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Fishing Pistakee Lake

AKA: Fox Chain, Pistakee Lake

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

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Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, green sunfish, warmouth, muskie and northern pike at Pistakee Lake in Illinois.

Pistakee Lake, IL

The second largest lake in the Fox Chain of Lakes, Pistakee Lake is a 1,700-acre lake in northeast IL, at Pistakee Highlands. Boating access to the lake is available via numerous marinas and resorts.

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Pistakee Lake is a picturesque body of water located in Illinois, known for its fantastic fishing opportunities and breathtaking natural beauty. Situated in McHenry County, Pistakee Lake attracts anglers from near and far due to its diverse fish population and abundance of popular fish species.

One of the most sought-after fish species in Pistakee Lake is the walleye. Anglers appreciate the challenge of catching these elusive and tasty fish. With their unique feeding habits and preference for low-light conditions, walleye fishing often requires skill and patience. The lake also boasts excellent populations of bass, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, which provide exciting angling experiences for both beginners and seasoned fishermen alike.

Another prized game fish found in Pistakee Lake is the muskie, also known as the muskellunge. These large, predatory fish are renowned for their fighting ability and are a thrill to catch. Northern pike, another apex predator, can also be found in good numbers. These aggressive fish offer a challenge to anglers and provide a memorable fishing experience.

For those seeking a more relaxing fishing experience, Pistakee Lake offers an abundance of panfish species. Bluegill, crappie, and sunfish populate the lake and provide ample opportunities for family-friendly fishing outings. These smaller species are perfect for beginners and children to learn the art of angling while enjoying the peacefulness of the lake.

Much of the nearly 20 miles of shoreline is lined with homes and commercial enterprises. Bank fishing access is limited primarily to resort properties. Marinas, boat rental, bait, tackle, sundries and supplies for a day of boating or fishing are all close at hand. Restaurants, lodging and resorts are plentiful.

Fishing Boats For Rent In IL

Primary fish species residing in Pistakee Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie White Crappie Walleye Bluegill Green Sunfish Warmouth Muskie Northern Pike

Pistakee Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: NEARBY
RV Hookups: NEARBY
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Apart from fishing, Pistakee Lake is also a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. Its expansive waters and calm currents make it an ideal spot for various water activities. Whether you prefer cruising on a pontoon boat, jet skiing, or water skiing, Pistakee Lake provides a serene setting for boating adventures and water sports.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Ben Watts Marina Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side of Pistakee Lake, off US Highway 12, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.


Ben Watts Marina
116 S US-12
Fox Lake, IL 60020
847 587-0211

Nauti-Port Marina
514 Park Ave
Fox lake IL 60020
708 603-5940

Rustic Harbor Marina
28970 Broadway Terrace
McHenry, IL 60050
815 690-1226

Click here for a Illinois Fishing License.

Pistakee Lake offers camping opportunities for those who enjoy the outdoor experience. The lake is surrounded by scenic campsites, where visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors and the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Camping at Pistakee Lake allows for early morning fishing excursions, picturesque sunset views, and the chance to observe the local wildlife in their natural habitat.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort - 847 546-2228

Pistakee Lake IL Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Pistakee Lake
Rustic Harbor Marina
28970 Broadway Terrace
McHenry, IL 60050
815 690-1226


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