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ETX92

What do you guys throw during the shad spawn?

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I ran into a frustrating situation yesterday morning, shad were spawning in a pocket along some matted grassbeds and haygrass. Fish were blowing up everywhere and there were thousands of shad in there. We threw spinnerbait, Frog, squarebill, whopper plopper, wacky worm, senko and couldn’t get them to hit anything.

 

I finally picked up a couple on a small swimbait about the time it was over. I know they can get really dialed in to the bait during this time and obviously we weren’t showing them the right presentation. 

 

One thing i didnt throw is a swim jig and buzzbait. What do you like to throw in that situation?

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My number one is a white with silver flake Senko or a weightless fluke with a nail weight in the head!

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I'm a firm believer that when there's that much live food available it doesn't matter what ya throw...if it aint real they aint eating it!

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25 minutes ago, eyedabassman said:

My number one is a white with silver flake Senko or a weightless fluke with a nail weight in the head!

That’s a good idea I didn’t think about a white senko! 

8 minutes ago, Catt said:

I'm a firm believer that when there's that much live food available it doesn't matter what ya throw...if it aint real they aint eating it!

I really think that was part of the problem

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3 hours ago, ETX92 said:

That’s a good idea I didn’t think about a white senko! 

I really think that was part of the problem

 

Down here we call it "busting shad", the bass are "schooling" chasing shad to the surface in a mass feeding frenzy.

 

I've had limited success with a 1/4 oz Rat-L-Trap chrome black back.

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When bass have the shad horded in balls and in a feeding frenzy I use whatever I can reach them with .  When shad are all over the surface and bass are hitting them occasionally , I just ignore them and fish like they are not there .

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My go to in this situation would be a small floating jerk bait usually chrome with a white bottom.

I also try a Little Dipper (some kind of shad color), a small Popper (white, bone or chrome) and a neg rig (white lightning TRD).

If all of this fails I'll switch to a chartreuse lipless or spinner bait. 

 

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The Threadfin Shad fry are plentiful and small so you need to stand apart. I like to match the hatch, but focus on various ways to isolate a feeding bass’ attention. The key word too is ‘feeding’. At night, when the Shad are close to shore and prolific; I ignore all of the visible signs of baitfish until I see the surface commotion from predatory fish. This will make for the most efficient use of your time. These listed techniques have been killer for years now and I hope they work for others 

 

1) 3” white or smoke grub on a 1/4 oz chartreuse roadrunner or a 1/15 oz ned rig TRD, The Deal specifically. I’ll locate the school and lob casts around the area I mentally mapped out, just passing the edges of the school, a foot or two subsurface, waking it even sometimes, while lightly bouncing the tip of my rod on the retrieve. 

 

2) drop shot right in the middle of the school with a long leader (“18). Rebarb Roboworm light wire hook with either: SXE Shad 4.5” Roboworm ST, 2.5” Gulp!Alive Black Shad, or Zoom Tiny Fluke in Smokey Shad. I let the bait fall on semislack line then twitch up to only repeat. If no action after a 2-3 rounds, I’ll reel in some feet and try the dance again. I get more fish fishing the drop shot more aggressively than other times of the year.  

 

3) exception to the baitfish imitation rule, but has caught me bigger fish, is to throw a weightless Trick Worm in a bright color that stands out like a sore thumb. In my case, the Candy Bug with the tip dipped in Spike It Dip-n-Glow gets destroyed from the the start of the shad spawn thru early fall. 

 

Sidenote: can’t speak on personal experience, yet, but I have a buddy who swears by using a finesse mojo rig with a GYCB 3” Senko. He’ll incorporate a twitch, twitch, pause retrieval almost like working a weightless soft jerkbait 

 

At least the bass are easier to catch during the shad spawn than walleye. That’s a puzzle I’ll never figure out. 

