The second stop of the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Illini Division heads to Lake Shelbyville on June 19. A staple of the Illini Division, Shelbyville should provide some solid offshore action as warm weather for the last few weeks has the majority of postspawn bass setting up shop in their summer haunts.
Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Illini Division
Presented by TINCUP Whiskey
June 19, 2021
Formed back in 1970 by the damming of the Kaskaskia and West Okaw rivers, Shelbyville is one of the more popular bass fisheries in Illinois.
Jeremy Mull, who is a two-time Angler of the Year in the Illini Division and three-time winner on Shelbyville, believes this tournament should be a pretty good one.
“I think it’s going to be a typical postspawn, offshore tournament,” says Mull. “There will probably be some fry guarders up shallow, and there could be some fish still spawning. The lake always seems to be a little behind compared to others in the area and I’ve seen fish spawn well into June in years past.
“Right now, the lake is about 3 feet high, and there’s more rain on the way I think and that could change things,” he adds. “But I still feel like the top guys will be catching them offshore.”
With hard cover being the main deal for bass in the lake, Mull says wood and rock will be keys to success.
“There’s just a lot of natural cover in the lake. It’s mostly stumps and river channel rock offshore that the fish group up on. I think it’ll take 15 to 16 pounds to win, but if you get lucky with some big bites you could easily have 18 or 19.”
If you’ve followed any tournaments on Shelbyville, then you know a jig is hard to beat. Mull says that this tournament should keep that tradition going.
“A jig and worm are hard to beat,” he says. “Shelbyville isn’t much of a cranking lake because there’s so much brush offshore. That’s why a jig and a worm work so well.”
If a shallow bite does fire, a buzzbait, spinnerbait or floating worm could factor in.