The most mentioned cover in high finishes on Shelbyville has been wood, as in stumps, laydowns and brushpiles. "This Habitat Factor is about as solid a prediction for a winner as I've ever seen," Ken said. "This is typical of this type of reservoir with standing timber: It makes up the majority of the fish-holding cover, thus it produces the winning fish.
"Kind of like a 'Duh!' moment, but when you find wood along a drop off or ledge [the second-most cited structure], then you have the best of both worlds. My belief is that intersections of edges are key spots for finding bass."
Local stick Terry Brown of Wired2Fish.com fame knows the lake well and added that the All-Stars will find "a lot of unique rock. It's very different than any other body of water in Illinois. There are a lot of points and a lot of rock on the points – almost Table Rock-like rock." Along with many points and the coves to with them are "some big flats," he noted.
Based on the historical data in BassGold, you are 300 percent to 500 percent more likely to win – not finish high, but win – on Shelbyville fishing a jig. A quick surf of recent winning patterns in addition to historically winning patterns shows this to be true.
"That’s a little odd for this season," Ken said. "I wouldn't ignore this trend." He feels that's because the lake must have a healthy crawfish population, confirmed by Terry. Terry says shad and crawfish are the main forage, and feels the tournament will be won by a bait that mimics one of the two.
He also feels that the lake is now in more of an early fall pattern than in a late summer one, and that while fish will be caught shallow and deep, "the majority will be caught running the banks, in my opinion."