The American shad is a wonderful fish to catch because they love to run and fight hard. They are also known for their strong jumping antics. They are found up and down the east and west coast of North America. They have never caught on for sport fishing in Canada, but are very popular in the US. Here are some of the best spots to go fishing for the American shad.
One of the greatest rivers to fish during the spawning season is the Delaware River. The shad stage in the estuaries and eat while they get accustomed to the low salinity levels. Once they are used to the water they shoot up the river to their spawning grounds. During this time shiny spoons may catch their attention, but they are off their feed until they have finished spawning. On their way back down the river they start eating again. This is perfect setting for fly fishing using some of the bigger bugs. They are hungry and need to regain their strength so they will be eating as large of bug as they can swallow. To read more about fly fishing click here.
Another great east coast shad fishery is the St. Johns River in Florida. Because the water is warm almost year ‘round Spawning begins in late November. This gives you an opportunity to fish for shad for many months by starting on the St. Johns and working your way along the coast in the spring. If you want to read more about Florida fishing click here.
On the west coast, the Sacramento River in California has a great run of shad. They will also stage for a week or so in the estuary before moving upstream. As they return they will begin to feed. Fish eggs and small crank baits work well for catching these hungry fish.