American Shad - 'Freshwater Tarpon'

Discussion in 'CALIFORNIA RIVERS TALK' started by KnotGillty, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Went fishing for American Shad over the weekend. They are a saltwater fish in the herring family that lives the majority of its life in saltwater, but come into the freshwater rivers to spawn. Caught a bunch up to 4 pounds on Saturday. They are a blast to catch on light gear. I'll try to post up some pics later (I'm at work).

    Anyone ever fish for American Shad on these boards?
     
  2. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    looking forward for the post Randy... seen lots of boys trying and posting about it.... The fly pole is what I've seen....

    where is your post....???

    Bayrunner Ray
     

  3. Shimano_cat

    Shimano_cat New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    North Caro
    We catch both American and Hickory Shad here in the Roanoke River in NC. We also fish with light tackle, these fish are a blast to catch. Lot's of aerial acrobatics and very hard pulling. Good think they don't get to 10 lbs.---you'd never get one to the boat--LOL.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    We launched out of Verona on the Sacramento River and anchored up where the Feather River and Sacramento river converge. The feather is clear, and the sac is dirty, and I like to anchor right on top of that color line. Lots of people fly fish for American shad, and others spin cast little shad darts & crappie jigs. We did neither. We used a 3 way swivel with one foot of line to the sinker & 3 feet of line to the hook. Pink curly tailed grubs were the ticket. Just drop straight down till the sinker hits bottom and put the rod in the holder. It was a great way to relax, have a few cold beverages, and catch fish. In addition to all the shad, we also caught 25 undersized stripers on the pink grubs. We were using ultralight rods with 6 pound test, so even the stripers put up a little bit of a fuss. I'll try to remember to get some pics up tonight when I'm at home.
     
  5. Shimano_cat

    Shimano_cat New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    North Caro

    Just noticed what you caught them on, we were using white curly tail grubs on a pink jig head. Seems like the same thing works no matter what side of the US you're fishing on!
     
  6. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    American Shad are frequently referred to as 'freshwater tarpon' because of their superior strength and acrobatic arial displays along with their never say die attitude. The forked tail gives them superior speed & strength. Pound for pound, they are probably the strongest fighting fish in Nor Cal rivers. The California record is just over 7 pounds. The average catch is 2 to 4 pounds. A 5 pound female is considered a trophy. They spawn in freshwater and spend the rest of their lives in saltwater. They invade our rivers by the thousands and catching 20 or more in an evening is not unheard of. They bite best in the first two hours and last two hours of light. They are too boney and most don't even attempt to eat them. I do know some who try to smoke them however.


    Here's some pics. Everything caught on ultralight rods w/6# test.
    All fish were released.


    Tight lines . . .
     

    Attached Files:

  7. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Gotta love long, downstream, drag screamin' runs on ultralight gear



    .
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Capt Steve

    Capt Steve Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    Clovis, CA
    I caught some in the creek just below the Berenda Reservoir dam near Chowchilla.
     
  9. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,329
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Great pic's randy, what pole's and reel's are you guy's using? My favorite is the finwick ultra-ultra lite in graphite 4 foot -rated for 2-6 # test with a shimano to match.
     
  10. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    I have always preferred longer rods. I have a couple of 4, 5, & 6 foot poles, but I rarely use them anymore. On this day I was using a 7 foot rod rated for 2 - 6 pound test. My neighbor gave it to me after his dad died as he had no use for it. It's like 40 years old. I stripped it down, re-wrapped the eyes, and it's good as new. I think it's an old Abu Garcia pole, but I can't remember right now as he gave me 3 or 4 poles that I refurbished). The reel is a Shimano Sahara.

    My buddy was using a 4 piece ultralight backpack rod. Not sure of the reel.

    I had another line out, but it was for bigger fish. That rod was a 9 foot ugly stik with a shimano baitrunner reel.

    We had a great time out there. My buddy was like a little kid as he was hootin' & hollerin' the whole time he had fish on. He couldn't believe how hard these fish fight. It was fun to watch.

    Tight lines.
     
  11. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    That looks like it's a blast! I love micro lite fishing and enjoy catching carp on them. Some day I may be on one of the coasts and get a chance to go for them. Any one want to throw in a round trip fare? lol :smile2::smile2::smile2: