Hidden Lakes Fee Fishing Resort is No Longer a Secret

By Jackie Vogen - May 1, 2007
In Northern Illinois come spring time there are many lakes that open up, but on April 1st the lake that comes to mind for me is Hidden Lakes Fee Fishing Resort. Hidden Lakes is located on Rt. #53 and Coal City Road hidden between Wilmington and Braidwood, Illinois. Many people get out on the larger lakes, but Hidden Lakes is composed of two smaller lakes that are accessible for the everyday bank fisherman. In 2007 Hidden Lakes opened their gates for the third year with new owners, Mike and Laura Savage. Although Mike and Laura have been the owners since 2005, Mike is not new to the lake; he sort of grew up here when his Uncle, John Savage, originally opened the lakes to the public in 1961 and then upon his retirement, closed in 1981. After closing, it became a family hangout until Mike and Laura re-opened it on April 1, 2005.

This family owned and operated lakes have become a part of history to many anglers. Even though this will be my third year fishing at Hidden Lakes, I recall years ago when my husband and I used to take our daughter, Kimberly, and set her up in her play pen underneath the big cottonwood tree between the lakes. Now I look forward to the day when I can take my Granddaughter, Emma, and share with her the experiences that I did when her mother was young. We would spend an enjoyable day fishing and cooking out. My father started taking my brother, Bob, fishing there when he was 10 years old. My brother has fished there for over 20 years and is usually the first guy in line to get in on opening day. Hidden Lakes is family oriented and a great fishing spot for the lone angler to the family of anglers. You'll find many families having fun and teaching their children how to cast their lines and some kids discovering night crawlers for their first time. It does my heart good to hear the laughter of children echoing across the lakes. If you want to spend quality time with your children making memories, you've come to the right place!

A fishing fee of just $12.00 per person (2 Rod Limit) entitles you to fish in either lake for trout, catfish, bass or panfish. One limit per person per day entitles you to a combination of 6 trout or 6 catfish, plus 6 bass and 10 crappie and up to 20 other panfish. Anglers over 60 years old receive a $2.00 off discount on Thursdays. Fees apply to persons not fishing: children under 12 are $3.00 per child and 12 years and older is $5.00. Mike Savage said, "A key element that has been a tremendous draw for our business is that you don't need to purchase a fishing license or a trout stamp to fish". Another factor that has contributed to Hidden Lakes' upward growth since their existence is not a secret; they stock their lakes with farm-raised trout and catfish. These good tasting trout and catfish are the same farm-raised trout and catfish that you'll find in Restaurants. Fish stocking is based on fish count, so anglers must show their catch to the attendant before leaving.

When I think of Mike and Laura, I not only think about the excellent service they offer, but mainly their personal touch that they extend to all fishermen. They always greet you with a warm welcome and smile upon entering the gates; this is something that just comes natural for them. On any given day you'll find Mike out talking with the fishermen and offering tips on how to catch fish and what's working on that particular day. It's no wonder their best source of advertising has been from "word of mouth". Mike Savage told me, "When you treat people well, they'll refer their family and friends". So, the word is out and Hidden Lakes is no longer a secret. More and more people are learning about Hidden Lakes thru recommendations from their friends.

Hidden Lakes Fee Fishing Resort is open daily, April 1st thru October 8th from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. They're closed on Tuesdays unless it's a holiday. It's a great place for people of all ages. They have accessible shoreline, shade trees, clean grounds, modern restrooms and picnic tables. Bring out your own BBQ and relax and enjoy fishing and family picnicking at the clear, peaceful waters of Hidden Lakes. You can fish from the shores or rent a boat, which is available for $12.00 for the day. They even have a fish cleaning station for your use or Mike will clean the fish for a small fee. Hidden Lakes strives to maintain a clean, quiet place for your enjoyment so they don't allow alcoholic beverages, profanity, littering or pets. They have bait, tackle, coffee, candy and pop for sale, but they don't serve food; however, there's a local pizzeria, "Mama's Pizzeria", located at 205 E. Baltimore in Wilmington that will deliver and I've heard they have the best pizza in the area.

On the way out don't forget to stop and take a family picture at the "bragging board" with your fish and Daisy, the mascot dog. Hidden Lakes Fee Fishing Resort is located 1 hour south of Chicago and 20 minutes from Joliet. So, plan a trip to Hidden Lakes Fee Fishing Resort where you will enjoy a fun filled day with your family and reconnect and make memories that will last from one generation to the next. For further information, call Mike or Laura Savage at 815-458-6511. And don't forget there's a 60# Flathead that's waiting to be discovered and he's calling your name!

Author Jackie Vogen
Jackie Vogen
My name is Jackie Vogen "aka Redrose4u2" and I'm 50 years old. I live in New Lenox, Illinois. I've been married to my husband and best friend, Ken, for 31 years. We've raised two beautiful daughters, who are now grown up, and have left home. We've recently entered into a new stage in our life; we've become "empty nesters". This new independence has allowed me to discover my passion in life; I LOVE TO FISH! I'm what you would call a "Beginner Fisherwoman" or a "Novice". Besides fishing, I enjoy computers, gardening and photography. Through fishing and photography, I've been able to capture my thoughts, while surrounded in the beauty of the sport. I'm looking forward to sharing my passion with you!