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Post Posted: 04:44pm - Dec 21,10 
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Fellow Rippers,

The St.Louis District Corp. of Engineers have started the draw down for Lake Shelbyville. Winter pool is typically 594.00. The current lake level is 598.4 and as a result, they are releasing 1740 cfs. Historically, if the draw down last long enough (assuming that they don't let it rip and drain the tub), the water runs long and hard enough to pull up a good population of Saugeyes and a few walleyes that will take advantage of the thousands of shad that will come through the chutes.

Best baits during this time of years are large twistertails (6 inch) in white or chartreuse, streamer flies in flourescent colors, or standard three inch twistertails for a decent day time bite. Jig weights are in direct proportion to flow so choose the weight that allows you to gently lift and drop your presentation as it moves downriver. If a walleye or saugeye pick it up, you'll know. The fishing can be pretty decent during this time but when they hit 594.00, pack it in until spring!

Do us a favor. The walleye population has taken a pretty hard hit in the last 5-6 years. Hard enough that the dominant fish being caught now are saugers and saugeyes. I know that it hard to throw back 8-10lb fish, but in a thin fishery, we have to do it more often. If you should by chance catch or foul hook one of the big girls, take a picture and drop her back in. :thanks

Other than that, it's close enough to Chicago (3.5 hours) to make it worth a quickie on weekends. You may get lucky and find that the crappies moved in and if they do, they can reach 14-18 inches...9-10 inch on average (no limit). I don't catch them that big that often but I've seen some real beauts this year.

Be safe and Happy Holidays!

  

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Post Posted: 05:01pm - Dec 21,10 
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When are they planning on letting it open ?

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Post Posted: 01:02pm - Dec 22,10 
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It started December 15, 2010. You can always check the discharge rate through the following site:

http://mvs-wc.mvs.usace.army.mil/dresriv.html

The rule of thumb is easy for deciding: "If it's flowing, I'm going".

Optimal current floes are between 880 cfs to 2000 cfs. Beyond 2000 cfs, bring lots of jigs.

  

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 01:46pm - Dec 22,10 
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N2daNight- have you ran into any muskies while targeting saugers n 'eyes so far this year? Didn't know if the '08-'09 spillway fish kill has been overcome. Thanks for any input on the 'skis.

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Post Posted: 10:35pm - Dec 22,10 
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There was actuall a virus of some sort that went through in 2007/2008 had a devastating impact on the muskie population. We would see several muskies skimming the water with their heads up. At first we thought nothing of it, but later in the summer, they started to show up on the shores and downriver. Those that were clinging to life had gills with white spots and it seemed like hey suffocated. Recovery has been slow. We didn't see any muskie displaying the symptoms in '09/'10 so that's been encouraging. Prior to the virus, there were several nights of walleye fishing that would yield 10-12 muskies in the 40 -44 inch within our group of guys. Hopefully, the great catches will return. I did not fish the spillway that much this year (Lake Erie fever) but I can honestly say that I didn't see a lot of muskies caught in 2010 but I know that they are there...I've seen them. I would venture to say that optimal fishing for the species won't rebound for a couple years.

I hope to get down there in the first or second week of January. If I run into some ski's, I'll post to the site.

  

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Post Posted: 11:02pm - Dec 22,10 
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Thanks for that, N2danight.

Yes, I had many a day-night like that with multiple muskie days from 05-09. I went to undergrad at Champaign and would jet down to the spillway to target muskies often. '09 was a tough year for skis both in the lake and spillway. I'm with you in that I hope it returns to what it was.

Keep me and everyone posted and best of luck in early Jan. I'll be looking out for your report.

Kevin

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Post Posted: 01:14pm - Dec 23,10 
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10-4. I will report results. Here are just a few Shelbyville and Erie highlights on the year:

Image

Image

Image

Image

All my buddies spanked me this year with 8-10 lb walleyes caught out of my boats while fishing Shelbyville and Lake Erie. Jay had the best on Da Ville weighing in at 8lb 4oz. I should start charging a guide fee!

