Chicago Park District Fishing Programs and Information

This website is full of information that can make your fishing more enjoyable and rewarding.

Chicago Fishing

There are many fishing opportunities in the City of Chicago. We are among the luckiest of big cities in the world to have such a wealth of fishing available, right on our doorsteps.

With 11 stocked lagoons, a reviving Chicago River, 22 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, access in eight harbors (courtesy of the good people at Westrec Marinas) and along the north side of Navy Pier (courtesy of the Navy Pier Authority), we are looking and fishing good.

We have a lot of fish to pursue: Coho and Chinook Salmon, Steelhead and Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth, Largemouth and Rock Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Carp, and Channel Catfish. That constitutes a fishery that lasts 12 months of the year.

We hope that you will be willing to put in the time and effort to get to know fishing in Chicago. And, you’ll meet a lot of nice people – after all, aren’t fishermen among the nicest people in the world?

Chicago is unique among the largest cities in the United States – few have as many local bait and tackle shops as we do.

But our world of fishing is changing. Many of today’s young and young-to-middle-aged adults don’t fish, and never have. Local bait shops are somewhat endangered and overwhelmed by the big boys.

Fishing is spoken in these little gems and the existence, partnership and cooperation of these bait and tackle shops is crucial to the way we fish in Chicago and to our fishing opportunities throughout the fishing season.

Give them your support. These brick-and-mortar establishments know local fishing better than anyone else: where the fish are bitin’, and on what. Give them a call, or better yet, pay them a visit, and drop a few dollars when you do.

And, help a kid learn to fish, will ya? Get them a starter fishing rod matched with the best ultralight spinning reel. Help them catch a Goby, if nothing else (and they are easy and fun to catch – a great first fish).

To keep fishing strong and visible, YOU will have to be involved. Involved in keeping bait shops alive, tackling issues of access to the water, parking within reach of the water, and in all of the other mundane and down-and-dirty issues that every user group in this City has to be involved to keep their resources open and available.

For more information about the fishing programs sponsored by the Chicago Park District and Fishing Advisory Committee visit Chicago Park District.

Visit here throughout the fishing season for the latest information on fishing programs.