“Gone Fishin'” in Marshall, Illinois

It’s that time of year again when we get out all the fishing gear and check to make sure we are ready to get out there into the pleasant weather and catch some fish!! Marshall offers some great places to fish locally, and it is one of our favorite pastimes. Here are two great options for local fishing: boating and camping.


Mill Creek Park and Lake


Mill Creek Lake is one of the best places to fish in the state. The lake is stocked with all kinds of fish, including muskies, largemouth bass (a favorite among fishermen), walleye, channel cat, red-ear, bluegill, and black and white crappie. If you forgot to bring your bait, fear not—just head to the lake’s gatehouse, where you can buy some.

You can launch your boat for a small fee, but you must show proof of valid insurance when bringing your boat, and they do check, so don’t say we didn’t tell you. Canoes and Kayaks can launch for free, of course. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent one at the park for as little as $25 for a full day. There are also cabins for rent if you want to make it a longer fishing expedition. When you reserve a cabin, you only pay one day of boat launch fees during the duration of your visit for up to five days of cabin rental or camping in the campground.


Fishing Tournaments:

If you would like to participate in tournaments, many more are available from spring to summer. A list can be found on the park website, where you can download a PDF of all the events. They express that there will be more added, so make sure to keep checking back.

Here is a link to the ones set so far, many of which are Wounded Hero Veterans tournaments.

Fishing Tournament Schedule



Lincoln Trail State Park


There are many great places to fish around Marshall, Illinois, and one is Lincoln Trail State Park. Many of us know that Abraham Lincoln passed through our area and even graced our courtroom. But the park was actually settled by Native Americans long before he came our way. The Kickapoo tribe moved south from Wisconsin in the early 1700s and took control of the land that is now Lincoln State Park, named for the president. They took the land over from the other tribes, the Piankeshaw and Wea. The Kickapoos were in possession of the land until two treaties gave the land over to the United States. In 1936, Illinois acquired the first thirty-one acres of the park, and both the park and lake were officially dedicated in 1958.


Lincoln Trail Lake

This incredible lake covers 146 acres in the southwest corner of the park. It is one of the main reasons people come from miles around to fish, boat, and camp. Numerous fingers are edged by more than seven miles of thickly wooded shoreline. When you are at the lake, you are surrounded by beauty and different photo-worthy views. The lake was created from 1955 through 1956 and is one of the first three lakes created in the state with the express purpose of offering the people of the area to have this amazing benefit. The lake is very deep in places, with a maximum depth of roughly 41 feet.

When fishing, you will find many fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, red-ear, sunfish, crappie, and channel. If you go there to fish, always remember to check with the site office. They will give you specific information on fishing regulations and are knowledgeable about what’s biting!

If fishing is not your thing, you can simply bring the boat. There is a launching ramp and parking for your boat trailer. Please note that your outboard motor is limited to 10hp, and you are expected to follow all boating regulations as set by the state. Be respectful of the park and the other visitors at all times.



Suppose you want to take advantage of a more extended stay at the park to get more time on the water or escape the hustle and bustle. In that case, there are many options for camping. There are two Class A campgrounds; both areas have electricity, showers, and toilet facilities. If you are among the more stalwartly campers, there is an area for tent camping. Please be sure to get your camping permits before heading to the campground.

Lincoln Trail State Park also has a lovely lakeside restaurant and a concession stand where you can purchase firewood and bait and rent a boat.

Whether you fish or not, visiting either of these parks will be a relaxing and pleasant adventure.