  

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Post Posted: 04:43pm - Dec 26,10 
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great info.
Thanks for posting.

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Post Posted: 08:42pm - Feb 13,11 
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Headed down to Shelbyville next weekend. Will attempt to catch a few crappie and walleye. The discharge rate is really low so this will be a tough trip but it'll be a good time with my buddies. Will report results upon return...

  

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Chitown-Angler

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Post Posted: 11:20am - Feb 14,11 
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Please post a report! Could be slow or could be red hot!

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Post Posted: 11:46am - Feb 23,11 
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Image
Image

I'm still a rookie at this posting thing but here's the results on the trip. Hopefully, the images will show as well (we'll see). Several fishermen, good water flow with precious few fish. I saw three muskies caught by walleye fishermen and next to zero walleyes caught by walleye fishermen! The discharge is pushing thousands of stunned three inch shads so I'm assuming that the fish are gorgin themselves right now. All fish were caught on shad imitations in the same size and slowly drifted across the bottom. There were no small fish caught. if you were lucky to catch anything, it was big. I didn't catch a thing but some good ole fashioned sunshine! 8)~ It felt good though.

Overall, I would say that it's too soon for the season to officially kick off with good fishing but it was still great reconnecting with old friends.

Will report during the next trip.

N2DaNight

  

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Post Posted: 08:20pm - Feb 27,11 
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That's a nice looking 'ski! You put a measuring tape to her?

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Post Posted: 04:19pm - Mar 7,11 
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Thanks to Marc for getting me back online. :thanks

No. The muskie in the last photo was not measured. During extremely cold temperatures, we shoot for an immediate release. My guess was that it was a solid 41-42 incher...clean fish. No scars or any indications that he came through the turbines.

Right now, the discharge rate in the spillway is roaring! More than 38,000 gallons per second are flowing through right now. Typically, it pushes most of the fish to the ledges which makes it tough to present to them. During this time, you go through a lot of jigs but the upside is you get into some nice fish. During this time of year, it's a fairly good daytime bite. The strong currents will eventually pull up a good population of saugeyes that will average between 2-4 lbs. They'll hang around for about three to four weeks before the fishermen thin the herd.

I'm headed down again this weekend to fish the pre-spawn crappies in the lake. The rising lake level will create fantastic fishing in the north end especially in the shallow bays and northern banks. The 2011 season is officially upon us.

I will post a report upon my return. Hopefully I can tie into some quality fish this second time around.

N2DaNight

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Post Posted: 12:06pm - Mar 15,11 
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Went down for three days of fishing. Due to the high inflows, the lake was pretty muddy on the north end and stained even in Lithia Springs as well. Die-hards willing to put in some long hours could scratch a few crappies but for me, the squeeze wasn't worth the juice. We caught a few small crappies (7- 10 inches) so we didn't keep any on this trip. The cleanest water was around Point 3 where we found fishing 10-12 foot down over 22 feet of water.

The spillway was flowing at 4,500 cfs which made fishing tough. The fish just weren't biting. A few big females were caught and one gentelmen released his 8 pounder but fishing was incredibly slow. The amount of shad in the water right now is incredible and the only way that a walleye would bite an artificial is if you hit him right on the nose with it. Water temperature in the spillway was 39 - 40 degrees which put the females in pre-spawn negative mode. They're close to spawning so I expect the males to come in the next week or so and then you can expect fishing to pick up at that point.

Fellowship was certainly the order of the day. Good friends, good food, and good conversation is always add up to a good trip.

Till the next trip,

Peace....

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Post Posted: 03:58pm - Mar 15,11 
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talked to the dnr sat they will continue to drop the lake trying to get it back to winter pool they are not ready for the spring rains yet expect a lot of water to come out as of sat they were at summer pool

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