Fishing is one of those hobbies that can become a special bonding time between parent and child; relaxing in the sunshine, sharing stories and feeling the gentle breeze. Or it can be a total disaster when you spend hours trying to catch a fish to no avail, and leave with a crying and disappointed kid. On these adventures, we always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. However, at Lake Julian Trout Farm in Cary, you can almost ensure the better outcome, as it is a stocked pond that is perfect for beginners just learning the sport.
Family owned and operated since 1937, this McHenry County landmark is a wonderful way to spend a family afternoon. There is no admission fee at Lake Julian Trout Farm and no limit to the number of fish you take home (in the trout pond.) You simply pay for the fish you catch, including packaging and icing. And if you are squirmy about these things (like me) you can even have your trout cleaned for you for an additional fee. The price is $7.99 per pound, and fishermen must keep — or give away — everything caught. The on-site bait shop provides a variety of live bait including various worms and minnows. This makes it super easy to just show up with your fishing pole and a comfy chair and get started!
The Big Lake
There is also a big lake here, which requires a membership in order to fish. The membership costs $40 (prepayment) for the first four visits. After this, the fee for adults is $10 and children 12 are admitted for $5.00. Members are allowed to bring in two guests, and there is no extra charge for the fish you catch. This lake also allows catch and release, however, if you prefer to take your fish home, there are limits per type of fish: two trout, two walleye, two bass, two northern, two catfish, and five panfish (crappie, perch, bluegill, etc. combined).
Lake Julian is open seasonally, and hours vary depending on the time of year you visit. Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on weekends. From the first weekend in May through Memorial Day and from Labor Day through September 25th, hours are 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Extreme weather can cause closures, so check the website or call before you head out. They opened for the 2018 season on March 31.
Located in a pretty and serene setting, the fishing in cool, clean, spring fed waters, makes it a lovely way to spend an afternoon just enjoying nature and time with family. Hurry and visit now or make plans to put Lake Julian on your bucket list for the summer. You will have a day of “reel” fun!