Fishing Report: May 20-June 3, 2018

Best Bet….Crappie/Walleye/Sauger/White Bass, take your pick

Water temps on the surface are running 70-75 and the lake currently is about four-feet under summer pool. The color is slightly stained on the north end and gin clear on the south since we have not had heavy rains hit it for several days.

The eggs are pouring out of the female crappie and I believe the full moon on the 29th the crappie and bass spawn will be complete. Yeah there will be some eggs in fish and anglers saying the spawn isn’t over clear through mid-summer but believe me it is almost done.

To catch the last of the pre-spawn crappie you will need to fish live bait over and in heavy brush or down trees in the six to eight foot range basically anywhere on the lake.

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Fishing Report: May 6-20, 2018

Best Bet… Crappie, Walleye, and Sauger

Water temps on the north end are running about 65-70 degrees, so it has warmed up considerably. The Corp has slowed the drawdown as well. Currently, the lake is four-feet under summer pool, and very soon the Corp will change the rule curve and allow it to reach normal summer pool.

The crappie spawn is well underway on the north end, and soon with the rising water, this will bring in a whole new batch of spawning crappie. The larger fish have learned through the years to wait it out. Right now is that time up on the north end as my guides have been seeing some very nice fish this past week running in that pound to the nearly two-pound range.

As I have said many times, jigs work fine but I prefer a large to most angler’s minnow under a slip bobber. Male crappie do not want these predators near their beds, and they have been guarding them for some time so are extremely hungry. Besides at these water temps the male Largemouth Bass are moving up into these same areas the crappie use and it is a ball to hang onto one of these on light tackle. We have one that guards the same stump every year, and we have named him Elmer and many of my clients have caught and released him sometimes more than once in the same day. I always get kids coming up to me during show season and asking how Elmer is. Last I saw him; he was pushing five pounds.

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Fishing Report: April 22 – May 6, 2018

Best Bet Crappie…

As of this writing, the water temps are running about 51, and if it is sunny, the fish will move up late in the day. The water level is 600.5 and will be coming back to 596 ft. above sea level then hold there until mid- May. Summer pool is 599.7, and they won’t let it come up for spring rain reasons. Remember, they are a flood control lake first and foremost.

This time of the year it is all about finding the best water temperature on the surface. The pre-spawn starts in at about 55 degrees and gets significantly better at 60. 62-68 brings in the females, and this process on Lake Shelbyville can take a month or longer.

Why so long? Simple – this lake is gin-clear on the south end and very deep, so water temps take much longer to warm. The north end has big mid-depth bays that get a lot of afternoon sun and warm quickly.

Mornings you will have thousands of crappie suspending just out in deeper water waiting on surface temps to climb up into that magic 55-60 range. These fish are still catchable, and the spider riggers just tear them up moving along fishing anywhere from 6 ft. down to 6 inches.

Then, late in the day, some fish will move up into the four to six-foot range and try to make a bed. The only problem now with Shelbyville is the water is falling and will drop about four to five feet until about May 15th or so then the rule curve will change to bring it back up to almost where it is now.

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Fishing Report: April 8-22, 2018

The lake has been rising and falling for several weeks now. Once we got into April, the Corp wants to keep the lake at 596 ft. above sea level. That is roughly four feet under normal summer pool. Currently, the lake is 603.5 and has crested and will be falling back to 596 or seven […]

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Bouncers and Spinner Rigs Sure Has My Name on It

I started guiding back in 1994 on Clinton Lake and when we needed to cover water and catch a variety of fish we got out a presentation that had long been used up north. A bottom bouncer to get your presentation down and a simple single hook spinner rig to put on a crawler or minnow. We would troll this up in front of the power plant on the underwater dykes. We would catch everything that swims but it was the big walleye we were after. The big stripers and catfish would not stay off it. Then 9/11 came and they closed it for boat traffic. This was a big part of my summer fishing so I just moved the guide service down to Lake Shelbyville and naturally I brought my old habits with me.

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