Shad Fishing

Warm water, salt water and more. Talk about it here!
justin.czu
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:58 pm

Shad Fishing

Post by justin.czu » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:18 am

Do you all get out and shad fish a lot? Do you have any recommendations for line weight and lures (other than shad darts)? I have never been out before and I am thinking about giving it a shot this year on the Delaware.

PortMurrayAng
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by PortMurrayAng » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:59 am

I second Justin's question. Been meaning to give shad a try, but have never made it out.

Vance
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Vance » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:49 am

Hi, If I remember right back many years ago when I lived just outside of Milford,Pa. I tied up some shad flies. Tail was a hot pink, hackle also hot pink (wet style) and body was silver tinsel on a size 8 or size 6 nymph hook. Another was bright yellow hackle and tail with a silver body on a 4,6,or 8 size hook. I would fish from Milford up stream to Calicon,NY. Find a place to park by the river and start fishing. They are fun to catch and fight like crazy. Bill the mailman

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by BiggerThomas » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:41 pm

I am actually hoping to go for the first time this year. One of my friends lives along the river and said he'll let me know when he starts seeing them. I'll post what I learn here as well.

But in the meantime I can share the title of a book by Princeton professor John McPhee that tells the story of the American Shad in the Delaware--The Founding Fish. If you like reading about history and fishing, you will enjoy that book.

Also, let me share a recipe for eating Shad burgers in case you haven't heard it before: First, prepare the Shad filet with light oil, seasoning, and garlic. Have some lemon wedges handy as well. Cook the Shad filet on a cedar plank for about 12 mins (low to medium heat). As you take it off the grill, throw out the Shad filet and eat the cedar plank.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
___________________________
--William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

PortMurrayAng
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by PortMurrayAng » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:03 pm

Founding Fish is a great book. Fishing and history rolled into one.

justin.czu
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:58 pm

Re: Shad Fishing

Post by justin.czu » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:47 am

BiggerThomas wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:41 pm
I am actually hoping to go for the first time this year. One of my friends lives along the river and said he'll let me know when he starts seeing them. I'll post what I learn here as well.

But in the meantime I can share the title of a book by Princeton professor John McPhee that tells the story of the American Shad in the Delaware--The Founding Fish. If you like reading about history and fishing, you will enjoy that book.

Also, let me share a recipe for eating Shad burgers in case you haven't heard it before: First, prepare the Shad filet with light oil, seasoning, and garlic. Have some lemon wedges handy as well. Cook the Shad filet on a cedar plank for about 12 mins (low to medium heat). As you take it off the grill, throw out the Shad filet and eat the cedar plank.

:D :D :D :D :D

Fishybig
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:43 am

Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Fishybig » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:21 pm

Will have to take ur word for it....never ate one and only caught a few by accident in Hancock...
Love it !!! Eat the plank

Dave B.
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:28 pm

Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Dave B. » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:51 pm

Fishybig wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:21 pm
Will have to take ur word for it....never ate one and only caught a few by accident in Hancock...
Love it !!! Eat the plank
That's the oldest shad recipe around! Works great for carp too! :)

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Rusty Spinner » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:39 pm

They are catching good numbers of shad already in the big D.....
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

PortMurrayAng
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by PortMurrayAng » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:20 pm

Do they take anything other than shad darts?

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Rusty Spinner » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:28 am

PortMurrayAng wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:20 pm
Do they take anything other than shad darts?
I know a lot of anglers use shad spoons as well as darts. Pink always seems to be the hot color for any flies or lures or so it seems when I read reports or get pix from buddies out fishing.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by BiggerThomas » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:54 am

Does anyone know if the access points along the Delaware are open? Or are these State-sponsored?
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
___________________________
--William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

PortMurrayAng
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:06 am

Re: Shad Fishing

Post by PortMurrayAng » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:19 pm

No Streamers? Krouzers (sp?) These fish are alluring. I read McPhee's book too. Fascinating stuff. Sounds like a boat is helpful, but, maybe next year, I'm hitting it up from the bank.


