Flats, Drop-Offs and the River Channel
Lake Shelbyville has some of the best fishing of the season right ahead of us for crappie and walleye!!! The crappie spawn this year was amazing and is in the tail end of it right now. The crappie that have spawned are now out in the open water and holding on timbers. The walleye have started just recently and they are very active and catchable. Multi-species days of walleye and crappie are very common at this time.
Lake Shelbyville has miles of flats; both crappie and walleye transition in and out of them chasing bait fish. Focusing on walleye first, they can be found in the 4–10-foot water columns and when you find them, they are going to be active. Dragging a leadhead jig tipped with a piece of a nightcrawler is one of the best bait options. Another great option is using a minnow and I use a floating head to keep my minnow off the bottom. Speed of the baits can and will vary so be sure to use different speeds on your retrieval or trolling speed. Areas near a drop-off or the river channel are places where walleye transition from the shallow to deeper waters. Walleye can and will stay in areas for a while but always be mindful that they could have moved on to another area. Locating baitfish is always beneficial because the first and only shad hatch is now roaming around the lake trying to avoid predators. Two of the major predators in Lake Shelbyville are the walleye and sauger. With 250,000 annually released fish, this really has the population trending upwards making Lake Shelbyville a true walleye and sauger destination. Regardless of what technique or bait option you decide to use when fishing for walleye, always be sure to keep that net READY!!!!!
The crappie spawn is coming to a close and the time to begin fishing the open water and standing timbers is here! Post spawn crappie will be feeding very aggressively and searching for the first hatch of baitfish either in the open or around standing timber. Crappie can and will be caught with multiple techniques and baits. Trolling for crappie is a great way to cover water and find some of the LARGEST schools of the year. In-line spinners tipped with a minnow is the perfect bait option while trolling because you can keep your bait just above the water column the fish are holding in. Be ready because when you troll through those large schools many times multiple rods can and will have a fish on them at the same time making this very exciting for everyone!!! Once you have located the fish you can also cast jigs into the schools for success. Typically, in waters deeper than 25-45 feet deep you can double rig your casting jigs and have a decent chance to catch two at a time. Charlie Brewer Sliders and TopHat Jigs Guppy Gobblers are two great plastic options for casting into those open water schools. The crappie holding on standing timbers will also be found in massive numbers. Baits for fishing timber crappie are going to be hair jigs and the Beetlejuice, Baby Slab and Spooky Hoggie Baits are three of my favorites. Live bait, such as minnows, are another great bait option when fishing timber because that is what the crappie are actually hunting for. Vertical jigging and slip-corking are two techniques to use to help catch some nice crappie.
Due to the fact the crappie and walleye are feeding on the same food source it is very possible to catch both species on the same trip. Regardless of the species you are fishing for primarily it would be worth trying for the other species for a while and see what you can produce.
To book a trip please call 217-520-3653 or visit www.englandexpeditions.com
CATCHING MEMORIES ONE FISH AT A TIME