Lake Monroe possesses a diverse fish population of approximately 30 game and nongame species including bluegill, catfish, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass (a.k.a. Wipers), black crappie, white crappie, and walleye. The methods of introduction vary. Interesting fact: the threadfin shad is believed to have been introduced to Lake Monroe when migrating ducks deposited shad eggs which had adhered to their feet in other bodies of water. Walleye, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish and wipers are stocked by the Department of Natural Resources.
BLUEGILL - Bluegill are easiest to catch when they are nesting. They tend to nest when the water is high, preferring a warm water temperature of 68 degrees or so. They nest close to shore, where there is plenty of brush to hide in and the water is a depth of 1-3 feet. You don't have to be an expert to bag a lot of bluegill - just get a light rod, bobber, sinker, hook, and some live bait such as crickets, wax worms, red worms, or drift worms. Because they are so easy to catch, fishing for bluegill is a great way to introduce children and beginners to the sport. There are no catch or size limits for bluegill.
CATFISH – Here you can find flatheads, channel catfish, and even some monster blues. Catfish are bottom feeders, and tend to favor deep water, though they are willing to move to shallower waters for feeding. A topographical map of Monroe Reservoir will help you find the deep channels they like. Stump fields are one of their preferred forms of cover. We recommend fishing near the bottom with cut bait (cut up chunks of other fish.) The daily limit for catfish is 10 per person, with no size limit.
CRAPPIE - Both black and white crappie abound in Lake Monroe. Like anywhere else, they prefer a habitat that provides plenty of hiding spots for them. Try fishing for crappie near brush, dead logs or downed trees, stumps, grass beds, or lily pads. The recommended techniques are still fishing with bobbers, drift fishing, casting small jigs, jig and grubs, or small spinner baits. You will have exceptionally good luck fishing for crappie when the lake is flooded. The daily limit for crappie is 25 per person, with no size limit.
HYBRID STRIPED BASS - This fish is often referred to as the "wiper" because it is an artificial cross between a white bass and a striped bass. Hybridization of these two fish does not occur naturally, so they have great difficulty reproducing on their own and must be cultured in a fish hatchery. The DNR began stocking Lake Monroe with wipers in 1983, with most of Lake Monroe's wipers now coming from East Fork State Fish Hatchery, located near Washington, Indiana. They prefer open areas of lakes, sometimes preferring flat, shallow areas, and sometimes found in the rockier habitats located directly above or below the dams. They are caught primarily on artificial baits that resemble gizzard shad. Some anglers recommend imitation shad that rattle, and some have reported success with live baits such as night crawlers or soft craws. Limits - wipers and white bass have a combined daily catch limit of 12 fish, and no more than two of these fish may exceed 17 inches in length.
LARGMOUTH BASS - Lake Monroe is consistently one of the finest lakes in the Midwest for bass fishing. Four to seven pound fish are most common, but seven to nine pounders are also caught frequently. You can start fishing for them as soon as the lake is free of ice, usually around the third week of February. April - June is considered "prime time" for catching largemouth bass. They prefer deep, clear areas, and go after a variety of baits. Jigs are among the best for catching largemouth bass, but they can also be tempted with a vast array of other artificial bait, such as spoons, grubs, skirted grubs, crayfish, lizards, and frogs. Live Minnows are also a good choice as long as it's not tournament time. A 14” minimum size limit has been in effect since 1973, and the daily catch limit is 5 per person..
WALLEYE – Walleye can be found near the bottom of the lake during the day, and move to a depth of 5-10 feet to feed at night. Use six to eight pound test line.Fishing shad imitation or chartreuse colored crank baits along shore lines and points during low-light and dark hours, similar to bass fishing, can produce excellent walleye action. You can also use crank baits to troll. Trolling is one of the best ways to cover large areas of water in search of walleye. Since walleye school together, you can generally catch several fish in the same area once you locate a group. Use lead head jigs, fished with or without bait, to work potential areas thoroughly. There is a 14” minimum limit on Walleye, with a daily limit of 6 per person.
The threadfin shad is believed to have been introduced to Lake Monroe when migrating ducks deposited shad eggs which had adhered to their feet in other bodies of water. Walleye, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish and wipers are stocked by the Department of Natural Resources.