Show Season Is Upon Us

By Steve Welch


Every winter I make preparations for the upcoming show season. My season starts January 8,9,10 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. My wife and I have a booth to sell our fishing products and to book guide trips for 2016. I will also be giving seminars using a power point presentation packed with info on how to chase both crappie and walleye on Lake Shelbyville and also how to catch crappie on Kentucky Lake. I also include a lot of info on how to rig spinners to catch walleye and the Lowrance electronics needed to be successful along with many crappie tips I have learned in this my 22nd season.

The other shows we will be in attendance are the Fins and Feathers Expo in Bloomington on January 22-24. The Tinley Park Fishing Show February 13&14. Lastly the Elmwood Show on March 5&6. I am giving seminars at all of them so plan on attending.

My walleye on Lake Shelbyville and crappie trips on Kentucky Lake have been so popular that my clients have expressed interest in booking far in advance. I only guide for walleye from May 15th-June 15th or slightly longer. I will be guiding down on Kentucky Lake from March 20th-April 20th. I have all my open dates listed on my website so you can book in advance. Better hurry half the walleye trips are gone and the Kentucky trips are filing out the door as well. My spring crappie trips on Shelbyville are still wide open but after my show season I will be booked seven days a week for at least four months out.

We have a guided trip for a fine Christmas present by going to our on-line store and purchasing one then my wife will send you a gift certificate for two anglers suitable to put under the tree. Everything is provided but your lunch. These are very popular and your fisher person will be very happy. We also have a full line of crappie jigs and white bass/walleye lures and instructional DVDŐs for purchase on-line.

Now I am still out crappie fishing and will be as long as the ice stays off the lake. Crappie are a cold water loving fish and remain quite active through the winter. I have been chasing them all through November using my biggest baits and using my big 1/4oz. and 3/16oz. Deep Ledge Jigs and fishing very aggressive. In December we tend to scale down to my 3/32oz. jigs and I switch to the slower falling mono line. The fish are more bunched up on points since the Corp will start pulling the lake down to winter pool. I love this time of year you can catch a hundred of them from just one down tree. No moving around and no big runs from the boat ramp. We all three just set on the nose of my boat and fish vertically right down in the cover. I tell folks if you feel a thump you have a half second to hit them back. We bring a Mr.Heater propane heater to keep your hands warm so it isnŐt too bad. If you have hunting gear you have fishing gear.

If you want to go out and fill that freezer full of great tasting crappie before ice hits then just go to my website at and look at my availability list on the front page and while you are there feel free to join Illinois Fish Talk.