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 day. Usually we catch over a hundred fish a day. This pattern lasts for the next three months or until we start to see fall transition. I have a 14ft. umbrella for those that don’t like the heat but usually we get a nice breeze so it doesn’t feel hot anyway. Besides you are so busy catching fish you don’t feel hot anyway. Shelbyville is not like most lakes it width, depth and water clarity keeps fish very active all summer.
We do this by moving around a lot and fishing down trees, stumps on ledges, brushpiles out on points. It helps to have thousand of waypoints on your electronics as I do. My Garmin side imaging shoots 75ft. to each side as I go down a bank looking for small schools of fish. The mapping on it shows me river channels and depth changes. I target banks that get deep very quickly and am always looking for a rootball of a down tree up on the bank then follow it out to the end. Right now any large branch that runs at least 16ft. deep off the tree has fish hiding under it. We then throw a marker buoy out on the end of the tree and get back twenty-five feet so as not to spook them. We set up our slip bobber accordingly. I then turn the boat sideways so everyone can make a small cast to it and turn and watch my Garmin Livescope. I can see your bait going right down to a hungry crappie and watch as he reacts and tell you before you see your bobber going down that you have a fish. All my clients love watching the Livescope.
Summer fishing is a multitude of species, the trip we had yesterday with two adults and two small kids we had 57 legal sized crappie and must of caught a hundred, three channel catfish running from three pounds to ten. A couple nice bass that we threw back and several big white bass so a pretty big fish fry. This was their second trip in the last month so they told me their freezer is full for the rest of the year. Pretty typical Shelbyville is a fish factory just loaded with crappie.
You can check out my website at LakeShelbyvilleGuide.com and look for the availability list shoot me an email from there or just give me a call at 217-840-1221. This summer bite will get even better once we get a thermocline about mid month this bunches the fish up at one depth all over the lake.