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Let's Go Fishing!

For many of us, one of our happy childhood memories is going fishing with a parent or grandparent: setting out together to find the perfect spot, learning to cast a line, and the excitement of feeling the tug of a fish and reeling in your first catch. For parents who want to carry on this tradition with their children, or for anyone who wants to enjoy a few quiet hours of fishing, there are places to fish in many of our Naperville parks. 

Here is what you need to know to get started.

Q: Do I need a license to fish in Naperville parks?
A: Ages 16 and up need an Illinois fishing license obtained through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Kids ages 15 and under may fish for free without a license. 
Q: How much does a license cost?
A:  License costs vary from $5.50 for a 24-hour license to $15.00 for an annual sport fishing license ($7.50 for ages 65 and older).
Q: Where can I purchase a license?
A: You can purchase a license online here:
Or purchase in one of several retail stores in Naperville that sell fishing licenses, including Dick’s Sporting Goods at 2763 West 75th Street and Walmart at 2552 West 75th Street.

Over Father’s Day Weekend each June everyone can fish without a license during the annual Illinois Free Fishing Days.

 Check out this article in Postively Naperville with lots of fishing success stories and photos.

Q: Which parks have access to ponds or rivers for fishing?
A:  On its District-Wide Park Boundary Map, Naperville Park District lists 17 parks that have access to ponds or rivers. 
Central Area Parks

Baileywood Park, 1588 Oxford Lane

Brighton Ridge Park, 775 Torrington Drive

Dorothea Weigand Riverfront Park, 2436 Washington Street

Hobson West Ponds (includes a fishing pier), 1047 S. West Street

Hunters Woods, 2007 Lakeview Court

Lincoln Greenway, 1052 Edgewater Drive

Rock Ridge Park, 1316 Green Trails Drive

Westglen Commons, 467 Westglen Drive

Winding Creek Park, 144 W. Bailey Road

South Area Parks

Ashbury Park, 1740 Conan Doyle Road

Brook Crossings, 1015 95th Street

Brook Prairie, 1059 Thackery Lane

Commissioners Park (includes a fishing pier), 3704 111th Street

Knoch Knolls Park, 320 Knoch Knolls Road

Springbrook Crossings, 1211 Leverenz Road

Summerfield Lake Park, 2003 Skylane Drive

Tall Grass Lakes, 3320 Rollingridge Road

Q: Can I borrow fishing equipment?
A: Yes, through the Illinois "Access to Fishing" fishing pole loaner program, you can borrow a fishing pole and a tackle packet at no cost.  Two local agencies that lend fishing equipment through this program are:
•    Bolingbrook Park District at Hidden Lake Trout Farm, 475 Trout Farm Road, Bolingbrook. Phone: 630-739-4696
•    DuPage County Forest Preserve District at Churchill Woods Forest Preserve, St. Charles Road, Glen Ellyn. Phone: 630-792-2100
Q: What are the rules for fishing in Illinois?
A:  Download this fishing guide from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Q: Does the Naperville Park District offer fishing programs?
A: Yes!  Check out our Fishin’ Kids programs for children ages 5-11 and our scout group programs, both located at Knoch Knolls Nature Center and the pond adjacent to the building. Fishing equipment is available for kids to use in these programs.

The Park District’s Nature Center Manager, Angelique Harshman, oversees the Fishin’ Kids programs and Scout fishing programs at the Knoch Knolls Nature Center. In her experience, kids love these fishing programs. “Kids like trying something new, being outside and being allowed to get wet and muddy,” explained Angelique. “I think there are certain things every childhood should include, at least once, and more often if the child likes it: climbing trees, camping under the stars, playing in a creek, planting a garden and fishing.”


Much of the information included in this blog post was pulled together by Angelique Harshman. You can read her nature blogs at

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