It’s not required to drive hours to lakes around the state when you can go fishing in Chicago. While it may not be the same as escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city into some place a little more quiet and serene, it’ll definitely help to satisfy your need for tight lines– especially if you don’t have the time or means to leave the city limits. Whether you prefer a spinning reel or fly fishing setup– there is water awaiting you.

Chicago Fishing Resources:

Before you grab your rod and head out to the water, there are a few things to be aware of– perhaps the most important thing is fishing legally.
Almost everyone 16 years old and older is required to obtain a fishing license.

The easiest method is to purchase a fishing license online through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It’s a mere $15ºº (16-64 y.o.) and only $7.75 for 65 years and older. Children under 16 years old are free– which makes this family friendly activity relatively cheap.

The Chicago Park District has a comprehensive website dedicated to essentially everything that you need to know about fishing in Chicago – from parking to fishing tips and seasonal information. They also hold events throughout the summer to help gain interest in fishing for both children and adults.

Chicago Fishing Shops:

Unfortunately, many of Chicago’s trusted fishing shops have closed their doors over the years. Supporting local business is everything, especially when it comes to trade and hobby services. It’s the locally owned shops that will fill you in on fishing secrets and tips on how to limit out on that particular day. These are some of the last locals in Chicago, otherwise the suburbs have more options and there are some chains (such as ORVIS and Bass Pro).

Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters
1279 N Clybourn Ave
(312) 944-3474

Henry’s Sports and Bait
3130 S. Canal St.
(312) 225-8538

Park Bait Company
600 W. Montrose Ave.
(773) 271-2838

Vet’s Live Bait
10150 S. Indianapolis Blvd.
(773) 734-6720

Fishing Chicago Harbors and Lakefront:

Fishing from the shoreline of Lake Michigan not only provides you with a phenomenal view, but it gives you the opportunity to catch fish– such as:
Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Steelhead, Yellow perch, Smallmouth and other sunfish species.

You can find in-depth information on fishing the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicagoland Fishing.

Montrose Harbor
4400 N. Lake Shore Drive

Belmont Harbor
3200 N. Lake Shore Drive

Diversey Harbor
2800 N. Lake Shore Drive

Navy Pier
Grand Ave & Lake Shore Drive (north side of the building only)

DuSable Harbor
400 E. Randolph St.

Monroe Harbor
100 N. Lake Shore Drive (across from Buckingham Fountain)

Burnham Harbor
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive (on the Museum Campus)

31st Street Harbor
3100 S. Lake Shore Drive

59th Street Harbor
5900 S. Lake Shore Drive

Jackson Park Inner & Outer Harbors
6400 S. Lake Shore Drive

95th St. Calumet Park
9600 S. Walton Drive

Fishing Chicago Parks:

Many of the ponds that are situated in Chicago parks are actually stocked with fish. While everyone else is lounging in the grass or running on the pavement, you can toss in a line and potentially pull out Coho and Chinook salmon, Steelhead, Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth, Largemouth and Rock Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Carp and Channel Catfish.

That’s a pretty respectable variety for still having the skyline in view.

Auburn Park
406 W. Winneconna
(312) 747-6998

Calumet Park
9801 S. Avenue G
(312) 747-6039

Canal Origins
2750 S. Ashland Ave.
(312) 747-6026

Canalport Riverwalk
2900 S. Ashland Ave
(312) 747-6026

Columbus Park
500 S. Central
(773) 287-7641

Douglas Park
1401 S. Sacramento Dr.
(773) 762-2842

Garfield Park
100 N. Central Park Ave.
(312) 746-5092

Gompers Park
4222 W. Foster Ave.
(773) 685-3270

Humboldt Park
1400 N. Sacramento Ave.
(312) 742-7549

Jackson Park
6401 S. Stony Island Ave.

Marquette Park
6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
(312) 747-6469

McKinley Park
2210 W. Pershing Rd.
(312) 747-6527

Sherman Park
1301 W. 52nd St.
(312) 747-6672

Washington Park
5531 S. King Dr.
(773) 256-1248

With a multitude of locations around Chicago to get your line wet, there really is no excuse not to go out (if fishing is your thing). Not much compares to actually being on a quiet lake or on the banks of a babbling river– but these locations still provide a sense of escape from daily distractions and pulling a fish out of the water is satisfying where ever you are.

Whether you are a solo angler, want to take out the family or make an event out of it with some friends– fishing in Chicago is a unique form of entertainment in the vastness of Chicagoland.


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