Jump to content
Tracker22

Too many shad?

Recommended Posts

I just fished three mornings in a row without a single bite. I couldn't even get stupid small ones to bite. Weather was somewhat unstable, but what I noticed was the shad surfacing all over. Every time my lure hit the water ten shad would jump. I tried all types of lures from top to bottom. Could the bass be gorged on shad and not gonna bite?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure they are shad, and not some other type of baitfish? Shad aren't too common in the northern states because cold water kills them. 

Regardless of what they are, it could be possible. But fish are just like people. They get hungry, they eat. Then they get full and they get lazy. Eventually, they get hungry again and have to eat. And just like how you keep food in your kitchen, the bass will keep their food sources close by too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, fishballer06 said:

Shad aren't too common in the northern states because cold water kills them.

We have shad, just not the same species:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7031.html

http://www2.dnr.cornell.edu/cek7/nyfish/Clupeidae/clupeidae.html

Those gizzard shad can get over a foot long.

As for advice to the OP - fish slower.  try a nose hooking floating fluke style bait - Z-Man makes a good one  - on a senko wacky hook.  Twitch it ever so slightly, and then dead stick it for several seconds. Rinse.  Repeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have many of the same baitfish here in PA as well, Francho. We only have a few lakes that have shad in them (2 that I have personally fished). Lots of the shad will die with the ice, sometimes they even get frozen in the ice. In the spring whenever the ice starts melting, the eagles, hawks, and other predators can often be seen out of the ice scooping up all of the dead shad. 

Here's an interesting report on Lake Wilhelm and how the gizzard shad have taken over that lake. I've heard that the PAFBC has been electroshocking the lake and harvesting the shad in order to get the numbers down. Wilhelm can be a tough lake to fish, but there are big bass in it. Our club tournament on it in 2015 had a 26 pound, six fish limit for first place. This year, another club I'm in it took 19 pounds on a four fish limit to win. 

https://www.fish.state.pa.us/images/reports/2011bio/2x05_03wilhelm.htm

Quote

The reason for the decline in size and abundance of the panfish is likely due to the introduction and expansion of gizzard shad in Lake Wilhelm. We do not know how they were introduced into Lake Wilhelm but it may have been from a bait bucket. Since their introduction in 2004 the population has exploded and was the most abundant species caught in our trapnets. Gizzard shad consisted of 48% of the total fish captured in our trapnets. In 2004 only 4 gizzard shad were caught compared to 1,945 in 2010.

While gizzard shad can serve as an important diet component of larger predators such as largemouth bass, walleye and muskellunge, they also have negative ecological consequences on other species, especially panfish. Gizzard shad are known as “prolific spawners”, meaning they can spawn multiple times for several months producing up to 400,000 eggs and can easily over-populate a lake.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think that's what they are...gizzard shad.

Its weird how they suddenly surface and the bass quit bitting. Last week fishing was fine, this week nodda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, fishballer06 said:

Lots of the shad will die with the ice, sometimes they even get frozen in the ice. In the spring whenever the ice starts melting, the eagles, hawks, and other predators can often be seen out of the ice scooping up all of the dead shad. 

Same thing up here.  Happens in the bay by my house.  Some of the dead shad are HUGE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When shad are all over the place unmolested , ignore them . Fish tight to cover or search out structure or change locations .. I ran into this yesterday and caught bass in laydowns on a small bluegill colored spinnerbait .

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be a good idea to use a shad imitating lure, such as a shad swimbait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, scaleface said:

When shad are all over the place unmolested , ignore them . Fish tight to cover or search out structure or change locations .. I ran into this yesterday and caught bass in laydowns on a small bluegill colored spinnerbait .

I second this. If you're seeing large groups and schools of shad and nothing feeding on them, then there isn't anything around them to fish for.  Better bet would be to try and find fish on structure of cover somewhere else or close by.  Now if you're seeing active fish feeding on the schools of shad then by all means fish them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our area I often see schools of shad with what appears to be no active feeding.  When using a good fish finder many times you can see fish underneath the schools just hanging out until the dinner bell rings again.      I like to throw a small spoon or a kastmaster bait and let it fall through the school, it looks like a bait fish that died and is falling from the school.   I have seen often where this will trigger a reaction strike and once in a while you can get several fish to start feeding by using this technique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had much luck around the huge schools of shad. Little schools yes, but not the massive, fill up the depthfinder screen schools. One of the power plant lakes I fish gets bad during the winter sometimes.

20150306_143334_zpskla92xlm.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too much bait is a very real occurrence, it happens on one of the lakes I fish very close to home. The fish tend to be gorgeous from bodies of water with that though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I see large schools of shad without any bass nearby, I don't cast to them:

S00125_zpsbvw3o6hk.png

 

When I see bass with them, then I will make a few casts to see if I can compete with the food source:

S00119_zpsbtixbi9j.png

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fish bite for a lot of reasons but if an abundant food source eliminates hunger from the list, you've got a big challenge on your hands.  Try to find or fish a bait that looks particularly erratic or injured so that the bass will find your offering easier.  If that doesn't work...go elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too many shad is a daily occurrence on the Tennessee River, sometimes I have success using something totally different than all the Shad, like plopping a jig in the middle of them all or anything wildly different color 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having same problem lately on the arkansas river. big schools of shad everywhere. went yesterday and big bass were blowing up all around me. threw everything i had at them and caught two dinks. the big girls had nothing to do with me. next i'll try a worm or jig in the middle of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe he doesn't have that technology at his disposal ? So it's not as simple as check your equipment to see if if there are bass for some of us. I like @scaleface answer the best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really the only equipment you need is a rod, reel and bait.   It don't take any time to make a couple of casts to find out.     

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels
    fishing gear

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×