I know a lot of anglers use shad spoons as well as darts. Pink always seems to be the hot color for any flies or lures or so it seems when I read reports or get pix from buddies out fishing.
[/quote]

martalus
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by martalus » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:55 pm

There is a large American and Hickory shad run, along with other herring , here in the Potomac by DC. I went down to the rocky area by Chain Bridge to check it out yesterday. The Shad run in the Potomac and the Big D from March to sometime in May, depending on weather. Water temps in the 50s to around 60 is when they move up to spawn apparently. This year has been weird down here as water temps were approaching 60 in mid March, but now is back in low to mid 50s as a result of all the cool rainy weather. Not sure what this means for the run-perhaps some have come and more will continue to come? I didn't see anyone catch any shad yesterday, but water was really high and off color. I ordered some shad darts and gold shad spoons and will try this weekend and over the coming weeks-it looks like when you time it right, you can catch a fish every cast from shore. Or you can fish all day and get nothing. There were tons of birds working yesterday but I think they were going after the smaller blueblack herring which run alongside the shad in the millions.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Rusty Spinner » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:29 pm

Shad run in water below 50 degrees, they just won't eat a fly or dart or spoon unless its more or less 50 degrees and warmer. Remember, American shad are in the herring family and are plankton feeders, so they are not even eating but rather striking at something flashy that mimics nothing in nature. That said, ample places to wade fish the big D if it doesn't climb too high, but water temps as of today remain far too cold to catch consistently.

I'm using a 9 foot 7 weight with a Type 3 sink tip line, a short 4' leader with 2' of 4X tippet attached to that (mine is 7.5 lb test) and weighted flies with dumbbell eyes. Fish run up the thalweg which is the deepest part of the channel and remain a foot to two feet off bottom. So you have to get down and stay down to catch fish.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

martalus
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by martalus » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:38 pm

Brian, from your experience when you have extended cold water like this, does this mean that the Shad will still run, but not really strike, or will this cold water slow down the run and extend the catching season into May?

PortMurrayAng
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by PortMurrayAng » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:59 am

Thanks again, Brian. Thalweg. Another great word.

Troutman
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Troutman » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:58 pm

This guy made it all the way up to Hancock NY @ the hole :o
Image
Was known as Troutman1

Fishybig
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Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:43 am

Re: Shad Fishing

Post by Fishybig » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:27 am

Have caught them up the east branch as far as fishes eddy and some yrs heard sightings in the lower beaverkill....

martalus
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Re: Shad Fishing

Post by martalus » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:35 am

Well, I got inspired and did a couple days of research on shad fishing tactics, lures, conditions and locations and it paid off big time. I was tracking water flows, temps, turbidity, and tides and was on the foggy Potomac at 6 am yesterday.

It took me about 15-20 min walk along canal and then through the woods to get to this rocky little cove adjacent to some class 3-4 rapids. When I got there some nice Salvadoran were already setting up for the white perch run on the other side of cove and kindly recommended me the best spot for shad and boy they were not wrong. The action was non stop for four hours with a mix of 2-5 pound shad-some were fresh and silver and pulled like freight trains, other were looking ragged and spawned out like the one in the pic. Shad have very soft mouths so I actually lost more than I landed, but I landed dozens. I also caught some white perch pushing 2 pounds in the morning. I went home by 10 am with my hands and shoulders sore!

I got my daughter and came back out again from 1-4 and we literally caught hundreds of white perch and some more fresh shad mixed in. There were more folks there in the afternoon for the white perch run filling up spackle buckets. It was the best day of fishing I have ever seen. I was fishing a medium spinning rod with 8 pound test and various tandem rigs of shad darts and spoons- my drag got a work out, but 8 pound test was sufficient and I only broke off one fish all day when it got wrapped around a rock. Unbelievable that this kind of fishing exists right in DC!
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