My white bass rods are soon leaving the boat since the falling water temps. will have my deep whites moving so for me that means concentrate on the crappie for the rest of the year.

As of this writing water temps have fallen from 81 down to below 70 and this will trigger some of the best crappie fishing of the year. We need it to get below 60 then the crappie will move back shallow and the big white crappie on the north end will be vulnerable.

Mid October on through all of November is my favorite time to crappie fish. Trees turning, occasional Eagle sighting, stable water levels and nice sunny days and no jet skis. Finally the lake is ours again.

Gone are the slip bobbers and minnows. All you need is a jig pole to tight line over structure and feel that thump and boy do they hit it hard.

Once the water cools the lakes biggest crappie come out to play. Lake Shelbyville has long been known as a numbers lake where you can catch a hundred crappie a day in the 9-11in. range. In October and November you can still do that but now throw in some 12-14in. and an occasional 15in. These fish weigh anywhere from 1.5 to almost 2lbs.

I set the boat up for myself and two other anglers to comfortably set up on the nose and we then use 10ft. rods to vertically fish down in brush. We are using jigs and plastics so you feel that thump you set the hook and swing them in. No need to reel just lift them out of the brush. They are that shallow.

I use my Deep Ledge Jigs have for years and then put on a Brushpile plastic in some variation of chartreuse or clear if water color allows. I use a stout ten-foot hand made rod and small reel spooled with 8lb. Fireline Crystal or Suffix 832 braid. I like the sensitivity with braid and I can snap most jigs free from the brush.

The ability to hover without movement is one of the most important tools you can master. I have guided now for 28 years and a heavy fiberglass boat is the best way to do this. I have nearly 8000 waypoints on my Garmin depthfinders to bouncing from one spot to another is simple. Cover water that is key you will get a half dozen from each spot then notice the rest are small so we move and try and fish about thirty or more spots a day.

This year I went all out and replaced all my depthfinders with five Garmins all networked to talk to each other with side imaging and Livescope to actually see the fish swimming within the brush and how they react to your bait.

As of this writing I only have three open weekend dates for the rest of the year to get in on this very good crappie fishing. October 9,15,23. I can however get a day off from my regular job with notice. I plan on going back to fulltime guiding in 2023 so be patient next year I will have plenty of openings.

Steve Welch
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