Illini Division Set for Offshore Shootout on Shelbyville - Major League Fishing
Illini Division Set for Offshore Shootout on Shelbyville
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Illini Division Set for Offshore Shootout on Shelbyville

Image for Illini Division Set for Offshore Shootout on Shelbyville
June 7, 2021 • Kyle Wood • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

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.

Tournament Details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Illini Division

Lake Shelbyville

Presented by TINCUP Whiskey

Shelbyville, Ill.

June 19, 2021

Sign up today!

How the Fishery Sets Up

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.

The lake’s 11,000 acres are relatively pristine since the majority of the lake is surrounded by the Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area. Because of that, there isn’t much for docks to be found on the lake, and with no vegetation to speak of the majority of bass structure consists of hard cover – like rocks, laydowns and timber.

The forage base offers almost everything a bass could want. Bluegills, crawfish and shad can be found in good numbers and help keep the largemouths in the lake happy and healthy.

What to Expect

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.”

Baits and Techniques

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.