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Boating At Rend Lake In Illinois

By AA-Boats & Boating Staff Writers

Rend Lake, Illinois

Free Public Boating & Watersport Activities

Boating on Rend Lake, nestled in southern Illinois, offers boaters a captivating experience surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. Spanning over 18,900 acres, Rend Lake provides a vast and scenic waterway for boating enthusiasts to explore and enjoy. With its serene ambiance and abundant recreational opportunities, Rend Lake is a popular destination for boaters and nature lovers alike.

The lake is a haven for popular water sports, attracting thrill-seekers and water enthusiasts looking for excitement on the water. Activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and jet skiing add a dash of adventure and adrenaline to the lake's tranquil atmosphere. Families and friends often gather on Rend Lake to indulge in these water sports, creating cherished memories and moments of fun under the sun.

Rend Lake features multiple boat launch ramps strategically positioned around its shores, ensuring convenient access for boaters with their own vessels. These easily accessible launch points make it hassle-free for boaters to set sail and explore the beauty of Rend Lake, uncovering hidden coves and calm waters.

For those without their own boats, Rend Lake offers rental boat services, allowing everyone to experience the joys of boating and immerse themselves in the lake's natural beauty. Renting a boat enables visitors to navigate the serene waters of Rend Lake and create lasting memories with family and friends without the need for boat ownership.

A marina caters to the needs of boaters and water sports enthusiasts. The marinas provide essential amenities such as boat repairs, fuel stations, boat storage, and more, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable boating experience for all visitors.

The boating season at Rend Lake typically spans from spring to fall, coinciding with the warmer months and favorable weather in the region. During this time, boaters can make the most of the lake's tranquil beauty and pleasant temperatures, enjoying longer daylight hours perfect for boating and engaging in water-based activities.

Fishing is also a beloved activity on Rend Lake, attracting anglers seeking to catch various fish species, including bass, catfish, crappie, and more. The lake's waters are teeming with fish, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day of fishing and embracing the tranquility of Rend Lake.

Near Rend Lake, Illinois, visitors can explore the city of Benton, which is located south of the lake. Benton offers a mix of small-town charm and recreational opportunities, with a historic downtown featuring shops, restaurants, and cultural events. Outdoor enthusiasts will find delight in the surrounding Rend Lake State Recreation Area, which offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, and boating. To the north, the city of Mount Vernon boasts attractions like the Jefferson County Historical Village and the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts.

Boating, camping and fishing.

Awesome boating, water sports and fishing opportunities await you at Rend Lake, a 19,000-acre impoundment in southern Illinois. The lake has over a dozen boat launch ramps scattered all around the lake. Rend Lake Marina has boat rentals and a store for boating gear, fishing tackle and snacks. If you prefer to fish from the bank, there are multiple public use areas and other access points for shoreline fishing. At some of these areas there is access for portage of a canoe or kayak as well. A great place to fish for bluegill and catfish, it is also home to bass, crappie and white bass. Lake Rend is 13 miles long with over 160 miles of shoreline. The lake is scattered with islands and much of the shallows in the river arms have plenty of submerged brush to hold both predator fish and their prey the baitfish. In warmer weather concentrate on shallow water - anywhere there is cover like brush, rocky points and offshore humps and islands. Points can be productive most any time, simply figure out the correct depth for the day. Crappie and white bass tend to school and tend to migrate around the lake following the baitfish. Bass over 7 pounds are not uncommon here, and 5 and 6 pounders are caught often.

Rend Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES


Rend Lake Camp Ground - 877 444-6777

Gun Creek Camp Ground - 618 629-2338

South Marcum Rec Area Campground - 618 724-2493

North Sandusky Campground - 618 625-6115

Coy & Wilma’s Campsites & Cabins - 618 310-3440

Rend Lake Map


Fish species found in Rend Lake include largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill and white bass.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie White crappie Bluegill White Bass

Get an IL Fishing License here.

Local Contact Information

Rend Lake
Rend Lake Marina
8955 W Dam Ln
Benton, IL 62812
618 724-7651

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