Due to recent rains the lake has come up a foot and is falling back towards summer pool. This puts some current in the lake and scatters the fish somewhat. We are only crappie fishing at this time and numbers of fish are not a problem. This time of the year I take out a lot of kids and their parents so if action if what you are looking for look no further.
We use a simple approach a slip bobber and minnow rig and move a bunch. Down trees, brush piles, standing timber. All must be on points, leading edges going into a cove or a river channel bank. These are highways especially if the fish are roaming. I don’t go to far back into a cove in the summer the bait is more out on the areas I just described.
A strong thermocline sets up in late July and on through mid September. “This is key”. Mid-July we get an algae bloom and as it grows it gets dense and will sink down to where the thermocline will hold it. All the bait on the lake feeds on this algae. Typically the thermocline sets up at about 15-18ft. Deeper in very clear water, shallower in dingy.
Now we got the crappie right where we want them. All you need is a brush pile heavy branch on a down tree or anything horizontal on a standing tree in that depth range. Pick off a few and move on. Usually you will get the larger crappie in your first dozen or so. On this lake we are allowed ten fish ten-inches or larger and five less than ten-inches per angler.
Numbers are never a problem, so every trip I stop and buy about 15-20 dozen minnows. You heard me we go through a ton because fish are coming in every few seconds. I have three big bait tanks all on an air system exclusive to my boat. You need it to keep that many alive.
I rig my slip bobber rods with fifteen pound braid a quarter-ounce weight, a barrel swivel with an eighteen-inch leader of fifteen pound Fluorocarbon line and a number four hook and of course a slip bobber just big enough to hold everything up.
We pull alongside a brush pile I scan it with my Livescope and locate the fish, instruct you right where to throw. Watch your minnow go right to them and then your bobber goes down. Pretty simple but knowing where hundreds of said brush piles are is the key and having several thousand bucks wrapped up in the latest technology for electronics. Then you throw in the most comfortable boat to set in all day. Deep, safe and no standing all bunched up on the front deck. Setting in a comfortable chair all day. Been doing this for 28 years, my big fiberglass tiller boat is set up for guiding. A client once told me after all these years you just figured it out along the way.
These summer trips are kind of my forte. Love being with kids young and old. Action is the game. My calendar is pretty full on my availability list but with a couple days notice I can get time off from my other job so give me a call at 217-840-1221 or send me an email from my website at LakeShelbyvilleGuide.com