Well I had pretty much had given up on the catfish for the year. The shad are stacked at the dam and all we are catching are smallies and an ocassional channel. It's been a very slow year compared to the last 3 years. My neighbor and I decided to load our bows and climbers into the canoe and hit some secluded woods/water for some urban deer. On the way there I was amazed at the amount of shad we saw. Schools of 10 to 30 about every 30 to 40 yards. Big ones 6 inches plus and small ones. I was beginning to worry there was a big kill off this year with the low water. Lots of smalleys, carp and suckers too. This really put my mind at ease. Anyway, we climb our trees about 5 pm and had no luck seeing deer. One yotee at 45 yards but moving too fast to get the bow up and ready. At dark we proceeded down the river and it was nuts. Fish jumping and stirring evertime I put the paddle in the water. I just assumed the were carp or suckers. So, we slowed down and got the lights out. Channels were everywhere. They were lined up side by side swimming to stay stationary in the strong current. They were mostly concentrated in the shallow flats where the water was 6 to 12 inches deep from bank to bank and strong current. Or, it could be that they were in the deeper water too, but I just couldn't see them. I assume they were holding tight waiting for shad to float by. Most of them seemed to be in the 5 to 6 lb range but it was hard to get a light on them unless they were 3 to 4 feet from the canoe. Definately saw whiskers. The moon was also very bright. Needless to say my girlfriend wants to camp on the river next weekend and take our waders to check it out after bowhunting. The plan is too cast net a bunch of shad. Then stand down river and cast up with jig heads and let the cut bait float to us. This is pretty much how I fish the river anyway but usually in the deeper holes. I am much more produtive this way for channels than sitting on the bank and using stationary presentations. It's kind of like drifting for walleye or salmon/steelhead. Has anyone else witnessed this? I have caught them in shallow spots immediately downstream of deep holes right at dark and for about the first hour after dark. I just assumed they were moving upsteam to the deeper holes. I wonder if its a fall pattern that I was unaware of. I know they often feed the flats at night but it seems to be more in slack water. Ohh... and we did see 10 deer drinking from the river on the way out. Could have taken any of them if it wasn't dark out. A nice 6 pointer in full velvet that would have looked great on the wall. Let me know your thoughts.