Reviews for Shabbona Lakeside Bait Tackle and Boat Rental

Shabbona, Illinois

 Bass fishing

Review by griller guy on 9/16/17 5:59 AM

My friend and I rented a bass boat for the day. It was a beautiful day and the lake was great. Great cover and drop offs. Good habitat for large mouth. In six hours we caught four bass between 2 and 4 pounds and missed on two others. The boat worked fine, and we had a great day.


Review by Bigtchicago on 8/2/15 9:52 AM

Rented a boat for my son and dad. We caught one fish. We saw many photos of fish caught on the lake. The boat was dirty and we had engine problems on the lake. We couldn't get the engine into neutral to start the boat. Wasted a lot of time trying to start the boat. please explain or install more safety - underground trees in the lake- lots of people fishing- didn't see anyone catching anything. I was glad my son caught the only fish!


Review by glk on 6/28/15 1:44 PM

Rented a bass boat...with fish finder. There were no fish to be caught. The boat was full of spiders and spider webs. We are going to go somewhere else in the future...

 Rented 4 Kayaks

Review by Spud on 6/8/15 2:03 PM

Great time kayaking with friends for 4 hours. This was the first time kayaking and we had a BLAST! Rented kayaks over the phone and when we arrived the kayaks were ready. We were in the water within 5 minutes of arrival. The kayaks were in good shape, but different where our legs weren't covered like usual kayaks. Make sure you bring a lot of sunscreen! My friend turned into a lobster...

 great time, excellent customer service

Review by brittany on 6/6/15 2:17 AM

The rental prices are extremely reasonable and the lake is beautiful. We had an awesome time kayaking, and they even offered to extend our time at no extra charge when we were running late for our reservation. I really enjoyed the experience and I always appreciate customer service that goes above and beyond. Thanks guys!

 Bass Boat

Review by Clint Sands on 5/18/15 5:10 PM

I am so sorry to hear about the problems you experienced while renting one of our bass boats. Yes it is true the bass boats are not brand new, but we do take great pride in making sure all of our boats are in tip top shape. Obviously the depth finder issue and the steering wheel console being loose was a major oversight. I was told about them and those issues have been fixed. Please contact me directly at (815) 824 2581 or and I will take care of you. Once again I apologize for your experience.

 boat rental

Review by butthurt on 5/17/15 4:07 PM

I was spoiled last weekend at Lake Saint Clair in Michigan. My friend and I were able to rent a $50,000 Ranger bass boat. So when I heard they had bass boats to rent at the park I didn't bother looking I just paid. To my surprise, I walked on to what looked to be a boat from the 1970's. First thing I noticed was the torn seats with some fading duct tape, then the peeling vinyl decking, as well as the steering wheel mount that was falling apart. In fact at the end of the day the bolts that were holding on the wheel came off. The fish finder/ GPS keep going on and off and eventually stopped working. I spent $175 on a boat that should of costed maybe $ 50 for the day. I would never rent a boat from that place again. unless of course they decided to upgrade some of their existing boats.


Review by Megan on 4/7/15 6:36 AM

First time in years renting a boat and we couldn't be happier. The entire staff is so polite and the equipment was spotless. Thank you all for making our Easter afternoon perfect. We will be back very soon

 A GREAT place to fish!

Review by Tom R on 9/14/14 2:57 PM

Been coming to Shabbona for over 15 years and look forward to each subsequent trip. Camped here when the kids were young and they still talk about their experience. The service is outstanding! I have never encountered anyone that didn't have a smile on their face and were always more than helpful. The restaurant has a nice variety of food that is prepared & served well. Several types of boats (with or without) motors to choose from and they are always clean. Lots of interesting wildlife to be seen while on the lake. It's just a great, peaceful place.

 Day W/Family & friends

Review by George on 9/8/14 5:02 AM

Had a great time on pontoon with my grandsons & thier friends. Did have a lot of time to fish(helping them with thier poles)but it was fun! Will do this again real soon! Thanks for the great service U All give us! George D

 A Wonderful Morning on the Lake

Review by Jillie on 8/25/14 10:35 AM

I rented a pontoon boat for the morning for a special celebration event for myself and two adult daughters. The entire staff was extremely friendly and helpful. A big thank you to Evan for taking pictures for us and most importantly, teaching me to safely pilot the boat. My daughter's and I spent a relaxing few hours on the lake. Afterwards we had lunch at Pokanoka's, (very good sandwiches & friendly staff). Highly recommend the experience!


Review by Wes on 8/15/14 10:01 AM

The service we received was great. This was my first time renting a boat and the staff attitude was exceptional. They were extremely helpful and thoughtful throughout my whole experience. I will definitely be back. Thank you Wes

 Boat rental

Review by Big Al on 8/12/14 12:05 PM

Rented a pontoon for the day. Rental boat ran fine all day. People who ran the Boat rental were all so nice and helpful. Was on the lake with son-in-law and grandson and had a great day on the water. Would definitely go back again. Thanks for the great weekend to all the staff.

