ISA Working to Protect and Improve Our Smallmouth Fisheries
Du Page River,
Will County, IL

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Is the ISA right for you?
By Jim Jozwiak, ISA Executive Board

Is the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance a club for you? Well, if you like learning how to catch smallies in our state's rivers, streams, and lakes, it might just be the perfect thing!

Our club currently has nearly 600 members state-wide, and I must say it's unique as far as fishing clubs go. I have been involved with some different clubs over the years and here is what makes us different: Many of our members are river and stream fishermen, and unlike many of the bass clubs you may be familiar with, you don't need a bass boat or have to fish in X number of tournaments a year to belong. Also, some clubs plan trips to other states and even as far as Canada and Mexico. All of our outings are on local waters. Enough about the differences, here's what you can expect from the ISA:

As I said, we are a club of nearly 500 dedicated smallmouth fishermen. Our state has an unbelievable number or rivers, streams, and creeks that hold smallies and we go after them with a vengeance. The ISA holds a variety of fishing outings every year in each of our 3 regions. Whether you live in the middle of the state, Chicagoland or Northwest we have outings and conservation events in your area.

Here's a sampling of places the club has fished over the years by region:
  • Mid-State: Powerton Lake, Salt Fork and Mackinaw Rivers
  • Chicagoland: The Dupage, Upper and Lower Fox, and Kankakee Rivers
  • Northwest: The Kishwaukee and Apple Rivers

You can attend our outings and learn from some of the best fishermen in Illinois. The ISA has members who are very successful fishermen and they are willing to share. They know spots, techniques, presentations and even where to park! So if you're with us for the first time you'll know where to go, what to bring, and be able to fish and learn from these guys on their home waters. Talk about a great learning experience! Even if you're a "seasoned" fisherman there is always something new to learn.

Each region also hosts meetings throughout the year. You will hear speakers from the IDNR, conservation police officers, local guides, biologists, and others talking about fishing and conservation.

On this Web site, you can read articles and learn about upcoming events. Reading and exchanging information on our bulletin board is a great way to meet other fishermen, set up fishing get-togethers, and just plain learn a lot!

Talk about learning a lot, as an ISA member you receive six great newsletters a year. These newsletters are not just a 2-pager with some meeting notes, but up to 24 pages packed with articles, techniques, trip tips and lots more.

We also care about our waters and are involved in river cleanups, habitat restoration, smallmouth regulations and more. As an example, you may have seen some of our 180 catch and release signs we put up in the last few years on our local rivers.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention our biggest event of the year which happens every February. It's our annual banquet, the Bronzeback Blowout. Great speakers, thousands of dollars worth of raffle prizes, good food, and a lot of fish talk.

Is the ISA right for you? If you like fishing for the mighty bronzeback in our local waters, having a great time with fellow fishermen, and supporting conservation in Illinois, then the answer should be a resounding YES!

Our dues are $30 per year, and you can join here:



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