Welcome to Tight Lines Guide Service.  We are a year-round crappie fishing guide service on Lake Shelbyville and Clinton Lake.  We will provide everything you need to enjoy a day of crappie fishing. All you need to bring is a valid Illinois fishing license, appropriate clothing for the weather we are expecting that day i.e. rain gear, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and whatever food you would like for the day.  We will provide a cooler with ice and water for the day.

Lake Shelbyville is located across both Shelby and Moultrie counties in central Illinois.  It is an 11,000 acre Army Corps of Engineers flood control reservoir.  Clinton Lake is located in DeWitt county approximately 10 miles east of Clinton IL.  Clinton is a power plant lake and is used as a cooling water source for Clinton Power Station which makes the water warmer and can be an oasis in the middle of winter when all the other lakes are frozen solid.  Both lakes offer excellent crappie populations.

“My fishing memories are many. But treasured most of all are those fishing trips when all appeared hopeless, and then crappie came to the rescue.” – Dan Gapen


Fishing Report

May 14, 2022

Lake Shelbyville Crappie Fishing Guide

Wow!  The Lake Shelbyville crappie bite continues to be very good.  What a quick change in weather we have had over the past week in the area.  We had been corking a jig or minnow about a foot and a half to 2 feet deep along the banks on Lake Shelbyville, but with the heat wave we experienced the past week the water temps made a big jump.  The shallow fish we were targeting slowed down so we switched gears and started targeting depths in the 10-15 foot range.  There are plenty of fish out there suspended willing to bite so for now I will be trolling for fish in the 10-15 foot range with jigs tipped with minnows.

Now is the time I like to troll a jig with either a curly tail or paddle tail.  With warmer water I like a jig with some action to it as opposed to colder water I like jigs with a straight tail.  I really like the Bobby Garland Stroll’R tipped with a minnow for trolling when the water climbs into the 70’s.  Colors we have been having luck on are black/chartreuse, junebug, and white/chartreuse.  Pretty soon I will switch over to trolling crankbaits or casting small marabou jigs to catch fish and this can be a lot of fun!

Clinton Lake crappie have been biting good.  Try targeting fish about 10 feet deep on structure with minnows on a slip bobber.  Any structure you can find in this depth will be holding fish.   Hit up Ol’ Joe’s on Rt 54 for minnows on your way to the lake and you’ll have a great time catching some fish.

Casting a jig on a weedless jig head to these fish will also produce fish.  I try to stay back off of the fish at least 20 feet because they will spook easy right now with the current water conditions.  Our most productive colors have been monkey milk on a pink head or white/chartreuse on a plain lead head.

Summer and post spawn can be a great time to get out on the water and catch some crappie.  Warm weather, sunshine, and summer breezes make for very enjoyable days on the water.  Just as many fish can be caught in June and July as April and May if you know what strategies work.  So if you want to get out and catch some crappies give me a call, text or message and book your trip!

Dan Lange

Tight Lines Guide Service


[email protected]









These rates are for a private charter for up to two people, add an additional $100 for a third person.
All children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

$400 for 8 hours

$300 for 6 hours

$250 for 4 hours

phone: 217.475.1499

email: [email protected]

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