Last issue I talked about some great, out-of-the-way places in Wisconsin worth considering for a summer vacation. They provide fishing, of course, but also great hiking, biking, golf and many other activities for the entire family to enjoy. In fairness, I thought I would share my picks for some outstanding spots here in Illinois, away from the Chicago area.

The Galena Territory/Dubuque, Iowa: The Galena area, with Lake Galena, Eagle Ridge and more history than anyone can absorb in one vacation, is a great destination. It is just 15 miles or so from the Mississippi River Bird Flyway and just across the river from Dubuque, Iowa, which has an amazingly beautiful river walk along the Mississippi.

Starved Rock State Park: This remarkable spot on the Illinois River, just a two-hour drive from Evanston, has some great fishing for saugers, walleye and white bass. There are great campgrounds in the area, wonderful hiking trails along the river bluffs and a chance to tour the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam as barge traffic moves up and down the river.

Eldon Hazlet State Park: Located in south central Illinois on the Carlyle Reservoir is one of the largest State Parks in Illinois. This location offers great fishing
for largemouth bass. The Illinois State High School Tournament is held each
year on Carlyle Reservoir. The park offers hundreds of campsites and cabins to fit
any family needs.

Wolf Creek State Park: This park is on the western shores of one the largest lakes in our state, Lake Shelbyville. It is just a short drive south of Champaign and has some of the best facilities in the state. There is outstanding fishing for bass, walleye, pinfish and catfish. The park also has a professional-style golf course, a number of campgrounds scattered around the lake and a great lodge. Also, the small towns surrounding the lake have plenty of great restaurants.

These are just a few of the spots available to families who enjoy fishing and family fun. Now is the time to  plan that trip before summer is gone.

Until next timeā€¦keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at