Lake Shelbyville 4/14-4/17 2016 Report
Fished Lake Shelbyville for bass April 14th – 17th.Weather was windy Thursday and Friday but settled some Saturday and Sunday, clear and sunny with mild temperatures.Water temps were mid-fifties on Thursday and warmed some all weekend to the low sixties on Sunday.Water level looked awfully low; 12 feet of exposed banks up to what appeared to be the normal pool.
Launched out of Bo Woods rec. area on Thursday about 12:30 pm and found the lake muddy until you got down to North of Findlay Marina. Fished the two bays west of the Wood’s launch throwing typical early spring baits; lipless crankbait, spinner bait, rage blade, jig and texas rigged lizard.Started with the main lake points and moved back into the bays.Saw some scattered shad on the surface but didn’t get a sniff for the first three hours in those bays.Also fished east of the ramp some along the windblown shoreline but still nothing.Around 4:30 my Brother-in-Law (BIL) showed up and we decided to run down the lake to find clearer water.We went to the back of Wolf Creek to see if they were shallow and worked our way all the way out to the mouth of the bay without a bite.About 6 pm, when we got almost to the no-wake buoys on the south shore, we noticed a lot of shad on the depth finder in an area with submerged stumps in 9-13 feet of water.We doubled back and decided to give this area a little more attention.I changed my lipless crankbait from a Redeye Shad Green Tomato to a chrome sexy shad and got a fish on the first or second cast.It was a nice chunky fish, and may have been a keeper, but we didn’t bump it.We worked back and forth along this area and I caught three fish in 15 minutes all on the redeye shad, so my BIL decided to tie on a lipless crankbait as well; he had a blue & chrome.After just a few casts he boated a 4 lb. 1 oz. bass and we were up to four fish in short order.The bite slowed down, but we caught another short fish each before it got so late we had to leave.
We stayed at Gateway Inn in Sullivan; not a bad place for fisherman. No frills or breakfast with your room, but they have plenty of outdoor outlets and have fridges and microwaves in the room.It was conveniently located across the street from the Red Apple restaurant and we ate breakfast there every day.Also had one dinner meal; the food was always good.
We decided to launch out of Eagle Creek Boat Access on Friday. Fished from about 8:30 am until 7 pm.We went straight to Wolf Creek (smaller creek on North side of Wolf Creek St. Park) to see if the fish we found were still there.Well, they were not.Beat the bank around the area that was hot the night before, tried across the bay and scanned the middle of the bay, but didn’t see the shad like the evening before.Decided to motor down to Eagle Creek and try the main lake points.Fished into and then out of Eagle Creek, and on down the windy west shore down to Eagle Nest Cove, or there-abouts.We tried deep diving cranks, shallow cranks, lipless cranks, football jigs, texas rigged lizards and worms, spinner baits in white and white/chartreuse, and shaky heads. Went all the way back in a couple of the smaller bays with flooded timber, but got nothing.Went way up in the back of the big creek on the south side of Wolf Creek St. Park and fished some flooded timber areas but got nothing.Decided to hit the one spot we’d had luck to see if the fish were moving in out of that spot and caught nothing there.Headed back north to the creek just south of Findlay Marina.Fished it about half way back and caught a white bass on the lipless crank. Was getting late so decided to try our spot one more time to see if it was an evening location.We caught one small bass and a 12” crappie on lipless crankbaits.Toughest day of the weekend for us and only three fish; only one of which was a largemouth.
Launched out of Eagle Creek again Saturday. Launched about the same time, 8:30 am as we figured to fish until late in the day again.Went straight across from the ramp and tried main lake points and some rip-rap there; no bites.BIL wanted to try further north so we went up to Finlay Marina and fished that bay’s south shoreline starting just past the last boat docks.Managed a couple of bass right in the 14” range on the way to the back of the bay; got them on the lipless crankbait; chrome sexy shad.Idled back out about half way and started working the north shoreline on the way out and caught several more on the lipless and a texas rigged purple worm and a bonus white bass.Also hooked a screamer (fish ran fast and stripped some drag) but it came unbuttoned before we saw what it was; pretty sure it was a big fish.Then went north of the railroad bridge and started fishing the east side rip rap.Followed that shoreline and the BIL caught a nice keeper on the purple worm around the flooded timber.Worked on into the first small bay and fished it all the way back until the trolling motor was stirring up mud. Had a couple of taps coming back out of the bay, but no hook-ups.Headed back south and went back to Eagle Creek to fish further into that bay.Caught a several fish along the east shoreline, tried a bit in one of the small bays with flooded timber, but nothing there.Made one more trip to our spot and caught a couple of bass there before calling it a day.All in all we caught more numbers on Saturday than any of the others.Mostly the purple worm and lipless crankbait.
Sunday we fished from about 7:30 until noon. Launched out of Lithia and went right across from the ramp to start.BIL caught a decent keeper within 15 minutes of launching and followed up with another one or two.He had changed to a chrome gold lipless crankbait and it seemed to make a difference.We moved further back into the bay and tried the next point.Doubled back to the spot we already caught some fish and picked up one more.We decided to go throw crankbaits at the rip rap along the dam.No luck there.Back to Lithia and fished the flooded timber for a while, but nothing there.We had to hit the road, so we called it quits, loaded up the boat and headed home.
Generally a tough weekend. I thought with the stable weather patterns that the fish were going to turn on any time during our trip, but it didn’t happen for us.Water temps may have still been a little cold, but who knows for sure.We had fun, didn’t break any equipment and only lost a few lures; a good trip overall.
J.R. (No longer) in Plainfield
Catch and Release (except for the occasional crappie or walleye fish fry)