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9 hours ago, Dorado said:

The Threadfin Shad fry are plentiful and small so you need to stand apart. I like to match the hatch, but focus on various ways to isolate a feeding bass’ attention. The key word too is ‘feeding’. At night, when the Shad are close to shore and prolific; I ignore all of the visible signs of baitfish until I see the surface commotion from predatory fish. This will make for the most efficient use of your time. These listed techniques have been killer for years now and I hope they work for others 

 

1) 3” white or smoke grub on a 1/4 oz chartreuse roadrunner or a 1/15 oz ned rig TRD, The Deal specifically. I’ll locate the school and lob casts around the area I mentally mapped out, just passing the edges of the school, a foot or two subsurface, waking it even sometimes, while lightly bouncing the tip of my rod on the retrieve. 

 

2) drop shot right in the middle of the school with a long leader (“18). Rebarb Roboworm light wire hook with either: SXE Shad 4.5” Roboworm ST, 2.5” Gulp!Alive Black Shad, or Zoom Tiny Fluke in Smokey Shad. I let the bait fall on semislack line then twitch up to only repeat. If no action after a 2-3 rounds, I’ll reel in some feet and try the dance again. I get more fish fishing the drop shot more aggressively than other times of the year.  

 

3) exception to the baitfish imitation rule, but has caught me bigger fish, is to throw a weightless Trick Worm in a bright color that stands out like a sore thumb. In my case, the Candy Bug with the tip dipped in Spike It Dip-n-Glow gets destroyed from the the start of the shad spawn thru early fall. 

 

Sidenote: can’t speak on personal experience, yet, but I have a buddy who swears by using a finesse mojo rig with a GYCB 3” Senko. He’ll incorporate a twitch, twitch, pause retrieval almost like working a weightless soft jerkbait 

 

At least the bass are easier to catch during the shad spawn than walleye. That’s a puzzle I’ll never figure out. 

Hit it wright on the head! Perfect example! Well done!

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I'm no expert, but I'm a little surprised nobody has mentioned spinnerbaits? Burning a double willow in a shaddy looking color has done well for me in these situations 

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2 hours ago, evilcatfish said:

I'm no expert, but I'm a little surprised nobody has mentioned spinnerbaits? Burning a double willow in a shaddy looking color has done well for me in these situations 

We tried a double willow spinnerbait and didn’t get bit. I was shocked, That’s the first thing I picked up.

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There is a big difference detween Shad spawning and a school of Shad that bass have corralled and feeding on them. 

Shad spawn on bushes or other solid objects in shallow water and bass feeding on the Shad in bushes are very selective. You need something about the same color, size and profile that can be cast into the bushes. A fly lined Basstrix threadfin shad Baitfry with a silver hook inserted inside the translucent soft plastic works. I have also had success with a small white frog. Note, the Shad spawn is usually a month after the bass have finished spawning, 75+ degree water.

Schooling bass feeding on Shad schools in open water, a structure or flutter spoon and tail spins or under spins all work.

Tom

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Let's see, schools shad up shallow spawning, bass in post spawn ready to eat but they don't "corral" the shad?

 

Interesting 😉

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Spawning Shad are in bushes during bright sunlight and scattered out for long distances  in smaller groups, the didn't push them into bushes. Will post spawners feed on the spawning Shad...you bet they do, perfect food source and easy pickings.

Shad go into the bushes, under docks during low light and at night all summer and the bass attack them in larger size schools and condensed areas. Bass feeding on these big Shad schools can be very picky and difficult to catch on artifical lures, a little easier when Shad are spawning and more scattered.

Tom

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Bass have been "busting" spawning shad down here for about a month now & they will continue"busting" shad periodically throughout early summer & then again during fall.

 

It is quite common to see schools of bass in the hundreds "busting" shad.

 

It is also quite common to see anglers chasing "schooling" bass with little to no success.

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Break out the medium light spinning rod with 15# braid and a 8# flouro leader. #5 Berkley Flicker Shad, Storm Smash, Luck e Strike The Freak, Rapala Shad Rap, etc

 

Kastmaster 1/8 oz spoon too

 

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Lure selection for bass chasing regular schools of shad versus bass what I fish for bass stalking spawning shad is pretty different. Spawning shad are usually smaller groups of large shad that roam around the shorelines and cover while paying very little attention to personal safety. Large glide baits are killers at this time. Fish chasing schools of shad are suckers for underspins, ribbed swimbaits, spinnerbaits, traps, and spooks.

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Live target has a sweet looking gizzard shad lioness crank, very realistic and knocks hard

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