Even though Illinois' Lake Shelbyville is a heavily fished tournament lake, it hasn't had a tour-level event on it maybe ever. That means most folks, aside from local and some regional anglers, don't know much about it. Here's what the BassGold.com web-based patterning tool tells us about the lake in advance of Thursday's kickoff of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week.
First of all, it's what BassGold calls a "lowland reservoir." That is one key piece of information because BassGold's data has proven that waters of the same type Ė even many states apart Ė fish very similarly. So even if that's all you had to go on, you could make some conclusions
about how to fish it this time of year.
A BassGold Pattern Report for summer and early fall shows on the Macro Factors (generally where on a lake) bar graph a roughly even split between "shoreline" and "main lake offshore structure." But when you surf the winning and placing (2nd through 5th) pattern details in BassGold, you see that deeper patterns have been winning more of late. Either way, it looks like whatever the All-Stars' style, they can find fish with it on this lake.
When it comes to Habitat Factors, on Shelbyville you usually want wood, as in stumps, laydowns and brushpiles. Dropoffs and ledges are the second-most cited structure, so it's likely that if you find both together, it's gold.
For baits, a look at the historical data in BassGold indicates that you are 300 percent to 500 percent more likely to win on Shelbyville fishing a jig, even deep. This is true recently as well as historically. But bait choices are made with an eye to current conditions, and if the lake
is in a solid fall pattern, shad-mimicking baits might be the deal.
For more information on BassGold, head on over to BassGold.com.