Choose another lake

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

larger map link Reas Bridge William St Dam


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Decatur Dam, Reas Bridge, William Street Bridge

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

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

CARP

Good

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

CHANNEL CATFISH

Very Good

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

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

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

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

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Fair

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

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

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

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

7-11-2018

CRAPPIE

SLOWER: Catching fish with minnows and jigs a little deeper. Reports of crappie in the Kaskaskia near stumps and biting on jigs.

7-11-2018

BLUEGILL

FAIR: A few Nice sized fish being taken with wax worms or red worms off the banks.

7-11-2018

LARGEMOUTH BASS

BARELY FAIR: Now and then! Fish are slowly coming up and hitting on crank baits, buzz baits, jigs, and spinner baits. Early and later hours best.

7-11-2018

WALLEYE

FAIR: A few are being caught from the spillway area with walleye divers, flicker shad, banded crank baits , curly tails or sliders.

7-11-2018

CHANNEL CATFISH

GOOD: Nothing big being reeled in, but still good. Look along the edges, and at the spillway with shad, skip jack, stink bait, and chicken livers.

7-11-2018

WHITE BASS

GOOD: & Hybrid Stripers: Some Nice sized fish being taken from the spillway and in the lake with Big Dudes, gay blades, and Sand Blasters.

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

There were 18 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Crappie 199
Largemouth Bass 432

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this
waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     6.34 lbs
2     6.06 lbs
3     5.10 lbs
4     4.95 lbs
5     4.82 lbs

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2018 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
July-259276ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-28July-2910458ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
No
August-089277ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-229278ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-2610264ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-0210265ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-239472ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
9Largemouth Bass
No
October-079279ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-208068ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
50Crappie
Yes
November-1010446ApprovedNelson Park boat
hook
20Crappie
Yes