Summer Fishing Red Hot on Shelbyville
by Steve Welch
I have been hauling in the white bass for the last month averaging about 75-150 and anytime I want I can go fill the boat with crappie. Walleye why not we have been getting about 15-20 a day with 1/3 of them big enough. That is summer fishing on Lake Shelbyville.
July will start the month just about like June did. We are pulling bottom bouncers and single hook spinner rigs looking for walleye or a school of white bass. Clients love this laid back approach and these trips are the hardest to get in on. I generally pull spinners from Mid-May until Mid-July. Then once the water gets warm enough for a thermocline to form I switch over to slip bobber and summer deep crappie fishing. The thermocline puts all the fish suspended about 15-17ft. down all over the lake. Now we just fish over the top of deep brush by drifting a slip bobber rig over them with the light breeze we get.
Summer fishing and especially crappie fishing is very consistent primarily due to the weather and lake levels being consistent. We generally get our three or four person limit of 45-60 every day for about sixty days straight.
Here is how we fish in July. Like I said I use a bottom bouncer and spinner rig and I troll them with my trolling motor along ledges. Clients just set on all four corners of the boat with a line counter reel. I tell them how much line to let out and you will know when a white bass hits this year they are huge. The boat is going about 1.5mph so it sets the hook all you have to do is fight them in and boy do they fight. We catch walleye in with them and occasionally run into a five or six pound beauty. I have a big walleye tiller boat that is deep and very comfortable and this style of fishing is right up its ally.
I put a twist on an old style of fishing called slip bobber slip drifting. We run fourteen pound Fireline Crystal braided line with a short fluorocarbon leader a number two Tru-Turn light wire hook so it will straighten once hung up and a large 3/8oz. weight on a slip bobber big enough to hold everything up.
We first mark off a deep brush pile with marker buoys and then get back and drift the corks over the top using the breeze we get during the summer. This lateral movement of drifting the lively minnows across the brush is deadly on crappie. Our water is so clear if you were to fish right over the top of them you would spook a lot of the fish so our slip drifting method works much better. Besides I routinely fish four out of my boat including me so this spreads us out more.
Why is Lake Shelbyville so good in the summer when your watering hole is tough to catch anything? Simply wind and depth to put it blunt. The lake is 60ft. deep and wide enough to catch wind and this moves the bait. We get an algae bloom and as it grows it sinks down to the thermocline and the bait follows and then so does the crappie. This pattern holds true all the way through the end of September or slightly longer.
My schedule is starting to free up as most of you know I am booked several months in advance. You can just go to my website at www.LakeShelbyvilleGuide.Com and send me an e-mail or give me a call at 217-762-7257 home or 217-840-1221 cell. I have a schedule open date list on my front page of my website and while there look at my open dates on Kentucky Lake. I guide down there a couple months during the year for some really big crappie.