Tin Boat

hickory shad

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Got into them good myself a couple of nights ago. They were keyed in on silversides and having a field day. I was using a topwater fly and having some fun.

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I’m taking my 4wt or 6wt out tomorrow morning out back looking for shad.  They’re a blast to catch and I look forward to targeting them this time each year.  

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At a certain point it’s great to feel a pull, especially when you’re playing a low percentage game, it’s restorative.

JC

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Of all the fish in the sea I’ve easily caught more hickory shad than any other species. There’s no comparison for me, hundreds! Every year in the spring the hickory shad spawning run up Virginia rivers is strong. The action can be nonstop.

 

I fish for them as I would for striped bass or false albacore. I primarily use small Mickelson Epoxy minnows / surf candies and of course small Clouser minnow’s. They are great sport on a 10 foot six weight fly rod, or better still a 4/5 trout Spey rod.
 

They are considered “a founding fish” … when planked & salted they fed the original Colonist who were often starving. 
 

Always fun on a fly rod!

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22 hours ago, Tin Boat said:

A friend reported that some big bass were eyeing his hooked shad a couple of days ago....

Yep ... Stripers are known to focus in on struggling fish. I saw this up close once with a small Bluefish I hooked. It got off just before a 20 lbs. Striper could take a swipe at it.

 

Meanwhile ... big Shad will eat small minnows / surf candies as they push up river to spawn. The movie below was recorded on an iPhone.

 

Shad eat minnows.MOV

 

 

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On 10/20/2021 at 0:21 PM, onthefly said:

I've caught Americans on the Delaware to 10 lbs now that's a fight in that current

Had a stellar American shad season out here in California this spring. Crazy fun! 0F277618-151E-4A97-98FC-75A9A5D20D07.jpeg.6a6a1e76dcd1004ed56791e9d19b4743.jpeg4AB44394-1EDB-4A94-90F1-15BA9C24799B.jpeg.52e80ef554670ebe24307f98b482b357.jpeg

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On 10/20/2021 at 2:41 PM, Mountain fisher said:

The 'Founding fish' is the American Shad , very tasty. The Hickory is very oily and makes great striper bait.

Indeed ... back in the day ... way begone hey day of fishing for Shad on the Rappahannock river, the American Shad run was strong.

 

But these days ... as in the last 25 years the Hickory Shad run is dominant. We get a rare American in the mix. About 15 years ago, with funding from Senator John Warner of Virginia (he has past away) .. We took down a vestigial dam (Embrey Dam) to open up spawning waters for Shad, Herring & Stripers. It has worked for the Hickory ... but not so much for the American.

 

When there's a prolonged drought, one can see the rock channels Indigenous  peoples set up for routing Shad into nets / fish traps. Pretty cool to see such artifacts from the original fishermen.

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