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DECATUR, LAKE


Lake Information

County: Macon

Acreage: 2905

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No


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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Species

Rank

Avg Wt.
(pounds)

Avg.
Length
(inches)

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

0.1 lbs

6

Bluegill fishing is fair. Few fish collected exceed 7.5 inches, but most have a heavy body weight.

CARP

Good

1.2 lbs

17

Common carp are abundant with fish exceeding 11 lbs. Fishing quality is rated as good.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Very Good

1 lbs

15

Channel catfish are abundant in the lake through natural recruitment. The average catch goes from 1 - 4 lbs., with the occasional fish over 10 pounds caught. Fishing quality should be good to excellent!

CRAPPIE

Excellent

N/A

N/A

Crappie, both white and black, are abundant. Growth rates are good. Anglers can still catch crappie up to 14+ inches and 1+ lbs. Surveys in 2014 and 2015 indicated that good numbers of legal fish are present. Fishing prospects for 2016 are rated as excellent! Site Regulation: 10 fish daily harvest limit, 10" length minimum.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Good

6.3 lbs

26

Flathead catfish are high in abundance with trophy size fish up to 60 lbs caught recently. Fishing quality is rated as good.

FRESHWATER DRUM

Excellent

0.5 lbs

11

Freshwater Drum, commonly called drum “perch”, are abundant with fish exceeding 10 lbs.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Fair

1.8 lbs

16

Hybrid striped bass are stocked annually with population density varying with stocking density and emigration over the spillway (which was likely high in December 2015). Good numbers of hybrid striped bass have been caught by a few anglers in recent years with some exceeding 8 lbs. Numbers of hybrids are caught below the spillway in early spring. Fish up to six pounds were caught during the 2014 survey. Fishing quality is rated as fair for 2016. Site Regulation: No limit less than 17"; only 3 fish 17" or longer.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair

1.1 lbs

13

Largemouth bass are moderate in abundance due to a lack of aquatic vegetation for nursery habitat. Bass from 1/2 - 4 lbs. have been collected in surveys with fish over 5 lbs. caught by anglers on occasion. Body condition is good. Recruitment in 2013 and 2014 was slightly improved. Fishing quality for 2016 is rated as fair-poor. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily harvest limit, 14" length minimum.

WALLEYE

Excellent

1.9 lbs

18

Walleye are very abundant, with catch rates in 2014 and 2015 fall surveys of 83 and 80/hr., respectively. A very high percentage (74%) of the fish collected were 14” or longer. Fishing quality is rated as excellent for 2016 and should continue into 2017. This fishery will be the best since stocking was initiated on the lake. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily harvest limit, 14" length minimum.

WHITE BASS

Excellent

0.4 lbs

10

White bass are usually very abundant in Lake Decatur. They have excellent growth rates and fish exceeding 2 lbs are routinely collected in IDNR surveys. October surveys of 2014 and 2015 indicate that good numbers and size structure are present. Fishing quality is rated as good - excellent for 2016! Site Regulation: No limit less than 17"; only 3 fish 17" or longer.

Detailed fishing report   

Fishing Report

WEEK

FISH

FISHING CONDITIONS

4-20-2017

CRAPPIE

Very Good: Catching fish! Anglers using minnows, tube jigs,Charlie Brewer sliders, Power Bait, Strike Kings, garlic scented Slab Busters and jigs in orange or chartreuse color in shallow water and around the docks.

4-20-2017

WALLEYE

Slower: but picking up some with a jig and minnow, blade baits, Big Dudes, Rooster tails, Mepps, Blue Foxes.

4-20-2017

CHANNEL CATFISH

Fair: Some are being taken with skip jack, shad, shad guts, and shrimp.

4-20-2017

STRIPED BASS

Good: Spoons and blade baits are popular! also using some twistertails and Charlie Brewer Sliders.

4-20-2017

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good: Fish are moving shallow; Anglers using spinner baits, jigs with trailers, top water baits, and crank baits.

Location: Lake Decatur is located on the east side of the City of Decatur, in Macon County.

Description: The lake covers 3,093 surface acres with a maximum depth of 22 feet and average depth of six feet. Public boat launching facilities are available with the City of Decatur (217-424-2837) collecting boating access fees. All tournaments must be registered.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Lake Decatur is intensively surveyed every two years. The fish are measured, weighed, and scales collected before releasing them alive. Hybrid striped bass and walleye populations are surveyed annually and are maintained by annual stockings through IDNR hatcheries.

Buffalo, Redhorse suckers, and Carpsuckers are common, but few are caught by fishermen.
Yellow bass, Longear sunfish, Green sunfish, Orangespotted sunfish, and Yellow bullheads are collected, but are seldom harvested by fishermen due to the small size attained by these species.
Smallmouth bass, Rock bass, and Redear sunfish are very rarely collected and are likely very rare in the anglers catch.

Additional Lake Information: Pole and line fishing only, with no more than two poles allowed per person, with only two hooks or lures per pole. All statewide regulations are in effect. One-half hour after sunset the entire lake is no wake.

Contact Information:
Lake Decatur Lake Patrol Office
Joe Nihiser
217-424-2837
IDNR District Biologist, Mike Mounce:
217-345-2420

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
April-296180Nelson Park boat
hook
40Crappie
Yes
April-306074Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-074391Nelson Park boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
May-176075Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-215137Nelson Park boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
May-316076Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-115714Nelson Park boat
hook
6Largemouth Bass
No
June-146077Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-216078Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-286079Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-126080Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-266081Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-096082Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-236083Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-016084Nelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes