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Shad run


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Anyone here fish the Spring shad run? I plan to fish the James River at the fall line in Richmond, VA. Went a couple years ago and had a great time and now that I'm retired, I plan to spend a few days trying my hand at it again. I've fished the 2" grubs and gold spoons on a double rig with success. Anyone else enjoy this yearly event? What baits and rigs do you throw?

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We don’t have the true shad but been getting plenty of big herring 

IMG-4933.jpg

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I used to fish this every year when I lived in Richmond.  May try this year as I'll be down there the first weekend of April.  My favorite time I ever did it was on Easter Sunday, I had the rocks down by the Mayo Bridge d**n near to myself.

 

Get some shad darts to go with the spoons and get several color options to mix and match for both darts and spoons.

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I fish the Shad run we have in Canada.  It goes from mid May to the third week of June.  We have nice large fish from 3 to 6 pounds.  They come up the St Lawrence river and go into the tributaries till they hit a dam.  Every body uses shad darts.  White with red head is the favorite color.  It's a different kind of fishing because everybody does the same thing: similar equipment, same lure, same technique, but still some catch twice the fish the others catch.

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Yep, I fish for shad at Fletcher's and the Occoquan River. My go to is a 1/4 oz shad dart (color varies depending on the water stain), followed by a 1/16oz Nungesser gold spoon. I vary my retrieve, but it seems like working it like a jerkbait has gotten the most bites for me. It may be because the darts I'm using have blades and the sudden jerks give off more flash. I'll probably hit Fletcher's this Friday after this week's warm up.

Darts I'm using: https://a.co/d/2NN15lp

 

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I have fished Occoquan river shad runs for several years.  I typically rig a 1/8 or 1/4 oz Little Cleo spoon about 12-16 inches below a 1/8 shad dart; spinning rod with 10-15 lb braid and decent length of leader (re-tying will eat up some line).  

You may find they want different speed or depth different days, so vary the weights and your retrieve.  But once you dial it in, you should be good for the day.  The shad appear to school in lines (head to tail, not side by side), so move around and find today's highway(s).  

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23 hours ago, Junger said:

Yep, I fish for shad at Fletcher's and the Occoquan River. My go to is a 1/4 oz shad dart (color varies depending on the water stain), followed by a 1/16oz Nungesser gold spoon. I vary my retrieve, but it seems like working it like a jerkbait has gotten the most bites for me. It may be because the darts I'm using have blades and the sudden jerks give off more flash. I'll probably hit Fletcher's this Friday after this week's warm up.

Darts I'm using: https://a.co/d/2NN15lp

 

 

On the Occoquan - are you fishing from the bank?  Is the park near the Ox Road bridge a good spot to try?

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@heyitskirby I fish from my boat for them. But people definitely have success fishing under the Occoquan Foot Bridge on the south side rocks, except at high tide when I've seen the rocks become fully submerged. I think people park on Mill Street in the historic district, or the service road on the other side of the river when they walk up to the pump station. Here's a google pin of where I see people fishing for shad with a lot of success.

 

Foot bridge: https://maps.app.goo.gl/JtovhhQ8sNqYAk5g7

Pump station: https://maps.app.goo.gl/v5AfkdXKr8EP4eZ47

Rock: https://maps.app.goo.gl/K1yVhRhTGJisxSS2A

Beach: https://maps.app.goo.gl/iyuDpKdTDJ4UjNma9

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On 3/13/2024 at 2:43 PM, Junger said:

@heyitskirby I fish from my boat for them. But people definitely have success fishing under the Occoquan Foot Bridge on the south side rocks, except at high tide when I've seen the rocks become fully submerged. I think people park on Mill Street in the historic district, or the service road on the other side of the river when they walk up to the pump station. Here's a google pin of where I see people fishing for shad with a lot of success.

 

Foot bridge: https://maps.app.goo.gl/JtovhhQ8sNqYAk5g7

Pump station: https://maps.app.goo.gl/v5AfkdXKr8EP4eZ47

Rock: https://maps.app.goo.gl/K1yVhRhTGJisxSS2A

Beach: https://maps.app.goo.gl/iyuDpKdTDJ4UjNma9

 

Sold my boat when I moved back up this way from Florida, so its the bank for me.  Thanks!

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I dropped a big ole river herring just now. There goes my bait for the weekend, need to find another tomorrow 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally was able to get out for the shad run. Fished 4hrs today and caught 35. Threw crappie grubs and gold spoon, nothing. Changed to a white spoon since water was heavily stained and they starting biting. Fished the incoming tide. Decent amount of people on the river in boats and fishing from the bank. As the water clears, the bite will only get better!

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