lonellr

Shad Run

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Anyone been out fishing for shad on light tackle? Such a great time this time of year! I caught a few last weekend, but the run isn't in full swing yet. I'm going to break out the walmart fly rod and give it a try!

IMG_1479.thumb.jpg.5be5f30d3c223df96066e7c9042971ee.jpg

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14 mins ago, dannpakk said:

Nice catch and beautiful fish! Was this on the Susq Flats? I'm going to give the flats a shot this weekend :)

Rappahannock River. In Fredericksburg. Let me know how the flats go. I need to get in there with my kayak!

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On 3/28/2018 at 0:51 PM, lonellr said:

Anyone been out fishing for shad on light tackle? Such a great time this time of year! I caught a few last weekend, but the run isn't in full swing yet. I'm going to break out the walmart fly rod and give it a try!

IMG_1479.thumb.jpg.5be5f30d3c223df96066e7c9042971ee.jpg

 I fish for Shad & Stripers every year on the Rappahannock ... and fly fishing is the way to go. Really it's the reason / how I got into saltwater fly fishing. The run starts around the first week of April. By mid-month it's solid and you'll know that as the Blue Heron are out in force, staking out positions all along the Rap / Fall line. Osprey will dive bombing fish ... be on the look out for an occasional Eagle cruising about.

5abf6aa11f4ba_LippedHickcopy.thumb.JPG.d9623b65eeacbdd2b66ca03e150ffdb6.JPG

 

And when the Dogwoods bloom ... the Stripers loom! Good Luck in your fishing and Catch a Big One!

 

5abf6a88bdf89_CandyLipsStripe.thumb.JPG.2ab21070af11ec056e76ab379b831a44.JPG

 

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On 3/28/2018 at 2:17 PM, dannpakk said:

Good info! Most def!

If you Kayak ... you're best off fishing deeper water down stream from City Dock. Upstream ... it's a we bit shallow.

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2 mins ago, KironaFly said:

If you Kayak ... you're best off fishing deeper water down stream from City Dock. Upstream ... it's a we bit shallow.

Hopefully I’ll see you out there KironaFly! I will be on the Rapp somewhere on Sunday. Trying to find a quiet spot where I can’t hurt anyone with my fly fishing skills or lack there of. I also think I owe you a lure?!!

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19 mins ago, lonellr said:

Hopefully I’ll see you out there KironaFly! I will be on the Rapp somewhere on Sunday. Trying to find a quiet spot where I can’t hurt anyone with my fly fishing skills or lack there of. I also think I owe you a lure?!!

Fly fishing tip:  2 oz plugs are hard to cast.

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8 mins ago, lonellr said:

Hopefully I’ll see you out there KironaFly! I will be on the Rapp somewhere on Sunday. Trying to find a quiet spot where I can’t hurt anyone with my fly fishing skills or lack there of. I also think I owe you a lure?!!

I'm pretty sure we're 4 square on the custom lure front. On learning to fly fish / casting ... 2 pointers: Were glasses / safety goggles and use a stripping basket for line management. So many people don't and at some point they regret it.

 

Fish small flies that resemble the small creek chub minnows that are spawning ... I've caught a gazzilion fish on a small Surf Candy flies and they cast better than small Clouser minnow patterns (the standard fly for Shad & Stripers). Check out the Falmouth Flats Fly Fishers website for parking info ... and to meet people who are fly fishing geeks.

We might see you around the Rap this week. Cheers!

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This is all great info. It's really good to see this side of the forums light up.

 

So I went out to the flats towards turkey point today after doing some research deep research. Couldn't fish the east side of because it's closed season, but found the channel on the west side. I also noticed that the water is considerably low. We usually take a skiff out towards the middle/lower bay and never have fished the flat (first time today!). I know that engines spook fish in low water  depths so we decided to ditch he skiff and canoe in. Got no kayak..... :(

 

Went to a Asian market (specifically a Chinese one) to buy some bait. As clique this might sound being asian, you will find some of the most oddest things being sold there. Mullet, shad, yellow perch, etc.....  Bought two giant shad (must have been like two pound a shads.....) Never tried the flats so just wanted to experiment everything. Additionally took jigs, lures, top water, divers, metal, and all other sorts of stuff. 

 

Launched out at 10am and hit the channel with no fish finder away from the crowd ( A very purist type of experience today). Chummed out shad heads and set out some line. Caught 5-6 giant catfish for the first hour. These must have been in the 15-20 pound range. Peeling so much drag. I am no catfish expert, but i wasn't sure if they were the invasive kind...... Like I said, we are from middle bay so no crazy amounts of giant catfish exist....  When we retrieved with the shad, we hit plenty in the 20 inch rockfish. Lesson learned - liveline and chumming must be a middle/lower bay thing? Unsure. Got sick of catching catfish so we just chummed the remaining shad and started trying some metals/lures. Spoons caught larger ones in the 30inch range. Only other lure that was successful was shiny crankbait. Tried everything else and it failed. Jigheads however proved to be successful with generous finesse (white jig/green zman). 