 Great Time

Review by Nice Time on 8/12/14 11:15 AM

We rented the 4-passenger pontoon boat for the day. The folks at the rental shop were very courteous and helpful. A map was provided and hints were penciled onto the map. There are carts available to help haul your gear to/from the boat. Also, the seats lift up to stow your 'dry' gear (clothing, etc.). The pontoon provided plenty of room for the 3 of us and our gear. Our dog went along for the day, and she had a great time as we moved around the lake. No record-setting catches, but we still a great day.


Review by Dawn on 8/12/14 10:16 AM

No complaints. The staff was friendly and gave us all the instructions we needed to enjoy a morning on the lake with our kids in one of their pontoon boats. Would definitely do this again.

 Boat rental

Review by Stan on 8/7/14 1:52 PM

My grandson and I had a great time and experience renting a bass boat from Shabbona Lakeside Bait Tackle and Boat rental. Boat was in good condition and ran fine. The process was easy and fast. I look forward to the next time I fish at the lake. Stan


Review by Jane on 8/5/14 11:01 AM

Had a great experience renting the pontoon at Shabbona Lake. Very nice and informative staff!


Review by 1st time campers/boaters  on 7/23/14 11:16 AM

Though we didn't catch one fish in the three hours on the lake. It was still a Relaxing family time experience that we will do again. Can't say anything bad about Bait Tackle & Boat Rental, just an added advise on how us first timers can remember to go back into the shop to pick up our drivers license. Maybe if we are aloud to take boat key inside, in trade to retrieving our license! When it finally dawned on me I forgot my license I noticed I wasn't the only one that forgot it. There were about three others on the wall. Overall enjoyed our time Thank You

 A perfect day

Review by Jackie's Mom on 7/15/14 7:41 PM

I don't know how you control the weather, but we had an absolutely perfect day. The Pontoon boat and the Kayaks got a lot of use for the afternoon. We will definitely do it again. My only question is: why is there no place to swim?

 Great family fun

Review by LC  on 7/15/14 8:23 AM

Great place for a large family picnic. Lots of space to spread out and the park was in great condition. The pontoon boat was clean and safe and we all loved the rides. The dock helper was there if we needed him but didn't intrude. Bathrooms were clean. We'll be back next year.

 GREAT Pontoon Rental, Facilities and Staff!!!

Review by Violetta Talley on 7/11/14 3:19 PM

We rented the fishing pontoon for 5 adults and having a trolling motor and fish/depth finder is a must! The boat was in great condition and clean. The staff that tended to the boat was very informative and made sure we understood how to use everything before we took our pontoon out all day. The tackle shop is well stocked with everything needed and then some, as well as great advice on where to fish and what to use. Facilities are clean, the grounds are well manicured and the fishing was good. We will be back again soon and many more times after that!!!! Thank you!!!!

 Best Place for a work event !

Review by Aim Nationalease, Kerry R. Langlois on 6/24/14 7:31 PM

Thank you for a wonderful fishing charter and a tasteful lunch. This was the best event I have ever hosted for my company. Everyone one was amazed with the fishing, food and breathtaking scenery. Lets also mention the many fish we caught with ease on your modern pontoon boats. A+ Sincerely, Kerry R. Langlois Aim Nationalease

 Outstanding family fun

Review by First time renter on 6/22/14 8:21 PM

Was out to Shabbona Lake State Park today for the first time and I will certainly go back!! I didnt know what to expect when my family and I decided to spend the day at Shabbona Lake State Park, but I soon found out what a fantastic place this really is. The bait shop and restaurant building was beautiful inside and out with all the flowers and landscaping around it and the place was very clean and well maintained. We rented a pontoon boat for four hours, it was our first boating rental and we will certainly be back for an all day rental!!! The people in the bait shop were so very friendly and the young men working there were very helpful and very knowledgeable about the pontoon we rented and made sure we knew how to run it before we went out on the lake. When we got done we went into the restaurant cause the kids wanted some ice cream let me tell ya i didnt know such a gem of a place existed at a State Park!!! My family and I will definitely be back!!!! Mary

 camping and pontoon rental

Review by Swepy on 6/18/14 2:34 PM

The camper grounds were clean and the showers were awesome. The pontoon was ready and waiting for us and though it was windy as all get out we had a good time. We didn't catch any thing while on the boat but was able to get a 28" catfish off the dock at the campgrounds. all in all was a great experience. We intend to return.

 Camping Weekend

Review by Kevin R. on 6/17/14 8:17 AM

My son and I had a wonderful time camping at Shabbona Lake. Our site was clean, the patrons were friendly and respectful and at qhuet hours it was....quiet! The camp store was also a godsend. Surprisingly, the items for sale there aren't marked up 200% like you would think they would be. Overall, it was a great experience. My only reasoning for not giving it a 5 star would be the boat rental. We rented a motorboat on a fairly breezy day. The motor was so underpowered that we couldn't go anywhere when pointing into the wind and, when turning or docking, we were completely at the mercy of the water. Either get larger motors or don't rent during windy conditions. I brought my boat back after 45 min of struggling and wasted $40.

 8-person pontoon

Review by JJ on 6/17/14 8:14 AM

We had a great time. The boat was in great condition and the bait shop was very kind and helpful. I look forward to going back (as I have many times).

