The 10 Best Bait Shops in Illinois!

With so many lakes and streams in Illinois, and a tight-knit fishing community, it’s no surprise that bait shops are easy to find. But these 10 great bait shops in particular offer some of the best selections in the state. Not only that, but the owners and staff offer up expert advice on the fishing scene. If you don’t already own an Illinois fishing license, they are issued on a monthly basis and expire on March 31 of each year. You an buy a fishing license online. Here are the 10 best bait shops in the state! 

1. Fishing Connection, Tinley Park, IL

Featured in Fishing Retailer Magazine, Fishing Connection is widely knowns as the best bait shop in Chicago’s south suburbs. They offer a large selection of live bait including night crawlers, leeches, trout worms, spikes, waxworms, and spawn sacs. Their store also features a wide selection of rods and reels, baits, and other fishing gear. 

2. Henry's Sports & Bait, Chicago, IL

Whether you’re a novice or professional, Henry’s Sports & Bait caters to all fishermen and women. Their live bait menu includes minnows, fatheads, roaches, suckers, night crawlers, leeches, and several worm varieties. They also personally inspect your bait at the time of purchase to ensure its freshness. 

3. Fishtech, Morton Grove, IL

Fishtech has all the live bait you need for your next fishing expedition. Aside from bait, you will also find fishing tackle, supplies, and tips on how to fish in the nearby waters. They also offer kids fishing classes, archery lanes, and friendly service. 

4. Anglers International Resources, Palatine, IL

Whether you prefer soft baits or hard baits, Anglers International Resources in Palatine has what you’re looking for. They offer worms, lizards, frogs, grubs, jerkbaits, biodegradables, and many other soft baits. For hard baits, they’ve got blade baits, top water baits, casting spoons, and more. Shop in-store or online for an even larger selection. 

5. Lee's Bait & Tackle, Carol Stream, IL

Lee’s Bait & Tackle offers high-quality, innovative tackle and products many anglers haven’t seen before. You can also find soft baits like worms, craws, and finesse to hard baits such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and blade baits in Lee’s two stores and online. 

6. Just Add Water Bait, Tackle & More, Marion, IL

With access to three local lakes and several nearby streams, Just Add Water is a convenient tackle shop with friendly staff to assist both newbie and experienced anglers. Their quality bait selection and expansive knowledge of the nearby waters can make your next fishing trip productive and enjoyable. 

7. Crappie Pro Shop, Carterville, IL

If you’re planning on going crappie fishing in southern Illinois, you must stop by Crappie Pro Shop in Carterville. Located within 30 miles of five crappie fishing lakes, Crappie Pro Shop carries all of the best and popular fishing supplies including Bobby Garland baits, Falcon rods, Pflueger reels, and other quality brands such as Berkley, Southern Pro, and Bass Assassin. This store may be little, but you won’t be disappointed in the selection. 

8. SS Minnows Bait Shop, South Elgin, IL

This little bait shop has friendly, helpful staff waiting to assist you with finding the right bait for your next fishing trip. Whether you need lively minnow suckers or huge Canadian nightcrawlers, SS Minnows has them. The store is well-stocked, has great prices, and is worth checking out if you’re in the area. 

9. Bait Shanty, Algonquin, IL

Bait Shanty is recognized for their helpful and knowledgeable owner, large bait and tackle selection, and competitive low prices. The bait is always fresh and if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the store, the owner will gladly order it for you. 

10. Carbon Cliff Bait & Tackle, Carbon Cliff, IL

Carbon Cliff Bait & Tackle offers prompt and friendly service in a relaxed environment. This locally-owned bait and tackle shop has been in the Carbon Cliff community for decades and is the go-to fishing supply store for locals and visitors who plan on fishing in the area. If they don’t have an item in their store, they will order it promptly and get it to you within 48 hours. 

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