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SHELBYVILLE, LAKE

SHELBYVILLE, LAKE FISHING GUIDE


Lake Information

County: Shelby

Acreage: 11100

Average Depth: 18.9 feet

Shoreline Length: 120 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes



Wilborn Creek Coal Shaft Bridge Whitley Creek Eagle Creek Wolf Creek Lone Point Coon Creek Oppossum Creek Lithia Springs Shelbyville Dam


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Coal Shaft Bridge, Coon Creek, Eagle Creek,
    Kaskaskia River Access, Lithia Springs, Lone Point,
    Oppossum Creek, Shelbyville Dam, Whitley Creek,
    Wilborn Creek, Wolf Creek

Click on map for expanded view

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Very Good

Abundance has been decreasing slightly. Fish up to 11-12 inches can be found with the occasional larger fish.

BLUEGILL

Fair

Fishing is fair. Few fish exceed 7 inches.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

Are fairly abundant with 8+ pound fish present. Catfish spawning boxes will soon be placed in the lake in the hopes it will improve natural recruitment.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Fair

Are low in abundance, but large fish are present.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Average

Population is relatively stable. The 2022 year-class appears to have been a bit weaker than average, however 2020, 2021, and 2023 were all at or above average. The lack of aquatic vegetation and continued loss of coarse woody debris continues to be the biggest hinderance to the population. We are frequently asked about stocking of bass. Research has shown that stocked largemouth bass contribute very little to an established population, especially in a reservoir this large.

MUSKELLUNGE

Developing

Recent efforts have begun to successfully restore the muskie population in Lake Shelbyville. The 2022 and 2023 year-classes are particularly strong, with muskie over 30 inches expected to be moderately abundant in 2024. A decent fishery still exists below the spillway, with an abundance of 25–40-inch muskie.

SAUGER

Very Good

Annual stocking began in 2020 (only periodic stocking before that) and the population is doing well with most fish in the 12-16 inch range.

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Poor

Abundance is low as we attempt to develop a population through stocking. Brood stock are collected from the Kaskaskia River, transported to Jake Wolf Hatchery where they spawn, and fry are then reared on-site at the Fin-and-Feather rearing pond. The occasional fish is reported caught by anglers. No evidence of natural recruitment has been observed. Catch and release is encouraged.

STRIPED BASS

Developing

In moderate abundance thanks to annual stockings. Walleye up to 8 lbs. have been collected, as well as good numbers of intermediate sized fish.

WALLEYE

Very Good

In moderate abundance thanks to annual stockings. Walleye up to 8 lbs. have been collected, as well as good numbers of intermediate sized fish.

WHITE BASS

Excellent

Numbers have recovered rapidly over the last several years after a die-off in the mid 2010’s. White bass are abundant with 12-15 inch fish common.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Excellent

Recruitment and growth rates have been great over the last 5+ years. Catch rates and length distributions are in the ideal range. Anglers can expect to find White Crappie up to 13 inches, with the occasional larger fish.

Location: Lake Shelbyville is located in Shelby and Moultrie Counties in east-central Illinois, with the dam situated on the Kaskaskia River, east of the City of Shelbyville, Illinois.

Description: This lake has a surface area of 11,100 acres, with a maximum depth of 65 feet, and an average depth of 18 feet. Numerous public boat launching facilities are available, with a fee assessed on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed access area boat ramps, and free access on state park or Corps gravel boat ramps. All tournaments must be scheduled through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (217-774-3951).

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Lake Shelbyville is surveyed annually. Lake Shelbyville is home to at least 32 species of fish. In addition to the lake, a popular fishery exists in the Kaskaskia River just below the spillway and in the West Okaw and Kaskaskia Rivers upstream of the lake. The USACE and IDNR manage two nursery ponds, 6.5 and 0.7 acres, which are currently used to raise walleye, sauger, and smallmouth bass to stock into the lake.

Additional Lake Information: See the Illinois Fishing Information guide for a complete list of regulations for Lake Shelbyville and other USACE and IDNR project ponds and lakes. Regulation signs are posted at all boat ramps and major access points. All fishing tournaments on USACE ramps require a permit from the USACE office.

Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance: The Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance (LSFHA) was formed in 2017 in an effort to improve habitat in the lake. To date, the LSFHA, USACE, and IDNR have placed over 2,000 artificial structures in the lake, as well as over 350 tons of offshore rock pile habitat. To keep up to date with habitat builds and other volunteer opportunities, follow the LSFHA at https://www.facebook.com/fishlakeshelbyville/

Artificial Habitat Maps can be found at:
https://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lake-Shelbyville/Recreation/Fish-Attractor-Maps/

Contact Information:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
217-774-3951
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Jim Garavaglia
217-345-2420

There were 69 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 38
Crappie 438
Largemouth Bass 2903

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1     6.75 lbs
2     6.41 lbs
3     6.12 lbs
4     6.11 lbs
5     5.97 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1 842.50 lbs
2 501.94 lbs
3 422.90 lbs
4 386.80 lbs
5 286.98 lbs


Multiple day tournaments are listed with *end date and

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2020-2021 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
April-0625886ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
25Crappie
Yes
April-2026074ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-2125898ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-2726106ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
100Crappie
No
April-2825338ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-0126275ApprovedEagle Creek State Park boat
hook
120Crappie
No
May-0226310ApprovedEagle Creek State Park boat
hook
24Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
May-0425090ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-0426743ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
25Crappie
No
May-0525092ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-0525211ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
No
May-1125167ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
May-1125639ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
15Crappie
No
May-1825330ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
110Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-1825719ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Crappie
Yes
May-18
*May-19
26086ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
May-1925077ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
80Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-1925901ApprovedOpossum Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-1926166ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
20Crappie
Yes
June-0126109ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
June-0225902ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-0825217ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-08
*June-09
25373ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
June-0925360ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-0926016ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
No
June-1526154ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
June-2325122ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-29
*June-30
26200ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
18Largemouth Bass
No
July-0625176ApprovedEagle Creek State Park boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
No
July-1425903ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-2125174ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-2725206ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
July-2725520ApprovedOpossum Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
July-2825178ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-0325351ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
110Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-0425207ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-0426017ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
No
August-1025222ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
August-1025597ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
August-1125904ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-1825249ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
80Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-2425227ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
August-2425521ApprovedOpossum Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
September-0125233ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-1426283ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
No
September-1525421ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-21
*September-22
25434ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
September-2225244ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
45Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-2825596ApprovedOpossum Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
September-2826741ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
75Crappie
Yes
September-2925087ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
150Largemouth Bass
No
September-2925905ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-2926161ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
15Crappie
No
October-0425796ApprovedDam West Rec. Area boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
October-0525720ApprovedWhitley Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
20Crappie
Yes
October-12
*October-13
26259ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
No
October-26
*October-27
26019ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
No