How to Find Shad to Catch

How to Find Shad to Catch
Shad belong to the herring family and are found in saltwater sources. Born in freshwater, shad migrate to the sea after eight months. They can be plentiful because of their frequent spawning activities and because they do not die after spawning. When fishing for shad, time of day is important. Striking activity will depend on the month and time of day.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Search for shad in a cove or creek during warm spring days, especially where direct sunlight is available. Fish the backs of the creek where waters are stained. Shad rarely swim in clear water.
Step 2
Search for threadfin and gizzard shad along the shoreline, where white and blue herons may be waiting for prey fish to swim close enough to eat. Look to the sky for birds circling for scraps at the surface of the water. Fast currents will push shad near the shoreline, and herons and predator fish will keep them there. As you approach, you will see shad feeding or depositing their eggs on rocks. Use this approach during early daylight and during summer months.
Step 3
Search for shad during early morning hours in the summer. Cast your line in creeks and coves before daybreak. If there is no immediate striking action, string a light over the side of your boat and troll the waters until early afternoon, which is generally around the time shad return leave open waters in search of shelter.
Step 4
Search for shad in deeper waters, such as dense coves and large marinas, during fall and winter months. Gizzard shad are available in larger numbers during the fall when eggs have had time to hatch. Lower your line at least 6 feet to 12 feet deep but expect to go to the bottom, if possible. Try a variety of flies for best results.

Tips & Warnings

You can fish for Shad from the bank but it is best to use a boat. Use a rod with at least a 7-pound capacity.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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