Well this has been an interesting couple of months. I’m not sure any of us have experienced anything like this. The decisions that had to be made around Covid were not easy choices for anyone. I never dreamed going into 2020 that I would have to make a decision about whether to print the month of May or not. After so much thought, many prayers and discussions, I determined the best thing for ASO Advertisers, ASO drivers and ASO Magazine itself. It was an agonizing decision but once made, I realized it was the right decision. Many businesses are struggling to come to grasp with what is happening right now. I know myself I don’t understand how some businesses are allowed to continue to thrive and others are just out of luck until they are told they can open. Pretty tough on many small businesses to just close the door. The expenses are still there. They have employees who are like family and you want to make sure they are taken care of. So many hard decisions have been made over the last few months and I hope all of you will support our advertisers and all local businesses. They need you now more than ever before. It is time for us as a country to take care of ourselves and not other countries. So please the next time you need to make a purchase take the time to support your local businesses and help them get through this unique time in our history. Now let’s get back to what we all prefer to talk about… the great outdoors.
Realizing I was going to have more time than I have had since I was 15 years old, I went to work. After the first week my yard looked amazing, the flower beds are groomed and ready for some fresh color, the garden has been tilled too many times, gutters cleaned, my house is very clean, hell even the windows are clean and now I have to figure out how to keep myself busy. The next few weeks just seem to drag on. I try to find things to stay busy but let’s face it if you are stuck at home and are ordered to be there, you are even more antsy than normal. Finally, I came to point where I needed some outside activities away from home. I knew a couple of my friends have been cooped up as well and I decided to see if one of them would like to go fishing on the river for some fresh catfish for the fryer. Of course, as soon as I called Brandon, he was like “oh yea I need out of the house”. So, we decided to head out on a Thursday. The temperature was supposed to be in the 60’s and we really didn’t think we were going to knock the catfish dead in mid-April. Brandon got me hooked on Sony’s Sticky Catfish Bait, but I have never used it this time of year. Brandon is more of a cat-fisherman than myself, so I trusted his instinct and off we went with our stink bait. It took us awhile to find them, but we ended up with a total of 17 catfish which I thought was really good for the time of year we were fishing. Of course, after we were done fishing, we looked at each other and said “it’s supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow you want to go again?” Well what else was I going to do? We headed back out on Friday and for the first several hours we only caught one. We decided to move again and try some deeper water. Well in the next three hours we pulled 26 catfish over the rail. It was some of the best catfishing action I have had ever let alone in April. It sure was nice to spend some days on the water to help clear my mind and stop thinking about the magazine for a moment.
A couple of more weeks have passed, and my wife was begging to go fishing. We had planned a trip to Lake Shelbyville at the end of April but wasn’t sure if that was something we could actually do. After a little research and a call to Rich at Gregory’s Resort and we are set for a four day weekend in Shelbyville. Of course, once my friends got ahold of this they wanted to go as well. So, after getting the rooms coordinated we were set to go. A week before the trip the weather was looking like it was going to be 65 – 70 degrees and sunny. I thought to myself for once we might actually hit the spawn. I really prefer to catch them before and after the spawn but hey as long as we are catching fish it really doesn’t matter. As the week turned into days we saw the weather changing and definitely not for the better. It looked like Thursday would be nice when we arrived, and Friday wasn’t looking bad but Saturday they were calling for all day rain and Sunday morning showers. Oh well, we were set to go and you could have changed my mind but definitely not Leah’s.
We arrived on Thursday morning and got situated and were on the water around 11am. It was windy so we decided not to go to one of our honey holes because it was fairly windy on the big water. We saw fish in the sonar as soon as the boat hit the water. We made it to the first cove, and they were stacked at 12 to 14 feet deep in 20+ feet of water. I thought to myself this is going to be a good day. We started fishing and started catching some fish at first we were catching some nice 9 ½ – 10” crappie and we had our five unders a piece in no time. The overs were a little more hard to come by but after four or five hours on the water we had eight nice overs and our ten unders so it was time to head back in to clean some fish, eat some brats and get cleaned up. Friday morning arrived and we decided we were going to our old honey hole. Of course, it’s no secret where we go because there are always plenty of boats. We set up our spider rig system and put our two pole a piece out and away we went. Our normal spot wasn’t producing, so we headed across the cove and soon ran into the fish we were looking for. We spent the next five or so hours trolling around catching fish after fish. At the clock hit 2:30pm our limit was in the live well and time to clean some fish. It was nice sitting around outside talking with my friends. It has been weird not seeing some of my friends on a weekly basis, so it was nice to feel like things were semi normal again. As the night came, we looked at the forecast and let me tell you it had rain all day. Sometimes it wasn’t going to be as heavy, but it was going to be a cold rain. I think if I had my choice we would have stayed in bed and not hit the water but I have my little fishing devil with me on this trip and if we are planning to go fishing it doesn’t matter the conditions. Sounds crazy but Leah takes her fishing a little serious. I wanted to take her picture a few times with a nice crappie but in not surprising fashion I received a HELL NO! Oh well she was there but I guess her hair wasn’t in good enough shape for the magazine or some other wifely excuse. Anyway, we set out to go fishing around 8am that morning and it was raining and I don’t think it stopped until about 8am on Sunday. We dealt with the conditions and we caught fish. Not like we normally would be heck it was hard to see a bite the way the rain was hitting the poles. We scratched out our ten unders and did end up with 14 overs, but we worked for them and earned it for sure. We did fish and catch a few Sunday morning but by the time noon hit we were all tired and ready to head for home. It was a great four days spent with my wife in the boat and I am so lucky to have a woman in my life that supports my passions and will indulge with me (and is super competitive) in these adventures.
If your looking for a great trip at a reasonable price you should consider Lake Shelbyville. For many years we have stayed at Gregory’s Resort Motel & Cabins. Rich is the owner and such a great guy. He always wants you to have a memorable experience and has always been great to me, my family, and friends. You can reach Rich at 217-774-4313 or check them out on Facebook or their website www.gregorysresortmotel.com.
Another great place to stay at Lake Shelbyville is Lithia Resort. I had the privilege of meeting Cindy at Lithia Resort for a tour of her cabins. I was amazed at the number of accommodations she had and how great of facilities were. There are cabins for any number of people. She can accommodate one person to very large groups. She was so friendly and accommodating and we look forward to staying with her later this summer. You can reach Cindy at Lithia Resort at 217-774-2882 or check them out on the web at www.lithiaresort.com.
I know everyone is getting the itch so give Gregory’s or Lithia Resort a call and book your trip today. The fishing is never bad on Lake Shelbyville.
May your sunrises and sunsets be magical!