American Shad ascend rivers on both the West and East Coasts in the spring months and are an absolute blast to catch on light tackle! While not a super sophisticated fish, there are a few things you need to know to consistently score. Here are some tips and tricks to help you catch a bunch of shad this season. By the way, if you’d like to go on a guided shad fishing trip in the Sacramento area, be sure to click on my website www.theportfisher.com
Getting to Know the American Shad
For the uninitiated, shad are over-grown members of the herring family that spend most of their life in the ocean and then return to freshwater rivers to spawn (like salmon, only most shad don’t die after spawning).
Native to the East Coast, shad were transplanted to the West in the 1800’s and have flourished since. Out West, the Columbia River plays host to the largest runs followed by the Sacramento River and her main tributaries, the American, Feather and Yuba rivers. Back East, shad roam the Atlantic from Florida to Nova Scotia and spawn in many drainages in-between, including the Delaware, Susquehanna, Juniata, Delaware, Schuylkill and Lehigh rivers.
Depending on the location and temperature, the first waves of American Shad arrive sometime April and fishing can last through June and into July in some streams.