For Direction To Park Use: 100 Preserve Road, Shabbona, IL 60550
Bait Shop (815) 824-2581 Park Ofc (815) 824-2106 Cafe (815) 824-2481

Tip Board

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Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental Tip Board

The Shabbona Lake Tip board will help you catch the next big fish.  Learn what lure or bait to use, the location to fish and a tip from the Shabbona Lake experts.

updated 01-20-14

The location numbers refer to areas on the free Shabbona Lake fishing map.

Lure:  Jigging Rapala, Swedish Pimple, Rocker Jigs
Bait: Golden Roaches, Bass Minnows
Location: NMZ, Green Weeds, Dropoffs, NE Bay
Tip: Pinch off tail of Bass Minnow and jig with Swedish Pimple

Lure: Tip Ups
Bait: 4″ Suckers/ Roaches
Location: Bays, Trees, No Motor Zone
Tip: Find the shad.

Lure: Swedish Pimple, Rocker Jigs
Bait: Bass Minnows, Golden Roaches
Location: Bridge, Green Weeds, Timber
Tip: Look for Walleye in about 10′ – 20′ feet of Water

Lure: Swedish Pimple
Bait: Leaf Worms, Nightcrawles
Location: Deep Trees, Foundations
Tip: Suspended high in water column

Lure: Mini Mites, Small Jigs
Bait: Wax Worm, Leaf Worms
Location: Cribs, Brushpiles, Emerging Weed Beds
Tip: Look for green weeds.

Lure: Ratso, Shrimpo, Tungsten Jigs
Bait: Crappie Minnow, Wax Worm
Location: Deep Trees, Timber, Fish Cribs
Tip: Look for wood, find Crappie


56 thoughts on “Tip Board

  1. How bad do u think the fish kill will be from this winter. And also what are good spots and lures for cold spring time bass at this lake

    • We will have some shad die off as we do every year, but the lake is a deeper lake so we should not have any significant kill. Spring bass love the emerging weed beds with shallow crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.

  2. I’m coming out on the 15th of this month and I will be renting a bass boat and I will be fishing for muskie. Where in the lake should I fish and what I should use for lures/bait and how deep on the bait.

  3. Hi me and my girlfriend are comein there in a week to rent s boat. What do u think will be the best spots and baits to catch Muskie and walleyes. Thanks

  4. i am on a high school bass fishing team and we will be fishing on april 7 2013 what would be a good lure to use and were to use it

    • I would try using DT-FAT3 crank baits around the stumps on the far shore directly across from the main fishing pier and also small rapala’s and spinner baits in the no motor zone where the old creek comes through on the west shoreline if it is open which at rate could be open by your date good luck I always wanted to fish that tournament by the way and then I got hooked on muskie fishing :)

  5. I am going to be in the tournament on 10/28 and was wondering what has been working this week and what are some of the best bass spots overall.

  6. On sunday Oct 21 Me and my 11 years old son coming for fishing from shore.What are best tips fishing for stripers and crapies this time of year?
    Thank you

    • The crappies and stripers are not along the shoreline in the fall. You would be better off fishing for bluegill and muskie from shore during the fall season. Bluegill use wax worms and for Muskie use large spinner baits.

  7. Hi Becky,

    We were coming up for the first time to camp and fish on 10/19 and 10/20. Can you tell me the best time of the day to be out on the lake for fishing? We’ve had a very disappointing fishing season by us, so we are hoping to really hit the good times/spots so the kids don’t go home disappointed.


    • Hi Nicole ~ I recommend that you stop in the bait shop so they can give you the best advice for the day. Or you can call them at 815-824-2581. Ask to speak with Clint or Denny. ~ Becky

    • In the fall time it is better fishing over the noon hours. From 10 AM – 2 PM, is when the fish will be more active. Unless it’s a warm day and stays warm until sundown.

  8. We are heading out tomorrow morning, any advice on what lures to use and where for bass? First time on the lake so any help would be great!

    • I would recommend that you stop in at Lakeside Bait, Tackle and Boat Rental before hitting the water. They will be able to give you advice for that’s day. ~ Becky

  9. hello,
    this sunday the 17th me and some buddies are planning on fishing and renting the 11 person pantoon. do u think we will need a reservation for that? also we went on the 12th and were wondering if we can bring another ancor or two to help keep the boat in one spot near the shore because we had a problem with getting to close to the rocks near the dam. thanks!


  11. I will be coming out to fish this weekend, and was wondering what is working the best and where to fish?

  12. Heading out there this weekend, primarily to hunt for Walleye and Bass…Any tips on location and bait/lures?

  13. oops i hit post to fast :) i’ve never been to Shabbona Lake before.
    I saw above that wading is not allowed, is that all year? also, is there boat rental, i’m from near Chicago and have no boat so rental is my way to go? thanks!

  14. You are not supposed to wade in Shabbona Lake. There are many individuals who do very well fishing from shore for pan fish.

  15. HI there, I was thinking about planning a trip to do some fly fishing for smallmouth or pan fish. Is wading or fishing from shore in this manner productive? Thanks!

  16. Becky,
    I am a den leader for cub scout pack 347 out of Sugar Grove. we will be camping there this weekend and for a lot of the boys this will be their first exposure to fishing. I’m a novice myself. do you have any tips and locations that would help the little guys catch a few?

    • Hi Bill,
      We are glad to hear that your cub scout pack is coming camping at Shabbona Lake State Park. If you are in the campground, you can fish at the Kid’s Pond by the Camp Store. It has recently been stocked with crappie. The Camp Store also have loaner kids fishing poles that the boys could use at the Kid’s Pond.

      On the lake, the Crappie have moved in shallow so you can try to catch them from shore. The bass are also hanging out there. You should use crappie minnows and wax works.

  17. I have never fished Shabbona. Can you fish off the dam and what are the best spots for shore fishing.
    Appreciate the insight.

    • Hi Zig ~
      You can fish from the dam shoreline. Depending on the season and type of fishing you are trying to catch the locations can vary for shore fishing. The best place to shore fish is off the Handicap pier located near the boat launch. I would recommend you stop in the bait shop the day of your visit to and just ask them where to fish from shore for that day. They can point you in the right direction so that hopefully your day will be full of catching fish.

      There is also a free map of the lake here that will match locations from the tip board to spots on the lake.

      ~ Becky

    • We recommend that you try jigging 15-20 feet down with a minnow or leech. The best Walleye fishing is in June when the weeds appear.

  18. Hi, I’ll be fishing this lake for the first time this friday what will be the best colors and lures to fish here?

    • The lures for each species are listed on the tip board page. As for colors we recommend:

      blue for shad colors
      white for spinner baits
      perch for crank baits

      As keep in mind the the lighter the day the lighter the color. The darker the day the darker the color.

      Stop in the bait shop before you hit the water. We can provide with advice for the specific days conditions.

      Good luck on Friday!
      ~ Becky

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