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Lake Information

County: Franklin

Acreage: 18900

Average Depth: 14.99 feet

Shoreline Length: 162 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Y

Boat Rental? Y

Skiing? Y

Swimming? Y

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Avg Wt.


Fish Status


Very Good

0.1 lbs


Bluegill will be abundant in the coming year with most keepers 6.5"- 8" in length and averaging 1/3 lb or less.

Channel catfish


1.8 lbs


Natural reproduction and recruitment continue to be very strong, and are responsible for maintaining the large population of fish in the lake. This lake remains one of the premier channel catfish waters in southern Illinois, and should remain on your list of places to fish for channels in 2014.





For 2014, crappie 10"-12" in length and averaging 1/2 to 1+ pound will remain abundant enough to provide high quality angling opportunities.

Flathead catfish


1.3 lbs


Due to excellent reproduction and recruitment over the last 4 years the size structure of the population will remain small in 2014. Recruitment and growth rates remain good, and anglers can expect large numbers of fish under 5 lbs with fish up to 20 lbs. common. The large number of smaller fish should provide stable angling opportunities for several years to come.

Hybrid Striped Bass (Wiper)


0.5 lbs


The number of hybrid striped bass is stable, but low. Over the past two years the stocking program has been revived with 6,780 hybrid stripers stocked in 2012 and an additional 22,200 fingerlings stocked in 2013. Anglers can expect most fish in the coming year to range from 2 to 6 lbs.

Largemouth bass


1.3 lbs


The size structure of the bass population has improved slightly over the past year and the body condition for all sizes of fish remains excellent. Maintaining a steady flow of smaller fish into the population through supplemental stocking has helped to improve and stabilize the size structure of the population. Just over 26,948 bass fingerlings were stocked in 2013. Bass fishing in the coming year should be very similar to 2013. The majority of fish above the minimum length limit will be 14" - 19" and weigh between 1.5 - 4 pounds. The number of larger bass over 20" in length remains stable but low.

White bass


0.6 lbs


Anglers can expect the catchable population in 2014 to be primarily comprised of fish 12"- 15" in length and weighing 0.75 - 1.5 lbs. All size groups of fish are in good condition. The number of white bass collected in the fall 2013 survey produced the highest catch rate in five years.

Detailed fishing report   

Fishing Report





Largemouth bass

Fair using worms, black/blue jigs, minnows & spinnerbaits in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam.



Fair using qtr-oz pink/white tube jigs, meal worms, small & medium worms. Lately, many fishermen have been fishing at Big Muddy bridge and Highway 154. Fish the main lake drop off areas. Try the Gun Creek Area. From shore fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp.



Fair using crickets, worms, wax worms, meal worms & small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. From shore try Sailboat Harbor.


Channel catfish

Good using Sonnys stink bait, Hoss Hawg bait, leeches, nightcrawlers & large minnows. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try leeches in moving water. Drift fish the flats.


White bass

Fair using jig/curly tail grubs & inline spinners.

Location: Rend Lake is located in Franklin and Jefferson counties along IL Interstate 57 approximately 15 miles south of Mt. Vernon and 3 miles north of Benton.

Description: Rend Lake was completed in 1971 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lake was formed by constructing a 2-mile long dam across the Big Muddy River floodplain. At normal pool, Rend Lake has a surface area of 18, 900 acres, a maximum depth of 35 feet, and a mean depth of 10 feet. The lake is thirteen miles long and three miles wide and has 162 miles of shoreline. It is the second largest impoundment in Illinois.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: There are more than 30 species of fish in Rend Lake. In addition to traditional sport fish, Rend Lake also contains large populations of carp, buffalo, gar, drum, and shad. The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Tournaments: For tournament permits, contact Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park 618-629-2320.

Contact Information:
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
Mike Hooe, IDNR County Fisheries Biologist: 618-393-6732
Rend Lake Resort: 618-629-2211
Rend Lake Marina: 618-724-7651