Finding Shad on Truman

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by Mr.T, May 22, 2006.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    I don't have trouble finding shad on Truman lake when it's just about sunset and the wind is calm - they materialize from just about everywhere. Any idiot can find them in those conditions.

    And I understand that the wind will blow the plankton up against the downwind shore, and that's where the shad "should" be. But things don't always work out like they should.

    So here's a scenario:

    It's mid-afternoon, the wind is blowing out of the south at 10 to 15 mph - almost enough to make small whitecaps, the water is muddy or at best, a lot murkier than usual, and it's a sunny day.

    Within a short boat ride, I have long shallow flats, a small and fairly shallow tree-less cove, sheltered from the wind, and deep coves on both the downwind and upwind side of the lake, both with lots of standing timber.

    Where will I find the shad?
     
  2. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Marty everyday is different, in the case of the wind it matters how long it has been blowing that direction. You can't just say "Oh the wind is from the east I'll go to the west bank" you have to have an idea how long the wind has blown from that direction. If its a couple of days I'll gaurentee you that the shad will be somewhere on the west side but even then you can find shad elsewhere. I check the wind direction almost nightly when I'm fishing a lot, some of the weather sites have hour by hour wind predictions. A lot of times you have to catch shad transitioning between the two sides. Coves are always a good place to look since they provide shelter from the wind/current especially during periods of high water. Often time they are run into the cove by cats or other gamefish. The mouths of creeks are another great place to look for the same reason. There are no set in stone rules for finding shad only guidelines. Each and everyday is different and unique, thats why its so challenging and fun to be a catfisherman.

    I have had days when I wanted to throw the cast net in the lake for good and then have a night like Saturday night when my son-n-law threw the large net once and got over 30 shad. Be flexible and evaluate the conditions and realize that even though you might have caught yours in a cove and I might have caught mine transitioning from one side of the lake to the other we both made use of some simple concepts to locate them. Sometimes you can tap the boat bottom and they jump in the boat now how do you explain that? See ya on the water!
     

  3. 1sporticus

    1sporticus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    State:
    Iowa
    davesoutfishing and I was down there for the Missouri outing last weekend, and we found shad in the sheltered coves about a foot off of the bank. We had all we needed with just a few casts of the net.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Thanks for the replies - I know I can always get shad at the city pond in Windsor, and it sure is tough to cut that "umbilical cord" -- but I need to learn to find them out on the main lake so guess this is as good a time as any.

    My boy's last day of school is Wednesday so I'm taking a half-day and bringing him down in the afternoon to do some drifting over by KK Island and the mile-long bridge. Hope I can find enough bait or else it's going to be a rough trip - there's a lot of pressure on "Dad/Guide" to make it a good day, and not having any bait will put a damper on things...

    One more question:

    Once it gets to be summer-ish like it is now, do you primarily find shad by sight, or are you still locating them on sonar? I get the idea that sonar is really only useful when it's cold (Steve says he sometimes finds them on the bottom in 30+ feet of water!) -- by now, they should be shallow pretty much all the time, right?
     
  5. CLD

    CLD New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Missouri
    Marty,

    If you are going to drift KK Island, try the coves east of the island. Ive done pretty well in the shallows. If unable to pick up on sonar or if you're not seeing any shad flipping, try different depths in the far back cove. Sometimes I have to work at it, but usually get enough to fish with. The shad were spawning last weekend and were easy to catch close to the banks. My boys and I drifted for three hours Sunday morning and caught 18 blues, 1 channel and 1 walleye. Got to meet a couple at the gathering and enjoyed a short visit on Saturday. Good luck.

    Chip
     
  6. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Chip you beat me to it, I was going to suggest the same thing. That big cove has produced for me in the past. Good Luck Marty!
     
  7. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Thanks Chip and Ron - I'll give that cove a look.

    Not sure whether I'll put in at Shawnee Bend or at the little boat ramp down on KK -- that ramp is really nice - well maintained and huge parking area; I checked it out last weekend and it sure is a lot closer for me to that part of the lake than driving to Shawnee Bend or all the way over to Osage Bluff.

    Hoping the storms hold off - won't be any fun to get run off the water by lightning as soon as we get there... And my boy was awake at about 5:30 this morning, too excited to sleep, so I'll have a hard time talking him out of the trip, rain or no rain. Next time I'll wait and tell him we're going fishing as we get in the truck...
     
  8. Boogan1

    Boogan1 New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Carrollton, MO
    The only advantage I could see by putting in at shawnee bend is that shad are easy to come by in the little cove on the south side of the ramps, or anywhere on the flats between the boat ramps and the swim beach. I catch a lot of shad there. Hope to see you on the water some time. Boog
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Didn't have much trouble finding shad - the wind was unbelievable but there were plenty of shad back in the sheltered coves, about 3 ft of water. Every one I cut was full of eggs.

    Other throw net catches of the day: a 17" largemouth, a 16" carp who almost became cut bait, and a 22" buffalo who was pardoned since we already had the carp. Also, 2 large sticks and one stump (the stump won).

    Fishing turned out to be a waste of time - wind was out of the west so it was hard finding a good line to drift. Started out north of the mile-long bridge and drifted in 10 to 20 ft of water. Caught two dinks and had several good hits.

    Moved a couple of times but never got more than a few little bites. Very, very few fish on the sonar. I was trying to stay in 20 ft of water or less, per Steve Brown's recommendation but there just weren't any fish there. It looked like there was a thermocline setting up at about 18 ft - any time I got deeper than that, there was a very noticeable dark area on the sonar at that depth. Seems a bit early for that, but what do I know.

    Finally ended up just east of KK Island and drifted a couple of lines but only caught one large snag that ended up with me having a nice burn on all 4 fingers when the line I was holding against the rod handle slipped, then a good gash on my finger when the line finally snapped. That 20 lb Big Game is some good line, and I'm apparently quite a knot-tyer.

    All in all not much of a day for fishing. Saw that big green boat from the Lowe dealer on 7 Hwy out by KK island - he had several folks with him, 6 rods in the water and I never saw them reel in a fish in the 90 minutes we drifted near them.

    But on the positive side, I'm now a whole lot less worried about finding shad!