 

It's nice to see a change of pace where more people are working jigheads. Down south you see everyone just trolling (just really boring in my opinion). I can see some great opportunities in the flats on a weekday with kayaks and no motor boats. Boats definitely spook the feeding frenzy. We were on a roll, and people wanted to get in on the action. They would roll in a responsible way, but the fish were very spooked. The motor vibrations are not a normal for that area. Fish or no fish, it was a nice day and catching just added a cherry on top (was wild to think that we would actually get any success on a canoe). Additionally, got to also see plenty of bald eagles. 

 

 

 

Edited by dannpakk

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On 3/31/2018 at 10:59 PM, dannpakk said:

This is all great info. It's really good to see this side of the forums light up.

 

So I went out to the flats towards turkey point today after doing some research deep research. Couldn't fish the east side of because it's closed season, but found the channel on the west side. I also noticed that the water is considerably low. We usually take a skiff out towards the middle/lower bay and never have fished the flat (first time today!). I know that engines spook fish in low water  depths so we decided to ditch he skiff and canoe in. Got no kayak..... :(

 

Went to a Asian market (specifically a Chinese one) to buy some bait. As clique this might sound being asian, you will find some of the most oddest things being sold there. Mullet, shad, yellow perch, etc.....  Bought two giant shad (must have been like two pound a shads.....) Never tried the flats so just wanted to experiment everything. Additionally took jigs, lures, top water, divers, metal, and all other sorts of stuff. 

 

Launched out at 10am and hit the channel with no fish finder away from the crowd ( A very purist type of experience today). Chummed out shad heads and set out some line. Caught 5-6 giant catfish for the first hour. These must have been in the 15-20 pound range. Peeling so much drag. I am no catfish expert, but i wasn't sure if they were the invasive kind...... Like I said, we are from middle bay so no crazy amounts of giant catfish exist....  When we retrieved with the shad, we hit plenty in the 20 inch rockfish. Lesson learned - liveline and chumming must be a middle/lower bay thing? Unsure. Got sick of catching catfish so we just chummed the remaining shad and started trying some metals/lures. Spoons caught larger ones in the 30inch range. Only other lure that was successful was shiny crankbait. Tried everything else and it failed. Jigheads however proved to be successful with generous finesse (white jig/green zman). 

 

It's nice to see a change of pace where more people are working jigheads. Down south you see everyone just trolling (just really boring in my opinion). I can see some great opportunities in the flats on a weekday with kayaks and no motor boats. Boats definitely spook the feeding frenzy. We were on a roll, and people wanted to get in on the action. They would roll in a responsible way, but the fish were very spooked. The motor vibrations are not a normal for that area. Fish or no fish, it was a nice day and catching just added a cherry on top (was wild to think that we would actually get any success on a canoe). Additionally, got to also see plenty of bald eagles. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the report Dan! I haven't had a chance to make it up that way. Hopefully this coming weekend. I know the weekends are insane but that's the only time I'm able to get out there. 

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I was on the rapp Sunday myself. First time giving it a honest effort. Did okay but not as well as I’d like. Guy fishing the other side of a run from me was like 7 or 8 for every one of mine. That stung a bit but good for him. It was rather nice to show up to a popular spot and not be the only guy with a fly rod for once. 

Curious as how this week of rain and cold moving in will effect things but only one way to find out....

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On 3/31/2018 at 7:05 AM, KironaFly said:

 I fish for Shad & Stripers every year on the Rappahannock ... and fly fishing is the way to go. Really it's the reason / how I got into saltwater fly fishing. The run starts around the first week of April. By mid-month it's solid and you'll know that as the Blue Heron are out in force, staking out positions all along the Rap / Fall line. Osprey will dive bombing fish ... be on the look out for an occasional Eagle cruising about.

5abf6aa11f4ba_LippedHickcopy.thumb.JPG.d9623b65eeacbdd2b66ca03e150ffdb6.JPG

 

And when the Dogwoods bloom ... the Stripers loom! Good Luck in your fishing and Catch a Big One!

 

5abf6a88bdf89_CandyLipsStripe.thumb.JPG.2ab21070af11ec056e76ab379b831a44.JPG

 

If you go by dogwoods you will miss it 

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3 hours ago, linesiderdemdnj said:

If you go by dogwoods you will miss it 

Miss what exactly?  Shad & Herring ?... yeah they're peaking just before the Dogwoods bloom. But for Striped Bass, while they're in the river early on, they're most active up river from the end of April to the beginning of June. In 20 years of fishing the Rappahannock I go with the Dogwoods as my start in earnest for spring Striper fishing

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