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.

The crappie will need a few weeks getting back to deep summer brush piles so we turn our focus towards the walleye/sauger and white bass run. These next five to six weeks will be the best chance of loading the boat with hungry walleye. They still bite all summer long but the pleasure boat traffic tends to change up their feeding habits and they use their superior eyesight and feed at night.

The walleye/sauger and white bass go up the Kaskaskia way back in late March early April and attempt to spawn. Conditions need to be perfect for the walleye to get this done but the white bass and sauger do have successful spawns.

About Memorial Day weekend they start moving from the shallow river back onto the main lake. They are feeding heavily on our first of many shad spawns. Every point and drop-off from the 32 bridge on down to Sand Creek will have walleye/sauger staged on stumps ready to attack the shad.

The white bass prefer gravel bars or anything with a hard bottom and they push the shad to the surface to feed on them. A drop-off adjacent a big flat they will use it to push them against it as well.

I arm my clients with a line counter rod and reel set up and a one and half ounce bottom bouncer and a single hook spinner rig that we tip with a minnow. We use minnows over crawlers simply because post spawn crappie love this set up and you will catch them while looking for walleye. Plus crawlers will catch you a lot of annoying yellow bass, channel catfish and bluegills.

We pull these rigs on the drops and gravel bars and simply cover a lot of water. I also have spinning outfits in the boat rigged up with jig and twister tails to catch the white bass when they bust the surface. Plus we use my Candystriper tail spinner lure to work the ledges.

The last three years the white bass have been huge but their numbers are not what they were a decade or so ago. The lake is maturing and the sheer number of baitfish we once had have dwindled some plus we had a couple years that the whites really fell off and they are just getting their numbers back. I have seen many pushing three pounds and believe me those are big whites anywhere you fish in the country.

Like I have been telling you in my reports I have four guides working through this site to better serve your needs and this allows us to get you in a boat much quicker than in years before. As for me I am recovering from my second Rotator Cuff surgery and won’t be back for some time.

Just shoot us an e-mail from this site or give me a call at 217-840-1221 cell and we will set you up with one of our great guides.

Steve Welch

Steve Welch

Fishing Guide at Lake Shelbyville Guide
Steve Welch has been fishing on Lake Shelbyville since its inception and guiding since 1994. He’s an accomplished writer and has written for Adventure Sports Outdoor, Heartland Magazine, the Decatur Herald & Review and Ilfishing.com. He’s been quoted and written about in the Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Effingham Daily News, Illinois Fish & Game Finder Magazine, North American Crappie, and Field & Stream’s ‘Best Fishing Spots in the Midwest’.
Steve Welch

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