Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
armesjr

Shad Run

Recommended Posts

I was up at greentop the other day picking up a depthfinder, and also picked up some shad darts. Anyone else around the richmond area, interested in trying to catch some when they begin to make their run.  It should be coming up in the next couple weeks.  I have been told it is alot of fun catching them on light weight tackle.  I havent done it yet, so wouldnt mind meeting up with someone that has done it before.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it last year for the first time in the Rappahannock.  Theres something special about catching bass that no other species of fish will do for me but it was still a lot of fun.  Any day you can go out and catch 40 fish in 2 hours is fun.  Yeah definitely use light spinning gear and it'll make it more enjoyable.  I'm pretty stoked to have them run again this year, it signals its warming up  :).  I'm gonna make a trip from Tech back home to Fredericksburg one weekend just to be able to hook into some.  They run the James too right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where there is shad... there is bass?  No?  Lol.  How is the bass fishing there when this is going on?

I assume probably difficult due to the abundance of bait fish in the area.  The bass are probably really picky.  Anyway... where do you guys fish when this happens?  Fredericksburg City Docks?  I don't know of many other access areas other than the little parks along the water there.

What days and times do you guys predict we will be seeing the run?  Let me know when it's gonna happen if you guys keep track.  I may bring my panfish/crappie pole and pick up some baits and tag along.

What types of baits do you guys use for the shad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm up for it, I've been reading up on it and it sounds like ALOT of fun.  Just tell me the time and the place!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw people last year fishing the Rappahannock shad run at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg. It's a public park on the south side of the river, just over the Rt. 1/Rt.17 Bridge. There were people catching loads of fish when I was there, looked like a lot of fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got in from Swift creek, caught 6 in about 45 minutes. They will be running hard by next week in eastern NC. I'm using a chartreuse shad spoon with 3 small split shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Chickahominy, Walker's Dam was open during the shad run.  The main catch was alewife and blueback herring.  Tieing 6-10 gold aberdeen hooks on your line and just dangling in the water was enough to fill a cooler full of fish.   I'm not sure if Walker's Dam will be open this year  >:( due to eh work being done on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just got in from Swift creek, caught 6 in about 45 minutes. They will be running hard by next week in eastern NC. I'm using a chartreuse shad spoon with 3 small split shot.

for a second there I thought swift creek res in Chesterfield! lol...I can't wait til they start running the james!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you think small inline spinners would work for shad?

Best bet is an 1/8 oz jig head in chartreuse, white, yellow, pink...with a twist tail grub.  

I rig them like a dropshot about 1-2 feet apart.  4-6 Lb line on a 6'6" ultralight rod.  Run two different colors for best results.  Cast and reel back steady or with a little jigging motion.  The fish will tell you when you get it right.  Nice to hook up on two at a time.  Poor man's tarpon!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dicks in Manassas does have them, i saw them last time I went up to pick some new 2008 lures.  Check the aisle with the Zoom, GYCB, and Yum plastics.  If not check the aisle with the jig heads and tube heads and such.  Should be in one of those two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shad are running! I was at ancarrow's today (pack full of people) but everyone was catching shad! Nice size ones about 2lbs give or take.  I was tossing a silver spoon in the afternoon and changed to a gold spoon in the evening.  No luck on the shad darts for me =(

Shad 0

Simon 16 =D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how long does the shad run usually last?  I was just checking out the Shad cam on the DGIF website and saw a few.  I would really like to get in on the action before it's all over!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure =( first year doing the shad run...I'll try going tomorrow to see how it is...I expect a butt load of people there though =(

I'll snap some pics too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did a search what what shad actually look like....I think I was catching Atlantic Herring instead =(

Shad 1

Simon 0

=(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as how long they run, I know I was catching them last year around April 20th.  It varies a bit each year too depending on how fast it warms up, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went today at Ancarrow's again....caught 1 perch and 1 Herring....bite was sloooow today and as the rains came through the bite nearly stopped =(

Hoping to go out again when it warms up more!

Anyone up for some =D?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hickory Shad which average about 14"  and top out around 20" run in the Rapp, the Potomac and the Occoquan for you northern VA guys. American Shad which are a bit larger averaging 18" and top out at 28" run the Potomac with a few in the Rapp. The hickories start their run first some showing as early as late March but with as cold as its been they may not show up til April this year. The American Shad run a couple weeks later. Hickory Shad are usually gone by early May and the American Shad are gone by mid May but again it depends on weather and water temps. The footbridge area of the Occoquan is best, the Fletcher's Cove area of the Potomac is best and the Rt 1 bridge on the Rapp. I have had best luck using a shad dart about 12" above a small shad spoon on a tandem rig. Play with the colors til you find what the shad like. Some guys use curly tail grubs, spinners or just about any other small shiny bait. Early in the season you can catch some yellow perch, white perch and crappie while fishing for the shad and often snag a lot of spawning gizzard shad. As the season progresses I catch a lot of schoolie stripers, especially in the Occoquan and have caught several stripers over 10 pounds while fishing for shad. Shad have super soft mouths so if you horse them they come right off. I use a 9' noodle rod when fishing for them. They will leap out of the air multiple times and pull hard, I think they fight harder than a smallmouth. I'll be fishing a good bit for them over the next couple months if anyone wants to get together. I usually catch a couple hundred a year. Some of the American Shad push 6 lbs. They are nicknamed baby tarpon for a reason! Remember, they are catch and release only in all of the Potomac and its tributaries and the Rapp has tight laws as well, so practice CPR. Catch, Photograph, Release!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gizzard shad are in the Occoquan now and I've seen one hickory shad this weekend.  Went out this morning and got one hit but nothing else.  Snagged a few gizzards yesterday.  I think in a week or so you will start to see them running in the Quan.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally, the shad and herring run when the shad bush bloom. Since shad bush are not that common in this area, make it when the dogwoods bloom. This is generally from April 1-May 15.

Shad and herring are already coming up the Virginia tidal rivers, but are not thick enough yet for good fishing. Next week, they should be a little better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son and I fished a little while at the Fredericksburg city dock on Sunday. We did not catch anything, and we did not see anybody around catching anything. There was one dead shad lying on the bank, so there are some early arrivals moving up river, but the run itself is not happening yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok turns out what i thought was herring was actually Hickory shad.  I was at Ancarrow's on the James today....wow the bite was on FIRE.  In 3 hours I caught 20+.  They were biting yellow shat darts with a small yellow 1inch grub, both gold and silver spoons!

These guy's aren't small either, about 2-3lbs each and they fight hard =D

...I set the hook so many times my side hurts now  :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fished the Occoquan for two hours Friday morning for shad. No takers, it appears the shad had not arrived yet. The water was very low and the tide was not moving so that may have entered into it... We need some rain. I switched spoons and darts and mixed the colors but no results. I'm gonna give it a try next week, if anyone else is having any luck let us know!

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
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×