Above / Fishing opportunities abound from stocked ponds at May Watts Park and Commissioners Park to fishing piers along the Riverwalk… where advice for anglers is often shared from one generation to the next. (PN Photo) 

UPDATE, January 27, 2018 / With springlike temperatures (48 degrees in the shade) on a peaceful winter’s day, this local fisherman along the banks of May Watts Pond is enjoying the sunshine surrounded by mallard ducks and Canada geese in the distance.

Sharing the news that bluegills are biting, this angler quipped, “It’s a bonus to be fishing this time of year.”

This angler hooked two blue gills at one time.

Fishing with worms for bait, PN caught this youngster adding blue gill number 10 to his bucket. He’d already released a big catfish.

UPDATE, July 21, 2017 /All ages are attracted to the banks of May Watts Pond where catch and release provides hours of fun for fishing.

Lily pads have invaded May Watts Pond where the fish are biting big time.

Anyone looking for bait will find a selection at Dog Patch Pet & Feed located at 1108 E Ogden Avenue.

Also note fish that live in local retention ponds are not suitable for eating. Enjoy catching and releasing.

Big catch at May Watts Pond in 2016.

“Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.”
—Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)        31st U.S. President 

Original Post, April 29, 2017 / Naperville residents who enjoy recreational fishing can find a spot right here in Naperville with 19 parks that offer fishing in ponds, streams or rivers.

On April 21, Naperville Park District staff stocked the pond at Commissioners Park with 500 bluegills, 3-5 inches in size, along with 10 lbs. of flathead minnows to provide an immediate food source for the fish. Commissioners Park is located at 2704 111th Street in southwest Naperville and has an accessible pier with plenty of room for fishing.

Other ponds have been stocked in recent years when budget and opportunities allowed, including the pond at Sportsman’s Park, supported by a donation from the Naperville Sportsman’s Club, and the pond at May Watts Park, as part of a program through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Introductory Program call Fishin’ Kids at Knoch Knolls (Finished for 2017)

The Park District offers an introductory program, Fishin’ Kids, for children ages 5-11 and parents at Knoch Knolls Park.

“The Fishin’ Kids programs provide all the equipment and instructions needed for kids to try fishing themselves, along with a parent,” explained Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman.  “Last year one boy caught a 13” Channel Catfish out of the pond at Knoch Knolls Park. Other types of fish that can be caught in our ponds and streams include bass, bluegill, other types of sunfish, bullheads and crappies.”

The 2017 program offered classes on April 30, May 21 and June 25.  To learn more in order to be prepared for 2018, visit www.napervilleparks.org.

Fishing is permitted throughout the Naperville Park District

Above / Fishing teaches calm and patience as well as learning the difference between hooking a fish and wet trash.

  • Knoch Knolls Park
  • Sportsman’s Park
  • Hobson West Ponds
  • May Watts Park
  • Commissioners Park
  • Lincoln Greenway
  • Riverwalk Park
  • Pioneer Park
  • Weigand Park
  • Rock Ridge Park
  • Brighton Ridge Park
  • Westglen Commons
  • Winding Creek Park
  • Baileywood Park
  • Springbrook Crossings
  • Summerfield Lake Park
  • Ashbury Park
  • Brook Prairie
  • Tall Grass Lakes

Fishing Licenses & Regulations at Naperville Parks

As a reminder, all state fishing regulations apply to fishing at Naperville Park District locations.  Anyone between the ages of 16 and 65 needs a fishing license to fish in Illinois waters. Fishing licenses may be purchased through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources online or at local retail outlets.

Naperville Park District’s rules for fishing can be found in Section 2.19 of Ordinance 641.

Submitted by Sue Omanson for the Naperville Park District. (PN File Photos)

Editor’s Note / Dog Patch Pet & Feed, located at 1108 E Ogden Ave, has an assortment of bait. Some anglers have success with frozen corn.

RELATED PN POSTS / May Watts Fishing