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Looking to join the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance


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Hello. I am a new comer. I want to join the ISA, but just want to hear from you all the benefits of the organization. I live in the city of Chicago and I am worried about all the events being hours away from my home. I bought my first boat last spring and need some fresh ideas on where to fish (besides the Fox Chain) in IL, mainly close to Chicago. I recently saw a photo of a small mouth on a post here that a "Jim" caught. I was wodering where that fish was caught? I found out about the ISA from a fishing show in Rosemont. I am 99.9% sure I am going to join, I just want to get some feedback on which events are best and some comfort that Kankakee is not that far of a drive from Chicago...... Thanks

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Guest rich mc

immediate benefits come in the newsletter as its all about illinois smallmouth fishing. you see our website is excellent and our conservation efforts are really kickin in high gear now. we have had in the past more anglers wanting to fish the lakefront for smallies. you can set up small outing by posting it yourself. the kank may be a ride but the knowledge you gain by fishing with experienced anglers at an outing is awesome. over a hundred new members have joined this year,time to join is now. rich

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Joining the ISA for a $25 investment, is well worth it.

The newsletter alone will provide you with more info, in one issue, that you could possibly learn in a year, fishing by yourself, or watching the "Watch Me Fish" shows on tv.


Besides, you may get to fish with some of the "top-notch" smallies anglers in the country, and

you won't have to drive to Wisc, Canada or Lake Erie----

thus saving lots of gas money to buy more tackle.


Once I've learned the benefits of fishing the Chicagoland area lakes, ponds, streams and rivers,

I'm to busy fishing to put my boat in the water or go to Wisc.


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Mike, The ISA is a great organization dedicated to the well being of the Smallmouth Bass. The places that most ISA members fish are small streams that you can wade in. However, in and around Illinois are several great spots to fish from your boat. You can put in at Waterfront Pub along the Calumet River and go through the O'brian Lock and Dam and fish for Smallmouth and Largemouths in Lake Calumet and the Calumet River. You can head South on I-55 to I-80 and out to the Illinois River for Smallmouth, Whitebass, Sauger, Crappie and Walleye. The ISA is an Organization who's moto is Conservation, Education and Socialization. Your $25.00 may get you the Bronzeback Bulletin but it does much more then that alone. It makes you part of an organization that is going to be in the forefront of efforts to preserve and protect the Smallmouth Bass in the rivers and streams of Illinois. When you're not in your boat you can pull on a pair of waders and join in on some of the cleanups, or outings that help make this a better place for Smallmouths and learn different spots to chase Smallmouths plus what to use, how to use it and when to use it. Look at the ISA Calender or events and attend a meeting or and outing and you'll be hooked. It is a great organization and you will be proud to be a member. I no longer live in Illinois but return for visits and retain my membership so that I have a place to fish when I do.

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Guest Don R



We have other members that live in and near Chicago. We've had past meetings at Coren's Rod and Reel on the north side of the city. We should get back there this fall when the meetings start back up again.


The conservation efforts speak for themselves.


The social aspect is incredible.


I'll 'hook' you up with the other Chicago members if you wish. I know of a few members that fish from the shore of lake Michigan and a couple that fish from a boat. I'm sure there are others...just a matter of connecting with them.


Distance can be an issue. My guess is that there will be more members car pooling this year then ever before. Can you say 4 bucks a gallon? If you're willing to wade or shore fish your fishing opportunities will increase 100 fold in Illinois. There are more river,creek,stream,etc. miles in IL than any of the lower 48 states. And many of them hold smallmouth bass!

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[i want to join the ISA, but just want to hear from you all the benefits of the organization. ]


Mike, I can’t say enough good things about the ISA organization. I joined 2-1/2 years ago to meet and fish with some people who had the same passion for fishing as myself. I have to say now, that is the least of what I have gotten out of this organization. I've made some great friends (I tell my family that fishermen are the friendliest people around), have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the numerous conservation events, and have learned lots more about spin & fly fishing/tying. But the “most rewarding” experience I had was being part of the Sgt. Thomas M. Gilbert Kids Fishing Event http://video.nbc5.com/player/?id=141791 That alone was worth $100.00. Check out Mike Clifford’s great video on You Tube (and get some Kleenex)

Oops, almost forgot, the fishing outings are also a lot of fun.


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I fixed the links for you, Pat. Hope you don't mind.



I always forget to tell people to enter the term Illinois Smallmouth Alliance in the search box at YouTube.

Then click on the author name "Heartlander2" for the rest of the videos.


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For me I joined ISA because of the work they do. The fishing is getting better because there are of a lot of people working hard to make it better.


As I found my catch rate increase I felt like I need to get involved to keep things going in the right direction.


ISA also provides you with a ton of information on a variety of topics.


For fishing, it saves you a lot of time learning on your own...the hard way...members of ISA have great techniques and strategies for landing smallies. The outings are beneficial to teach you new water and locations.


Also, for me, ISA keeps you up to date with vital knowlege to preserve our natural resources.


I plan to be a member for a very long time.



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Jim B, your devotion is appreciated more than you know.


I tell people this way:

Pay $150 to a guide to learn one spot on one river for one day.

A $25 membership in the ISA benefits the resource immediately, but the fishing aspect is right there for the taking.

We have 500+ members that will put any other member on every inch of every good smallmouth stream in the state.

Are we posting those all over the internet?

Of course not, but a devotion to preserving these rivers and streams gets even the most inexperienced angler the chance to learn how, when and where through a membership.



The newsletter alone is worth so much more, it really is.

Bassbuggers (flyfishing), conservation, fishing tips, "Area Rivers At a Glance", some of the best outdoors writers in the country submitting articles.....


As I always say.....


"What Are You Waiting For?"

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As a relatively new member myself, I can tell you that one of the great advantages to a group like this one is the incredible networking. I spent about a half an hour on the phone last night with one member getting the 411 on everything from reels to line choices to baits and then 3 hours this morning with someone in person getting dialed in on technique, water to fish near my house, lures to work with and the names of other people who can hook me up with a few other fishing related activities. That, in itself, is worth WAY MORE than the membership fee to me... it's really priceless! I also met several people at the Bronzeback Blowout who extended invitations to fish with them. The opportunity to get out on the water with people who know what they're doing and who are willing to show other people some of the subtle tricks of the trade, is again priceless.


But like anything else, I think you get out of something what you put into it, at least that is what my parents used to tell me when I was younger and that seems to hold true here as well. I am getting more involved in the organization, the fund raising and the conservation efforts and the satisfaction that goes along with making a contribution is often unknowingly rewarded in spades.


Hope that helps you...

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