Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Interested in Joining a Tournament?

Illinois tournament fishing is in full swing! If you've ever wondered about fishing a tournament, why not give it a try? You can find a listing of open-to-the-public tournaments by waterbody here. Simply select the waterbody you're interested in fishing, look at the tournaments available, and send the ID# to us via email and we will provide the contact information.

Is your youth interested in fishing a tournament? A listing of open youth fishing tournaments can be found here.

If you're going out to fish on your own and you are wondering if you'll run into tournament traffic, we list all tournaments (public and private) on our lake pages so you can know how busy a waterbody may be. Select the waterbody where you're heading in the listing and scroll to the bottom to see all tournaments that will be taking place on that waterbody.

Watercraft Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to your watercraft questions here. Everything from decals and titles to applications, renewals and regulations can be found on this page.

Interested in taking the Illinois Boater Education Course? You can find the information about the course and the requirments for operating a motorized vessel here. As a reminder: Persons born on or after January 1, 1998, may operate a vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower (hp) only if they have a valid Boating Safety Certificate accepted by the Department of Natural Resources.

2023 Fishing Digest Available Now!

The 2023 Fishing Digest can be downloaded now and will be available in your local gas stations and bait shops soon! You will find updated sportfishing regulations for your favorite spots, pictures of common Illinois sportfish, places to fish and amenities offered, current state record fish, and more. NEW this year is a change to the tournament fishing adrule. In an effort to reduce mortality of bass, during the months of July and August, all catch, hold for weigh-in, and release Black Bass Fishing Tournaments must be off the water between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. This regulation will help protect bass during the hottest part of the day through the hottest months of the year, while still allowing for morning and evening tournaments. Effective from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, a Spanish verison is also available.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer any fishing-related questions you may have. Simply send us an email through our "contact us" and we are happy to provide you with the information you're seeking. We also have a Frequently Asked Question page that you may find helpful. We've compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions via email and provided that information for you here. Check it out — you may learn something new about fishing in Illinois!

Stop the Spread of Invasive Species

Remove, Drain, Dry: As the boats come out of storage, we'd like to remind you to be aware of invasive species that pose a threat to our lands and waterways. To fight the spread of aquatic invaders, the IDNR is asking residents to "be a hero transport zero." The best way to stop the spread of invasive species is to remove, drain, and dry your boats after use in any Illinois waterway. Learn more here.