View Full Version : Reading the water for shad?

05-07-2010, 12:00 PM
I'm a total newb at shad fishing -- how do you guys read the water to know where to cast? Do you just have to comb the whole river or is there a way to narrow it down a bit? Thanks for any advice! (some good tips in the 010 post too -- thx) :help:

I've heard/read they usually stay close to the banks to avoid the current? Do they park in slack water/pools/breaks or ignore that and run up the middle power off tackle?

Bigg A
05-07-2010, 12:52 PM
Honestly.... the best way to learn is to go out and fish for them. I learned from watching people at freeport years ago. I myself cant say what they do because everyday seems to be a little different with these fish. Some days they are close in and other days they are far out. You just gotta go out and find the track there on for that particular day. Try miller park and discovery and just kick back and watch....you'll see most people just cast out and retrieve waiting for a shad to hit. Retrieval speed plays a part also....sometimes people reel to fast or to slow, you gotta switch it up every now and then to see what they like. Also have a good assortment of colors, they will be hitting like crazy and sometimes just completely stop and people think they are gone but a switch in color will keep you on fish.

05-10-2010, 11:35 AM
just go out @ dusk or dawn & watch em jump!!!

05-10-2010, 04:24 PM
i've had no luck myself this year, i've put a few days into shad fishing already maybe a good 10 hours of casting already, its still a little early for me, most years i don't start until they are here in hoards, after june, when they are already dying on most of the american river. color of darts make a big difference on the sacramento river, for years, chartreuse and red was the hottest color, but i've seen a lot of people catching them on blue and white this year, off the bank. as already indicated, a slight speed in retrieve could make a big difference, or just moving along the bank 5 to 10 feet every couple of minutes, i myself, when room is permitted, i like fishing the far edges or turns of the river, that way allowing me to send my dart out further into the river. i've taken advice and have started to use pink jig heads this year, or non colored ones, with pink grub tails, been throwing trailer rigs as well. i'm sure i'll probably really nail them this coming week, and all this trial and plenty of error would have been worth it. i think the only thing you wouldn't like casting into is a drop off and reeling through that every retrieve, i've always hooked up on shad during the initial retrieve myself, either that or to the middle of the retrieve, i've never caught one by the shoreline, but it looks like they have a lot of fun along the shoreline, so anywhere is possible.