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dsa2780
02-15-2013, 11:14 PM
Here's another one of my inquisitive beginner threads, so brace yourselves for my naive questions and lack of understanding this species and how to catch them.

So shad make their run up the river from March until summer right?

People catch them at Freeport so I can catch them 8 miles downstream where I live next to the Sacramento River?

To do so, how would I go about rigging for them? I have a medium light lamiglass rod, an uglstick ultralight and some 4-6lb spools of line. Shad darts or crappie jigs rigged on a small weight or is there another way to rig for them?

Once caught, can I use the shad for bait and freeze them for striper, sturgeon, shark fishing throughout the year? I may plan on smoking a few like a Scandinavian recipe for herring, but if I can turn the shad into Striper or leopard shark fillets, I'll gladly do so.

I really want to try and catch some shad this year, as spring seems to be coming a bit early, it doesn't hurt to prepare, right?

johnyee1
02-16-2013, 01:03 AM
On the sac, I mostly use 3/4-1oz egg sinker, swivel, and then 2-3 feet leader and a shad dart. I've seen guys casting and retrieving 3 way rigs do well too. The trick is just finding what depth/path they're at mainly then once you catch one, then you just repeat what you did and catch more. 4-6lb line would do fine but you can use bigger too. Since you are using a sinker, sometimes the shock from repeatedly casting will cause it to break off unexpectedly so it's favorable to use heavier line if you are trying to harvest them but for sport you can use smaller. They aren't line shy and I have very few breakoffs from casting or setting hooks using 10lb.

I normally wait until late april before fishing shad. Can only expect to catch a few early on because it's not consistent so it's even tougher finding what path and depth they are at and even then, it seems that they aren't in big schools and the paths seem to vary so it's difficult. You can cast for long time and maybe you are fishing the wrong path, a bad spot, or maybe just not many fish came by so it's a bunch of guessing. By guessing I mean determining how long to allow the setup to sink after casting, how fast to retrieve, and sometimes color makes a big deal.

You can keep them throughout the year in your freezer. Alot of people actually fish them to use as bait for crabbing since they are oily. I've seen guys that cut them into bait sized squares and soak them in scent to use as bait for catfish/stripers.

Bigg A
02-16-2013, 04:04 AM
Great info J.....dsa...I put this up last year to help out some new shad anglers on the sac...hope it helps you as well. I hope with the information you receive on this board for shad will not result in divorce, counseling or sudden life changes due to the fact you will be chasing them until they leave the river systems....lol....enjoy!!!

For any newbies looking to land there first shad, I have a little info.....simple stuff.....not alot of detail but enough to get you started. The rest is up to the angler to find there "mojo". Other sniffer shad addicts please feel free to chime in if you have any input on something I might have missed.

Sac river banking

Weight: 3/4 to 1oz egg sinker is pretty much the standard depending on river conditions. If the river is flowing with minimal current in certain areas a 1/2 oz sinker will work also. May have to go as heavy as 2oz when river is up and flowing strong. Also, it helps sometime to change your weight....for example: everyone fishing might be using 1oz and getting fish here and there, all of a sudden the bite shuts off. Sometimes switching down in weight to a 3/4oz could improve your chances. Fish might just happen to move up in the water column.

Rod/Reel: I suggest anything over 8ft(personal preference) if bank fishing. Short rods seem to catch the bank alot...lol!! Medium or medium/heavy action rods will work just fine. I would suggest using a "quality" reel as these silver bullets are known to wear down a drag system and other mechanical parts. Baitcasting set-ups work well also.

Line: Any good quality line in the 6-8# range is ideal for the sac river

Setup: Egg sinker, bead, swivel, 3-4ft leader and a dart

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/DSC01030.jpg

Lures: Shad darts.....Main colors are red/chart, blue tip/green/chart, pink/white, green/white, orange/white and red/white. If not getting bit, change colors....there mood changes like crappie!! As I mentioned above about weight size, it may also apply to dart size as well. Switching to a smaller dart could also trigger strikes when the bite seems slow to non-existent.

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/DSC01037.jpg

Sometimes the shad are far out and sometimes they're close. Sometimes they're on the bottom and sometimes they're not. Gotta find that lane they're traveling in and vary your retrieve speed. So basically you cast out, let it drop for a second or two or let it hit bottom and start your retrieve. Gotta find out what they're doing.

Boat fishing:

You can cast from a boat like you would the shore or you can try the lazy way when your arms and back start to hurt...lol!!!

Set-up: You can pretty much use the same rod/reel but I step up on the line since I use a heavier weight and hooking 2 shad at the same time is not uncommon with this rig. You will ditch the darts for this method and use grubs instead. Basic drop shot rig with 2 grubs a foot or two above the weight. Drop down and bounce it back a few feet. stick it in the rod holder and watch the pole get hammered!!

Tackle:

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/IMG_20110523_063031-1.jpg __________________

Bigg A
02-16-2013, 04:18 AM
So shad make their run up the river from March until summer right?

People catch them at Freeport so I can catch them 8 miles downstream where I live next to the Sacramento River?


They'll usually start to reveal themselves around april and will start to thin out around august. Don't know if you can catch them where you live but freeport is or has been a popular holding spot for migrating fish. I usually start there for shad but probably will skip that area this year and wait for AR to turn on.

