were added during construction to create better habitat for the fish. There are 3 bridge areas that are popular fishing spots.The northeast bay is also popular with many trees and timber providing excellent cover for the variety of fish inhabiting Independence Grove. Boaters will often target the sunken islands and points throughout the lake.
Independence Grove has provided some excellent fishing in the decade it has been open. Most popular seems to be largemouth bass. Reports of walleye are not as common as the early days of IG’s existence, but are still present. A nice population of northern pike is also available.
Independence Grove Accommodations
There are nice clean bathrooms at Independence Grove with running water and amenities for families and young children. There is a Visitor Center open from 9am – 4:30pm daily which has classrooms, a very nice history of Independence Grove, banquet space, meeting space and other nature and history exhibits. There are several designated fishing spots as well as areas for picnicking and gathering. The North Bay Pavilion can accommodate up to 500 people for events and features a playground, volleyball court and fishing pier.
Jay’s Bottom Line
Independence Grove is the gem of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. The surrounding preserve is often bustling with activity from hikers, bikers, runners and those seeking a outdoor recreation. The fishing can be excellent and the shore angler will definitely be please with the accessibility to quality fish.
Independence Grove Location
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