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


UPDATE, Aug. 2, 2018 / Lake Osborne offers a shoreline for fishing, too, where anglers seek their catch by day and just before dusk. Posted signs say the limit is six bass.

Named in 1994 in memory of Marjorie Osborne, a civic leader and water resource management advocate, attractive Lake Osborne is located along Aurora Avenue, next to the Naperville Public Safety Campus.


UPDATE, June 28, 2018 / Ready for anglers of all ages to buddy up for the pleasures of fishing, the Naperville Riverwalk Fishing Pier at Eagle Street overlooks the old quarry and the Jaycees Marina.

The Riverwalk Fishing Pier is just down the steps from the Cliff Preston Tribute at the Farmers Plaza, located at the entrance to the Riverwalk near the Eagle Street Bridge in downtown Naperville.

Named for naturalist May Theilgaard Watts, the pond in May Watts Park also provides plenty of shoreline fishing opportunities to catch and release bluegills, catfish, largemouth bass and carp.

A frequent fisherman with his best friend enjoys the natural habitat of May Watts Pond.


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 bluegills at one time.

Fishing with worms for bait, PN caught this youngster adding bluegill 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.

Some anglers have success with frozen or canned corn.

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.

Need fresh bait?  Dog Patch Pet & Feed, located at 1108 E. Ogden Ave, has an assortment. Just ask. Dog Patch also has a large selection of of koi and other pond fish for backyard ponds.

RELATED PN POSTS / May Watts Fishing


Venture to Whalon Lake / Royce Road, east of S. Washington Street

Whalon Lake offers access to shoreline fishing. According to the Will County Forest Preserve website, the 80-acre lake is stocked with bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish and walleye.


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.

Listing of fishing throughout Naperville parks submitted by Sue Omanson for the Naperville Park District. (PN File Photos)