 Shabbona lake

Review by Ken on 5/25/14 8:42 AM

By far best all round fishing and outdoors lake in Illinois. One stop shop, fishing, camping, boat rental, restaurant, bait, hiking it's got everything for just you or the whole family. Me and my kids fish there atleast a dozen times per year and the Sands are great at running the place, very nice, knowledgeable, never any problems. The kids that get the boats ready are fast and always there on the docks to help you. Love this place. I only wish they would let me build my house on the lake so I don't have to leave.

 Great job guys!

Review by Ericro on 5/10/14 4:37 PM

Fishing was ok, we need to thank the guys behind the counter they sure do know how to help you. They are very informative and very friendly, fast and professional as well. I thank them for a job well done. Caught some very big Crappie on the exact spot they said to hit. Thanks again. Eric


Review by Ken on 4/25/14 4:35 AM

The fishing was slow but the boat we rented was clean and the motor started on the first pull every time, the man in the store gave us a few places to try and that is the only place we caught fish. The people running the store are very friendly and really know the lake. We will be coming back again as soon as we can.

 NIce, Friendly Operation

Review by Troop 80 on 10/29/13 9:39 AM

Clint & his gang are top notch. Ten of us rented an 11 man pontoon and it worked out great. A few of us needed fishing licenses and they provided quickly. Plenty of bait & tackle and a large fleet of boats both big & small. The grounds are very nice and we docked for lunch and had a picnic using some of the many tables provided. We were at the tail end of the season so the adjacent restaurant was closed(reopening for ice fishing season!) but having been their before it has excellent food. This place is a winner and not far from Dekalb so close to Chicago burbs!

 Great Time

Review by Bob  on 10/23/13 11:07 PM

We rented a fishing boat with a motor for the day. The weather was a bit rainny. when we came in for lunch there was a down pour and the boats had a lot of water in them. When the rain cleared the staff ran out to the boats with pumps and shop vacs and sucked up the water. The service is Great! The staff is very courteous. We will be back! Had a Great day!


Review by bk on 10/16/13 6:48 AM

They didn't have my reservation on file at the camp store where I specifically made my reservation as I was camping there. We had to wait for him to pump the water out of the boat and then had to cross the lake to the bait shop anyway to get the trolling motor I reserved. The ball really for dropped on my reservation.

 Super Service!

Review by JRRE on 9/4/13 1:43 PM

This was a seamless rental beginning to end, hassle-free and professional. From the bait shop to the dock staff this was a great experience and we will be back to catch "The Big One."

 Boat Rental

Review by Lisa on 9/3/13 8:02 AM

We rented a Fishing Pontoon for the whole day. The boat was clean and all the equipment worked well. This is the third time renting boats just wish i would catch some fish. I will be back.

 Boat Rental

Review by BeeJay on 8/13/13 9:13 AM

We had an AWESOME time. The 9 passager potoon boat was clean, spacious and comfort for the 4 of us. It made fishing on the the lake an absolute pleasure. A bite pricey I think, but for a once-a-year outing, oh well.

 Great Weekend

Review by Chris on 8/13/13 7:25 AM

We reserved the camp site from Lakeside Bait and Tackle - The site was very nice. Rented the bass boat for the day. It was clean, well-kept and got us to where we wanted to go. The staff is friendly and accommodating. The trails are very nice also. If you don't have a lot of time for a lengthy vacation, but need to get away, Shabbona Lake is your best bet!!


Review by Big Bass on 7/23/13 7:14 AM

I really enjoyed my day on the lake. The bass boat was clean and everything worked well. I wish we could have stayed on the lake later than 7pm cause thats when the fish were biting. Guess i will have to come in the morning next time. I will be back!!!!

 Great experience

Review by Jim B on 7/17/13 7:23 AM

A friend and I decided to bring our 4 daughters on a3 day camping and fishing trip and we had already heard good things about lake shabonna. we went up weeks early to set our reservationsup and pick out which boosts we wanted to rent. the staff in the bait and take so were very friendly and helpful. when we came back with our kids weeks later everything went very smoothly. The boats were very clean and ready to go and the staff again was very helpful. it was the little things that made this trip enjoyable. our daughters loved the boats and the fishing we did. we will definitely be back next year.

 boat rental

Review by alc on 7/10/13 2:34 PM

I received excellant services for when I rented a fishing pontoon boat, and purchased license, and bait. Very courteous staff and a excellant lake to fish. We will be back!

 boat rental

Review by Bob D. on 7/8/13 8:06 AM

Rented pontoon last Friday. Rental costs for 4 hours is kind of high I think anyway. It was a good experience. Bait shop was very helpful and boat was clean, in reasonably good shape for a rental.

 helpful and knowledgeable

Review by Jordan on 5/21/13 10:10 AM

My girlfriend and I rented a motor boat all day Saturday. It's a beautiful lake and when we told them we were gonna fish they started telling us where all the good spots were. They got us our boat which was your standard boat with a 6hp outboard. we also got a trolling motor and depth finder, everything worked well. I cant wait to come back!