Cold Rains & Wind Normal for April
I have been a fishing guide for twenty years and along the way you better adapt. Like many of you, I beat the bank looking for any signs of the crappie spawn to start. For Lake Shelbyville that is too early. There are plenty of deep crappie to be caught and those fish aren't as effected by all the cold fronts. I have learned over the years how to be lot better crappie fisherman and all those trips down to Kentucky Lake taught me how to fish deep.
Lake Shelbyville is a flood control lake and that means they draw it down six-feet for spring floods. This pulls the fish out to main lake river channels and in front of deep coves. Then all you need to do is find their food and the depth they like. Depth will vary with sunshine. On sunny days they will get under a horizontal branch and suspend as shallow as two-feet in much deeper water. They are very spooky so we use corks with jigs under them and stay way back. This gets some of the biggest fish in the system but it is unpredictable so I opt to fish deep on schools of wintering crappie.
Like I do at Kentucky, I use my 1/4oz. Deep Ledge Jig and I hover over deep brush and don't move the jig at all. Just move the trolling motor very slowly back and forth tying to bump into a branch. A hungry crappie will hit it. As for color that depends on the water color. I like a black jig in the winter since they have been feeding on bugs all winter under the ice.
To be successful in April you need to play the weather and that means go when you have a warming trend with full sun for a couple of days. This really spikes the water temps. If this isn't possible then I always fish on the south end in April and usually about fifteen feet deep over much deeper water on both standing trees and down trees on channel banks. You go looking with your side imaging and you can find them bunched up and this time of the year my Lowance HDS side imaging is priceless. It will tell what depth the fish are suspended at some sixty feet off to the side.
The Corp will allow the lake to come up just two-feet above winter pool and, even though they will allow it to come up the remaining four-feet on May first, they will still pull the lake down to two-feet above winter pool all month long which gives you a yo-yo effect. That makes fishing a challenge and especially shallow fishing. So do yourself a favor and learn to fish deep for crappie. They are only shallow three weeks in spring and three in fall. Learn to fish deep you can catch them all year long.
I have been guiding on Kentucky Lake for the last five weeks but will be guiding on Shelbyville April 7th so keep an eye out for the big Yar-Craft. I still have just a couple dates left for spring so check my website for availability. Should be a good year for both crappie and walleye.