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Alphid

Shell Lake

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Wondering if anyone out there has fished Shell lake in the summer? We have a tourny out there in May and I can hardly wait. I know the lake has some cribs and some nice looking stucture.
Needless to say, I am starting ot think about pre-fishing and would like some imput.
Thanks,
A

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Alphid,

When is your tourney? I may be fishing Shell early in May for smallies. I haven't fished it before, but have some ideas on where to start. Early in the season - always start on the north shore where the water is the warmest.

------------------
God bless,
Judd Yaeger
Yaeger Guides (Twin Cities Guides) www.yaegerweb.com/guide

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Your best bet in may is to fish South Bay. Personally, I have never done real well around the cribs that time of year. The lake is really clear, so you'll find fish shallow in the morning and evening and staging deeper during the day depending on cloud cover. Fishing can be good near the rocky shorelines, but fish there are generally spooky due to the water clarity. Later in may and early june, there is also a large mayfly hatch that can make fishing tough. I've done best fishing for the smallies like you would fish for largemouth on other lakes.

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Yaeger Guide
Our tourny is the second weekend of May. We will be out there this weekend on both days. Basically it is a club tourny and we have about 7 boats. Nothing to major but lots of fun. I am planning on looking on the north end obviously but wonder about some other areas with timber, rock, etc., that would hold some spawners or pre-spawn fish. Are you going to be out there?

Duey,
Thanks for your response. I will check out the South side also. I am excited to find those cribs even though you said wouldn't be too hot just to know where they are. Glad to hear the lake is clear too, the aqua view will be fun to use. Are you going to be out there?

Thanks for some feedback. I will let you know what we find out/Catch.

Thanks,
A

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actually the club tourney will only be 5 boats, each with partners. so locals don't have to fear a wave of boats out there that weekend. continuing on what alphid asked, is the structure predominately sand/rock in the main lake? what about in the south bay? looked like from the maps the south bay was more of a flood plain type area, with potential wood and things like that. i could be wrong though. alphid and i will be out there this weekend looking for big smallies and some polebending! it's been a lllooonnnngggg winter!

catchin'

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Along the shorline of the main lake is mostly sand. The basin is muck. All of the points contain rock. The island is mostly rock as well. Generally the rock will run out 15 to 20 feet before the muck transitions. South bay is mainly a sand shoreline with bullrush. South bay is basically the only part of the lake that has weeds. Over the past few years the water has been way up on the lake which will push the smallmouth shallow.

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Any water temps to report out there? Looks like it will be nice weekend weather wise at shell lake! here comes opener!

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was at shell today, saturday, water temps in main lake area started at 48 degrees, some bays around the islands ended up around 53 but that is all for the report. for our boat, only a walleye was caught while bass fishing. the other boat we went with managed one smallie but that was a 13 incher. did not see much actioni n the shallows except small perch following up baits on the way to the boat, but nothing else really going. we concentrated on deppths from shallows to 20 feet, using jerk baits, drop shot, football jigs, senkos, deep and shallow cranks, even top water. nothing elicited any strikes making it more frustrating for the bass opener. i thinkt the smallies will start going within a week though, as the water warms some more.

if anyone has anything to add to your experience this week or weekend, it is much appreciated!

Catchin'

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I was out Friday night and Saturday for walleyes. Only picked up a few. Couple nice ones though. Little slower than in previous years. Should pick up as the water warms up. In the past for smallies, I've never done well on opening weekend. Usually takes a week or two for the smallies to move into the shallows. When they do move in, it can be incredible. We've caught lots of big fish out there.

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Just spoke to my brother who was up there until today, and he said they got a 6.5 and a couple of fours. (smallies) He's got pictures, but I haven't seen them yet.

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Duey
WOW! 6.5 pounds?? that is awesome! sounds like those bulls are starting to make their moves towards the shallows. i have no idea what the weather for the weekend is going to do to it, but it should be interesting. i love this time of year...

Any clue on how they caught them? what type baits, color? depths? sand or muck? weed areas? just curious, i think this weather will make it dreary and tough to pull limits, it is supposed to cool down and get windy. This sun is making them active i suppose.

thanks for letting me know his success! post the pictures if you can, that is huge!

Catchin'

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I haven't got all the details from him yet. I am sure he caught them shallow. 3'-10'. Probably on topwater baits, like a pop-r. I know he was in south bay when he caught them. Anywhere the bullrushes are coming up. Otherwise he might have picked them up trolling for eyes with shad raps. I'll let ya know when I hear more.

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Duey,
Tell your brother congrats on the catch. That would be a monster to be seen. Are you planning on getting out there this weekend? Like my brother said, any tips on the techniques used to get these fish?
This weekend weather report doesn't look the best but I am sure that it will be worse than currently pictured. It always seems as though when tourny comes around the weather turns dump.
Catchin', big day tomorrow. Early fishing and no work. What a way to end the week.

A

[This message has been edited by Alphid (edited 05-08-2003).]

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I won't be out there this weekend. But I did talk to him. Said the bite was on shallow cranks. (Shad Raps) Color didn't seem to make a difference. Was in and around Southbay where there were bull rushes or where they were pre-emergent. That's a pretty typical pattern for this lake. If the fish are in the shallows, don't bother trying to finesse them, speed and irregularity is usually the key. When there in, they can be extremely agressive. Often you will have multiple fish following a hooked fish. Hope this helps and good luck. Let me know how you end up doing.

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Thanks for your help Duey, that is extremely useful. we were out on the lake last weekend and know what you are talking about regarding the emergent stuff, those look like good areas. this weather will probably put it all in a funk, but we will let you know what is up. looks like we might go to balsam tomorrow during the day with some warmer water probably to be found there. will let you know how that goes too.

thanks for the tip on not finessing the fish there too, while obviously different conditions deem differnet presentations, some lake's fish seem to prefer certain presentations more often than not.

Will let you know what happens!

Catchin'

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had our tounrey over the weekend on shell, but had to cancel sunday because of the drenching rain, wind and flash flood warning, so taht sucked. go figure the weather has been what it has been since and seems to continue, those smallies are going to be spawning pretty quick and being active! i wish i could get out there this weekend, but it won't happen. for the weekend, the fish seemed to be in prespawn, roaming flat areas and hanging around isolated cover. 5" Jerk baits, like rapala husky jerks seemed to do the trick, but it was a fill 8 hour day of jerking them. color seemed to not matter too much, but natural patterns i guess were a norm. when the bite slowed, smaller 4" jerk baits were put on like yo zuri's and those seemed to get additional ones. people also got some using senkos as well, just casting and jerking them back slowly.

well, all this information may or may not be helpful with how the action probably is going now. i am sure those fish are a lot easier to find than we had, as "working for the bites" would be an understatement for last weekend.

Feel sorry for homeowners on the lake as the sandbagging was all over, and after satruday nights storm, there were reports of water levels raising and people's porches being torn off houses, teh wind didn't help. i hope things work out for them.

catchin

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Anyone been on Shell lately? I may be going there next Tues. and was wondering what the smallies are doing. Also, what's the best boat access with the water so high? Thanks.

rascal

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