Best Bet…Crappie

The lake is about a foot over summer pool and gin clear from one end to the other. Water temps are running low eighties.

August is about like July as far as fishing patterns go. Walleye and white bass become harder to locate from day to day but the summer crappie bite is very good due to the sheer numbers and the depth and width of Lake Shelbyville.

Crappie will school up out on points and in deep basins in search of shad. The typical southwest breezes will push the bait over to a northern or eastern shoreline and if there is a down tree the crappie will use it to ambush the shad.

A strong thermocline develops this time of the year and most fish hover just above it. The thermocline runs about 15-18ft. deep so these depths are where you do your search for hungry crappie.

Ends of trees or just out off a point suspended is where you start your search with your electronics. Today’s side imaging units make it easy to find fish in both these locations.

If the end of trees are your target then simply set up a slip bobber rig so you can stay back and drift it across the end of the tree. Use a lively minnow and a hook tied with tensile to attract bigger fish.

If you find them suspended then set up downwind with your spider rig rods all rigged with minnows and push into the school. You are allowed to troll with three rods on Shelbyville so if you and your partner are setting up on the nose you can run six and you will be very busy believe me.

Our guides are reporting trips every day of over a hundred crappie and going through fifteen dozen or more minnows. That is action in my book and Lake Shelbyville is unlike any other in Illinois as far as great summer crappie action is concerned.

Better get in that last summer trip before school starts or just bring out the wife and let our guides show them what catching is like much more fun than just fishing.

You can get in touch with us by phone by calling 217-840-1221 or shoot us an email at

Steve Welch
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