About Steve Welch

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’.

Fishing Report July 1-15

Water temps are in the low 80's and clarity is about a foot to eighteen inches. The lake is right at normal summer pool. We have transitioned to what we do every summer and that is chase hungry crappie with a slip bobber and minnow rig. If it is too windy we tightline minnows on a drop-shot rig. Pretty simple everyone of all ages can do this and boy do we catch a ton of fish. I have three bait tanks all on air to keep the minnows lively and we go through at least ten to fifteen dozen a [...]

By |2022-06-26T11:58:49-05:00June 26, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report June 1-15

The lake is in great shape water color wise and at normal pool. Water temps are running 74-78. The crappie spawn is done but males are still guarding some nests. I am fishing mainly stumps near deep water. Right after the spawn they tend to move to stumps as they work their way back to deep summer spots. Livescope is really a god send right now. I am pendulum tossing a 1/8oz. casting sinker on ten pound braid then a fifteen inch fluorocarbon leader and a small 1/32oz. white hair jig. Swimming it is key they tend to stare at [...]

By |2022-06-09T18:45:57-05:00June 4, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report May 15-31

Water temps jumped from 59 to 77 last week so like I predicted the crappie spawn will wrap up quickly. Males will be on nests for another week or so but we have switched gears and are walleye/crappie fishing. The lake remains a foot low and water color is very clear. My shallow crappie spots are thinning but we can still get some so I have been splitting the day. For the crappie I am using a 1/8oz. trolling sinker tied on 12lb. braid. Then a fifteen in. 15lb.fluorocarbon leader and a 1/32oz. white and tensile hair jig. Used it [...]

By |2022-06-09T18:45:18-05:00May 15, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report May 1-15, 2022

The lake is at 598 and falling hard in preparation for spring rains. They will most likely keep dropping it to about 596 until we hit Memorial weekend and then allow it to come back up. Flood control lake this is how it is. Water temps are running 59-61 depending on which end you are on. North end is a little warmer since it is shallower and the water is more stained. As of today the water color is slightly stained but fishable on the north end. Very clear on the south end. The crappie spawn has started. Males are [...]

By |2022-04-29T10:10:15-05:00April 28, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report April 15-30, 2022

The lake is at 601.8 or roughly two-feet over normal summer pool. They will most likely keep dropping it to about 598 until we hit Memorial weekend and then allow it to come back up. Flood control lake this is how it is. Water temps are running 49-53 depending on which end you are on. The crappie spawn has started. Males are just starting to get their dark colors. As water warms and it progresses they will get dark as coal. My estimate is around May 16th our next full moon and a couple 60 degree nights the spawn will [...]

By |2022-04-29T10:09:30-05:00April 17, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report April 1-15 , 2022

My first fishing report for April on Shelbyville. The lake rose four feet in just 48 hours so the north end is very dirty. We are fishing mid lake to south end over brush and laydowns down anywhere from 14-22ft. Using clear water colors such as Brushpile Hammers in white and chartreuse or my small hair jigs same colors. Both tipped with a wax worm that has really been helping. Water temps are starting out at 44 and rising to 49 on sunny days. I am using my new Garmin side imaging to go down a bank pretty quick and [...]

By |2022-04-17T15:59:08-05:00April 17, 2022|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report November 15-30, 2021

The lake rose to almost 8ft. over summer pool and now is dropping back. Fish went shallow and now are returning to deep water and bunching up. My favorite time of the year. This is why I was so determined on setting up my boat for three anglers to set on the nose. We hover over deep brush and tight line a jig right down in them. Depths of 18-26ft.deep or even deeper buried on the bottom in thick brush just like Kentucky Lake. I have plenty of practice fishing this way. You can't hover with precise control it's a [...]

By |2021-11-14T15:07:12-06:00September 19, 2021|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report September 1-15, 2021

Lake level is slightly below 605 or about five feet above summer pool. Water temps have cooled a little down to 79-80. Clarity is fine all over the lake. The Corp is pulling pretty hard some days then not the next St.Louis tells them what to do but eventually we will be back to summer pool. I imagine the amount they are pulling is affecting the trollers out on the main lake but I haven't been trolling at all this summer. I have Livescope and I am using it to my advantage every day. Here is what I am doing. [...]

By |2021-08-31T07:10:04-05:00August 2, 2021|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report July 15 – 31, 2021

Best Bet - CRAPPIE Another week goes by and we get another foot of water. The lake is at 609. Normal summer pool is 599.95. This has changed things from last week. The thermocline that was starting to show on the north end is gone but the south end has one at 20ft. I am still using a simple slip bobber and minnow and my Livescope to find fish on Laydowns, Shelbyville Cubes, Stumps, and Standing timber. Fishing anywhere from 15-18ft. down on the slip bobber. Water depth doesn't matter just depth of the wood. Still casting my hair jigs [...]

By |2021-07-18T19:27:18-05:00July 18, 2021|Fishing Report|

Fishing Report: July 1 – 15, 2021

Best Best ---- CRAPPIE are on FIRE!!! The lake rose to eight feet over summer pool last week with all the rain. Did not hurt a thing actually helped me. The north end had went a little stale so I was making that long journey down to the south end then putting fifty bucks in the fuel tank on every trip. Now I am fishing from the Coalshaft bridge over to the RR bridge down to the Eagle boat ramp. Using Shelbyville Cubes, standing timber ,laydown timber and of course brush. They must top out around 16-20ft. but on standing [...]

By |2021-07-07T20:14:52-05:00July 7, 2021|Fishing Report|
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