WHT.RUS
02-16-2013, 05:05 AM
Those are some nice looking jigs anthony! Awesome colors :smiley:

EarlyFish
02-16-2013, 05:57 AM
I don't fish for shad, but just out of curiousity, when will the shad get to the mouth of the AR and above?

Cali Duck
02-16-2013, 12:40 PM
I don't fish for shad, but just out of curiousity, when will the shad get to the mouth of the AR and above?

Mid March usually, but if I were you, I'd subscribe to this thread and see what reports start coming in:

http://www.fishsniffer.com/forums/american-shad/102697-official-shad-thread-2013-now-official-shad-section.html

LURKER916
02-16-2013, 12:41 PM
Before March 20th.

Lets get a friendly pool going!

LURKER916
02-16-2013, 12:41 PM
No money involved. Just a gentlemans bet.

Swimbaitjunkie
02-16-2013, 05:14 PM
Before March 20th.

Lets get a friendly pool going!

Matt don't forget me bro!!!! Remember the whole crew at the "spot" we all play dirty...U know what I mean, spot hopping casting when the other guy had just cast...LOL the dirtiest player in the shad game is GUPPY...LOL

Marv
02-16-2013, 05:58 PM
:worthy: ANT you the man, this is what a forum is for thanks for the knowledge, I may pop my shad cherry this year :dankk2:

49erbassman
02-16-2013, 06:08 PM
Damn Ant you broke it down! My Head is swollen right now trying to take it all in


Sent from my iPhone

EarlyFish
02-18-2013, 01:24 PM
Mid March usually, but if I were you, I'd subscribe to this thread and see what reports start coming in:

http://www.fishsniffer.com/forums/american-shad/102697-official-shad-thread-2013-now-official-shad-section.html

Thank you! If you see a dude out there with a stout 7'9" rod with a Basstar Silent Runner Jr. then that's me!!!
12912

Jimmy_M
05-10-2013, 07:57 AM
Great info J.....dsa...I put this up last year to help out some new shad anglers on the sac...hope it helps you as well. I hope with the information you receive on this board for shad will not result in divorce, counseling or sudden life changes due to the fact you will be chasing them until they leave the river systems....lol....enjoy!!!

For any newbies looking to land there first shad, I have a little info.....simple stuff.....not alot of detail but enough to get you started. The rest is up to the angler to find there "mojo". Other sniffer shad addicts please feel free to chime in if you have any input on something I might have missed.

Sac river banking

Weight: 3/4 to 1oz egg sinker is pretty much the standard depending on river conditions. If the river is flowing with minimal current in certain areas a 1/2 oz sinker will work also. May have to go as heavy as 2oz when river is up and flowing strong. Also, it helps sometime to change your weight....for example: everyone fishing might be using 1oz and getting fish here and there, all of a sudden the bite shuts off. Sometimes switching down in weight to a 3/4oz could improve your chances. Fish might just happen to move up in the water column.

Rod/Reel: I suggest anything over 8ft(personal preference) if bank fishing. Short rods seem to catch the bank alot...lol!! Medium or medium/heavy action rods will work just fine. I would suggest using a "quality" reel as these silver bullets are known to wear down a drag system and other mechanical parts. Baitcasting set-ups work well also.

Line: Any good quality line in the 6-8# range is ideal for the sac river

Setup: Egg sinker, bead, swivel, 3-4ft leader and a dart

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/DSC01030.jpg

Lures: Shad darts.....Main colors are red/chart, blue tip/green/chart, pink/white, green/white, orange/white and red/white. If not getting bit, change colors....there mood changes like crappie!! As I mentioned above about weight size, it may also apply to dart size as well. Switching to a smaller dart could also trigger strikes when the bite seems slow to non-existent.

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/DSC01037.jpg

Sometimes the shad are far out and sometimes they're close. Sometimes they're on the bottom and sometimes they're not. Gotta find that lane they're traveling in and vary your retrieve speed. So basically you cast out, let it drop for a second or two or let it hit bottom and start your retrieve. Gotta find out what they're doing.

Boat fishing:

You can cast from a boat like you would the shore or you can try the lazy way when your arms and back start to hurt...lol!!!

Set-up: You can pretty much use the same rod/reel but I step up on the line since I use a heavier weight and hooking 2 shad at the same time is not uncommon with this rig. You will ditch the darts for this method and use grubs instead. Basic drop shot rig with 2 grubs a foot or two above the weight. Drop down and bounce it back a few feet. stick it in the rod holder and watch the pole get hammered!!

Tackle:

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx236/Bigg_Ant/IMG_20110523_063031-1.jpg __________________

BA,

Do you use the same bank method in the AR?

EG1120
05-11-2013, 04:45 PM
Anything yet in discovery park

49erbassman
05-11-2013, 04:48 PM
They been at discovery for weeks. Just gotta find or be there when a school comes through


Fish on!

frigginchi
05-19-2013, 11:16 AM
Good stuff. I will be going up to fish around Watt Memorial Day weekend. Maybe I'll bring my Zodiac.

LURKER916
05-19-2013, 04:22 PM
Listen to bigAnt.

Was next to him today for hours. Same color same size. He couldn't keep the damn shad off his line

They were allergic to mine.