Lake Shelbyville Links






2022 Coming Soon.

Lake Shelbyville offers a multitude of fishing opportunities. Popular game species include catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, muskie, walleye, white bass, and bluegill. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the local Illinois Department of Natural Resources District Fisheries biologist stock walleye or sauger on a yearly basis and manage 16 farm ponds to maintain sizeable populations. The ponds range in size from less than an acre to 27 acres and most are easily accessible by foot.

Special Fishing Opportunities:

  • Opossum Pond, East Spillway Recreation Area, & Woods Lake*— Specially designed ADA fishing piers provide a unique opportunity for people with disabilities to fish from the banks. *Coming soon
  • ANNUAL LAKE SHELBYVILLE KIDS FISHING TOURNAMENT— Takes place in June and is for kids 12 & under! Check out our Facebook Page for the date!
  • Did you know?! IDNR offers FREE Fishing Days for the State of IL— no fishing license is required father's day weekend in June!

Fishing Tournaments

Permits are required to conduct fishing tournaments on Lake Shelbyville. These permits are issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. To apply for the Corps permit or get further information please contact us at 217 774 3951 X 3 or e-mail at

To view lake information and a list of fishing tournaments, visit:


Crappie Fishing Regualtions

A regulation was approved on Lake Shelbyville for crappie and took effect on April 1, 2008. This regulation is a little different than what anglers are used to seeing in other mid-western states. The new regulation allows for the continued harvest of 10 crappie that are 10 inches or larger but also allows the harvest of 5 crappie less than 10 inches. The goal of this regulation is to thin the number of crappie under 10 inches slightly, giving the remainder the slight nudge necessary to improve growth and recruitment to 10 inches and larger.

Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance



Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance


A joint venture between Chip's Marine, Springfield Crappie Club, Central Illinois Crappie Club, JP Construction, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the US Army Corps of Engineers resulted in new fish structure being added to Lake Shelbyville.  Chip Christenson owner of Chip's Marine located 5 miles south of Sullivan, IL approached Natural Resource Specialist Lee Mitchell with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville in late August about giving back to the resource through the establishment of permanent fish structure.  Intrigued by the idea Lee contacted Mike Mounce, IDNR fisheries biologist for Lake Shelbyville and a meeting was set up between the three.  Mikes idea for permanent fish structure was based on a structure known as the Georgia Cube, a design originating in GA and successfully utilized in many southern reservoirs (  Mike and Chip modified this original design to improve the habitat attraction for largemouth bass and to ensure the cubes wouldn't move in the current of Lake Shelbyville.  This new design is now known as the Lake Shelbyville cube!  Once everyone was satisfied with the design, Chip contacted local members of the fishing community and set up a build day in mid-November that was enthusiastically attended.  On December 9th Jon Summers Lake Shelbyville Operations Manager, Lee Mitchell and Mike Mounce marked areas for the cubes in appropriate depths and locations to ensure the safety of the visiting public and the enhancement of the fisheries.  On December 10 approximately eighteen Lake Shelbyville Cubes were deployed in the Camp Camfield and Bo Wood area of Lake Shelbyville by Mike Mounce, Chip Christenson and a half dozen members of the aforementioned clubs. 

 With the success of the operation, more cube drops are planned for next year.  Chip's Marine built a small scale model of the Lake Shelbyville Cube and placed it in his business along with a donation box for anyone that is interested in supporting the project.   and one is planned for the Lake Shelbyville Project Office.  All donations will go directly towards purchasing materials for future cubes.  The cubes will last many times longer than Christmas Trees placed annually on Fish Habitat Day held each year in March. 

Fishermen are reminded that placing any structure in the lake is ILLEGAL.  Only habitat placed on a sanctioned US Army Corps of Engineers Fish Habitat Day or through a collaborative effort like this one are permitted.  Strategic locations and depths that will not pose a water hazard to boaters and swimmers are picked by US Army Corps of Engineers staff and IDNR biologists for habitat drops.  Additionally, permits must be secured prior to the drops.


Habitat and Fish Attractor Projects on Lake Shelbyville

The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, an affiliation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership, has provided funding ($87,000) for many of the habitat and fish attractor projects on Lake Shelbyville through grants to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance. Anglers and their families, many fishing clubs and local businesses, non-governmental organizations, local municipalities, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have also joined forces, both financially and physically, to support the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance in an effort to improve the quality of the fishery on Lake Shelbyville. These improvements benefit not only anglers, but the local communities that benefit from the business from anglers. Please support the efforts of these organizations, especially the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance and Friends of Reservoirs (, to make Lake Shelbyville a better place to fish, both for tomorrow and for future generations! Check the LSFHA and these other organizations out on Facebook!


Lake Shelbyville Big Fish Program

The Big Fish Programs allows fisherman to display their trophy fish. The display ranges from a photograph to having the fish mounted free of cost and displayed in the Visitor Center.

 Current Big Fish

Walleye – 13 lb. 10 oz. Caught by Dave Pryor on March 28, 1982

Muskie – 38 lb. 8 oz. Caught by Matt Carmean on April 20, 2002 – State Record

Crappie – 2 lb. 2.72 oz. Caught by Mark Brown on May 15, 2014

Yellow Bass – 1 lb. 4 oz Caught by Lowell Sanders July 7, 2009

Large Mouth Bass – 7 lb. 14 oz. Caught by Kenneth Vail July 23, 1994

 To qualify for the big fish program:
  1. A person must bring the fish and an official certificate stating the fish was weighed on a certified scale, that they caught the fish in Lake Shelbyville and the weight of the fish.
  2. If the fish is larger than the previous fish in the program the Corps will have the fish mounted.
  3. The fish must hang in the Visitor’s Center until a larger one is turned in. At that time the previous “big fish” may be taken home by the owner.
  4. To display a picture of your big fish. Bring a picture to the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center to be displayed. A picture may also be taken of your fish at the Visitor Center.

For further information email or the project office at 217-774-3951 ext. 2.