Boy am I going to miss May. What an unbelievable month! For several weeks my wife has been asking for a four-day weekend just me and her to get away and unwind. No kids, no work, just some bonding time with my beautiful wife. Of course, I am a lucky guy because when she says she wants a break it usually means I better find a place to catch some fish. We haven’t been to Shelbyville in over a year and I have always had great success there. I just wish it was a little closer to home. After giving it some thought I gave a good friend a call. I talked to Rich Fafara, owner of Gregory’s Resort Motel and Cabins to see if he had any availability. Luckily for me he had one room available and the dates were set. When Leah and I arrived at the resort I was pleasantly surprised. Rich has owned Gregory’s now for 8 or 9 years and has completely remodeled all of the rooms and has a great general store with a selection of tackle and baits that are very popular on the lake. Rich and his family go above and beyond to make sure your stay with them is unforgettable. They treat you like family and have a great little patio set up where they serve breakfast on the weekends. We talked about the fishing on the lake…Rich has a wealth of knowledge on what fish are biting and what people are using to catch those fish. One thing I really enjoy about Gregory’s is its location. It is located less than a minute from Lithia Springs boat ramp which makes it easy to be on the water in just a couple of minutes. The Lithia Spring ramp is protected from the wind so it’s not like some of the other ramps that are on points and you have to deal with the wind while loading and unloading your boat. I was amazed at the hospitality that Rich and his family show to their guests.
We have stayed in many different resorts over the years but as far as one on one service and hospitality, you won’t beat Gregory’s Resort on Lake Shelbyville. Their rates are extremely reasonable and with the bait just a few yards away and a quick trip to a boat ramp, it just doesn’t get any better. So, the next time you’re thinking about taking a trip you may want to consider a nice relaxing weekend on Lake Shelbyville. If I was you I would give Rich a call at Gregory’s Resort Motel and Cabins and book your room today. You can call Rich or his family at 217-774-4313. He does offer a Veteran and Military discount of 5% as well.
After settling in and talking with Rich, it was time to hit the water. It had rained all morning so I wasn’t too excited about hitting the water. On the other hand… my significant other was not happy we were not on the water. So after realizing I wasn’t going to just lay around on a day off of work, we gathered our rain gear and decided to get out there. Luckily, the rain started to slow down to just a sprinkle as our boat hit the water.
We headed to our first cove. When we arrived there, I knew we must be in the right area there was nine boats in one little cove. Since there was no room in there for me and I don’t like fishing right on top of people, we decided to locate some suspended fish. The water temperature was 58 so I thought they would be moving up to the spawning and but that was not the case. I was marking massive amounts of fish in 30 feet of water at 20-25 feet down. Thinking that there was no way they would be biting, we dropped our lines down to 20 feet and boom! Fish on immediately. We continued throughout the rest of the day and we caught our limit of unders within a couple of hours and they were all between 9 1/2 “and 10” fish. Throughout the rest of the day we caught fish pretty much continuously. We would catch an over 10” every 25 fish or so. The amount of 9 to 10” crappie in that lake is amazing! Last year must have been the spawn of a lifetime. You couldn’t keep the 4” crappie off your pole at times. During one of our drifts we had fish on all four polls and as soon as we got them back in they all caught another. It seemed like we caught at least 200 fish that day.
As dark approached, we called it a day with our limit of 10 for the under 10” fish and we had 11 over 10”. As Friday rolled around another round of showers was on its way but now we knew we just had to get out there and we would catch the fish. We decided to troll the deep edges of the trees and continued to catch fish pretty much everywhere we wet a line. Most of our under limit on Friday were 9 3/4 inch fish and we caught 14 more over 10”. Of course, after hearing how my first couple of days were going, my buddy all was getting the itch to get in the truck and head my way. Little did I know… him, and his wife Guy were coming down Friday night so they could fish with us on Saturday. As Saturday rolled around, we all set out to see what damage we could do. By 2pm we already ad our limit of unders and were catching a fair number of overs. By the time the day was over we had our limit of 60 fish. Twenty fish under 10” and amazingly 40 Fish over 10”. Boy did we have some fun cleaning and the whole time I am thinking. Mushrooms and Crappie for dinner again.
We had a perfect Saturday and I wish I could replay that day over and over again. As Sunday came we checked out of the motel and said our good byes to Rich and his family as we headed to the boat ramp for a couple of hours of fishing before we headed home. The whole time we fished we were drifting or trolling. I watched many people sit on the trees and not move. They did catch fish but it was taking 15 to 30 minutes to get bites. I thought for sure as people were watching us just rip lips for the two days that people would finally join us. Well Sunday that finally happened. Instead of us being the only one fishing the deeper water the spider rigging boats were there in full force. It seemed everyone that were on the trees the day before, were circling around our boat to figure out what we were doing. Funny thing is everyone was using minnow rigs and I didn’t use a minnow after the first day. Nothing but jigs. We ended with over 40 fish in a few hours on Sunday before we all decided it was time for us to hit the road back to reality.
Another thing I would recommend if you’re not familiar with Lake Shelbyville and your coming to fish… you should give Matt England a call at England Expeditions 217-520-3653. He knows this lake as good if not better than anyone. He spends hundreds of days per year on Lake Shelbyville and he knows where the big crappie are and how to catch them. Not only is he a great crappie guide he really gets into the Walleye and Sauger on Lake Shelbyville as well. Lake Shelbyville is one of the better lakes we have in Illinois for crappie, sauger and walleye. I would recommend giving Matt a call to book a trip. Then I would call Rich at Gregory’s Resort to get a room. With this combination your guaranteed to have a fun and relaxing trip.
Until next month. May your sunrises and sunsets be magical!