Fall Crappie Shelbyville Best Around
by Steve Welch

By now I have fought my way through the fall turnover and replaced my slip bobber rods with a stout ten-foot jig pole. That is all I will need for the remainder of my season which wraps up sometime mid to late December.

My Deep Ledge Jigs in various colors but all of them 1/4oz. is all I need. I have installed my three person seating system so we can all jig from the front of the boat. This my favorite way to get those tasty crappie. You feel a smack at the end of your line set the hook and swing them in the boat, simple as that.

I now guide down on Kentucky Lake and will be doing such from October 20th through November 5th and just like I did back in March we will be using my jigs down there as well. This is where these jigs were intended so we could fish the deep ledges in twenty plus feet and still have a good feel for the bottom and brush. I took them back home with me to Shelbyville and learned they have a place there as well.

We donít have to fish as deep at Shelbyville but these jigs are used to swim them through very dense brush and try to hit branches with them to create a reaction bite. The heavy jig will fall off most branches and with the small number four light wire hook you can bend it and get it back most of the time.

We use Fireline Crystal 8lb. braided line for better feel with no stretch allows you to get your jigs back since the braided line is so much stronger.

I love the fall bite at Shelbyville because fishing is just so easy. You can expect to limit out on crappie every day for the next two months and some days catch over a hundred fish easily.

We bounce from brush pile to brush pile with ease since I have tons of them on my Lowrance GPS system. The homework has been down so no time wasted looking for fish just pull up throw out a marker for reference hover right over the fish pull out a dozen or so then move to the nest one. We routinely fish about forty brush piles a day.

I have my Yar-Craft rigged with four Lowrance HDS units with both downscan and side imaging on the front and rear of the boat. All four units are networked and all can work from one single map. I also have a special map designed just for me of the entire lake taken at winter pool in Google Earth images. I can see each and every down tree and what it looked like with the lake six-feet lower, plus all the clusters of stumps and any angler that happened to be fishing that day. I can zoom in and see the person driving the boat or standing on the bank. Canít make out who they are but the clarity is pretty cool. I also have colored lines of the whole lake that re-create winter pool water levels and all the river channels. This helps me when I am pulling spinners on edges of flats for walleye.

My clients and I can set on the nose of my boat and be able to compare images between downscan and regular sonar. The clarity of the Lowrance downscan images is amazing. You can see each and every branch on the tree and the crappie hiding within. The whole thing reminds you of an oil painting.

I have been traveling each and every day from the Forest Bo-Woods boat ramp all the way to the south end of the lake which is much deeper and clearer to catch the summer crappie. Well since the lake turned over the fish will move shallow so I donít have to travel and further than a few hundred yards from the boat ramp each day. So no cold boat ride is a good thing.

My color choice for leadheads and plastics will also change due to the stained water so no more shad colored clear baits and replaced with vibrant chartreuses and orange. Plus we get out the big baits in the fall since the shad are large and we routinely fish plastics three to four inches.

I am one of the busiest guides in the state so getting in the boat is difficult so you better book far in advance since I usually book three weeks or more out. My open dates are all listed on the front page of my website at www.LakeShelbyvilleGuide.com or you can call me at 217-762-7257.