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.
I love catching crappie on a cork. Just brings me back to my childhood and watching that cork go down is magical. Lake Shelbyville my home lake is by far the best summer crappie fishing lake in the state due to its depth and width.
Lake Shelbyville has got to be the best summer crappie fishing in the state due to its depth and ample width to get the southwest breeze we need to move the bait. Once we get into July, the lake starts to create a thermocline and this forces all the fish to live in the 15-18 foot range all summer.
Most of you know that I spend a lot of time on Kentucky Lake and guide down there for two months a year now. I try and time it when Shelbyville is slow like during the up and down water levels and cold rains of early April or the lake turnover period of late September to early October.
Once water temps hit the 70-degree mark you will start to see baby shad eating on moss at the boat ramp. Once they get an inch or so long you will see the walleye and white bass ambushing them on the huge flats that exist on Lake Shelbyville my home lake.
I wait for it all year that thump of a hungry crappie that knows winter is coming so he better fatten up quick. All my rods for slip bobber fishing are gone so are my white bass rods. It is time for my favorite rods to come out. My custom made Norm’s jig rods. They are stiffer than what you can buy and I need them stiff so I can fish my 1/4oz. Deep Ledge Jig.
Every year is so different fishing on Lake Shelbyville an Army Corp of Engineer flood control-lake. Most years they have drawn the lake down from 599.9 ft. above sea level or summer pool down to 594 ft. or roughly six feet.
Lake Shelbyville has really turned into the prime spot to catch walleye and sauger these last few years. Raising the fry up to a decent size in the rearing pond has insured a healthy population and last year with a mild spring they harvested the biggest crop ever and put about 350,000 in the lake.
Mid May until mid-June is by far the best time to walleye fish on Lake Shelbyville. The shad have two or three successful spawns during that time frame and the walleye/sauger and white bass go on feeding frenzies.
Lake Shelbyville crappie spawn is a little different than most lakes since it is so big and a flood control lake to boot.