Monster shad......or not

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by BigCat4, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. BigCat4

    BigCat4 New Member

    i went camping about 4-5 weeks ago and i caught a 9 or 10 in shad on a night crawler i as tryin to catch some gills so i used my sisters spongebob pole lol but anyway has anyone ever caught on that big and im sure it was a shad bcuz the guts made a awsome bait....and it looked it had teeth on its tongue is that normal? it might not have been one but it looked like one
  2. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    welcme to the boc man, and it depends on the type of shad it was, there are like american shad, gizzard shad, like hicory shad or something, try looking under library.. ill post the page after this post.

  3. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    American Shad

    The largest of New York's herring, American shad are very important commercial and sportfish along the Atlantic coast. Their large size and long jaw, which extends to behind their eye, distinguishes them from other members of the herring family.

    In the ocean, American shad are found along the eastern coast of North America, from Florida to as far north as the Gulf of St. Lawrence in northeastern Quebec. New York's shad are from stocks in the Hudson and Delaware rivers and are part of what is called the mid-Atlantic population. This population has a migratory range of thousands of miles along the Atlantic coast.

    In late spring, New York's shad head north along the coast to spend the summer in the Bay of Fundy. Toward fall, they begin their migration south, wintering off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. In spring, the northward cycle begins again. At this time, adult fish that are ready to spawn split off from the main group and head toward their home river.

    The habits of American shad in the ocean are not well known. Shad can spend up to four or five years at sea before returning to their natal waters to spawn. It is thought that these fish move off the coast toward the edge of the Continental Shelf.

    During spawning, shad arrive in large schools, running up the rivers where they slowly adjust to the change from salt to fresh water. While a large number of American shad run up into the Delaware River, the biggest run on the east coast goes into the Hudson River Estuary. Historically, shad were also found in New York State's portion of the Susquehanna River, as far upstream as Binghamton. However, large hydropower dams built in the 1920s currently prevent these fish from reaching this portion of the Susquehanna.

    New York's American shad are highly prized by all fisherman. Hudson River adults average 20 to 23 inches in length and five to six pounds in weight. Shad up to 14 pounds have been taken by commercial fishermen in the Hudson, but anglers have yet to land one of this size. The current New York State angling record of an eight pound 14 ounce shad was caught in the Hudson River in 1989.

    DEC publishes a "Guide to Angling of Hudson River Shad." The pamphlet is updated yearly and provides anglers with information on how, when, and where to catch shad. The most popular lure to use is the shad dart, a small jig about an inch long with a fuzzy tail. The darts are made in a variety of colors: white, bright yellow, or chartreuse combined with red. Since shad do not feed in the spring, it takes a bit of luck and skill to entice them to bite. The best Hudson River shad fishing occurs from Kingston northward with the Federal Dam at Troy being a particularly popular location.

    Fishing for shad on the Delaware River is different than on the Hudson River. Because the upper Delaware is much smaller and clearer than the Hudson, shad are more visible to the angler. Casting small spinners or kissing darts off the bottom of clear pools and runs is often successful. Shad can also be taken by fly fishing. Best fishing occurs in the lower East Branch and the main stem from Port Jervis to Hancock.

    Ocean-run Alewife

    Like American shad, alewife is an important commercial fish species on the Atlantic coast. Adults average ten to 14 inches in length and weigh less than a pound. Although they look similar to other small herring, their large eyes and deep body easily identify them. Alewives have a short jaw that juts out when the mouth is closed.

    Spawning occurs in early spring when large schools of alewives move into tidal waters from the ocean. These spawning runs begin slowly with only a few fish at a time migrating in. As more fish arrive, they remain along the shore in the main rivers. Spawning fish can often be seen swirling about in small groups.

    Young alewives are often hard to find, as they hide in weedy beds and deep water during the day. Like shad, as fall approaches they leave the estuary and migrate out to the ocean.

    Alewives are found all along the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to North Carolina. They follow the same general pattern of migration as shad, moving north in early summer and south in the fall. These fish spend two to three years at sea before returning home to spawn. It is thought that they move off the east coast and wander over most of the Continental Shelf.

    In New York, a large run of ocean-run alewives occurs in the Hudson River and its tributaries each spring. Smaller runs occur in tidal creeks along Long Island.

    Although bony, ocean-run alewives are valued for pickling by many fisherman. In addition, scapping (or dip-netting) for alewives is part of some people's spring ritual. Large square or round nets are lowered into the creeks where alewives run and the fish are scooped up as they swirl about above the net. For the conventional angler, a combination of light tackle and a smaller version of the shad dart in white, yellow, or chartreuse can be used to catch these fish.

    Unique among New York's herring, the alewife has also developed a separate landlocked form of the species. The landlocked alewife is an important bait and prey fish in the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, and numerous reservoirs in New York State's inland waters. Details on the landlocked alewife are found in a previous article in The Conservationist, entitled Common Prey Fish in New York. The article appeared in the September-October 1992 issue.

    Blueback Herring

    Blueback herring are similar in appearance to alewives. Like alewives, these fish have a short jaw, but unlike alewives, bluebacks have a small eye. If a blueback herring is gutted, the black body cavity lining is another distinguishing feature.

    Blueback herring are the last herring to arrive in New York's estuaries, from mid-May to June. While they used to be found only in tidal portions of the Hudson River and its tributaries, in recent years bluebacks have expanded their range (via travel through locks of the Barge Canal System) to include the upper Hudson (above the Troy dam) and Mohawk rivers. A few fish have been reported in Lake Champlain, Oneida Lake, and some have traveled through to Lake Ontario.

    Blueback herring are found all along the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to Florida. They follow the same general pattern of migration as other herring, moving north in the early summer and south in the fall.

    Bluebacks are also similar to alewives in that they spend two to three years at sea before returning to their natal waters to spawn. It is thought that they also move off the coast and use the Continental Shelf as their home range in the sea.

    Bluebacks are an important commercial fish along the Atlantic coast. They are valued for pickling by commercial and recreational fishermen alike. Scapping in the tributaries to the Hudson River and in the Mohawk River is the main method of fishing for these ten to 14 inch herring. Angling can be successful in areas where these fish concentrate, such as below any dams in mid to late May. In the Mohawk River, young bluebacks have become an important forage fish for valued gamefish such as smallmouth bass and walleye. Adult bluebacks in spring make excellent bait for striped bass.

    Hickory Shad

    Although smaller, hickory shad are similar in appearance to American shad with a lower jaw that noticeable juts out. They are abundant in New England coastal waters and in the Chesapeake. They are not very common in the waters in between, which includes New York State.

    Each year, New Yorkers catch a few hickory shad, usually in early summer in the lower Hudson River Estuary. It is thought that these herring spawn in freshwater, but not much is known about how many actually migrate into New York waters.

    Herring and People

    Herring are some of the few freshwater fish species in New York State that have a commercial value, as well as a recreational value. Since long before colonial days, people have used and relied upon the large annual spawning runs of herring as an important source of food. This remains true today, with the state's commercial fishery for river herring and shad on the Hudson River.

    While spawning runs of herring still provide us with recreational enjoyment, as well as food, the years have brought many changes to these fish populations. With European settlement and industrialization along our river corridors came pollution. Even more devastating to our herring stocks was the construction of huge cement hydroelectric dams that greatly reduce the suitable spawning and nursery habitat available to these fish.

    One of the largest rivers to experience such effects was the Susquehanna. Beginning in the 1920s, a series of dams were built on the lower river starting at river mile 10 in Maryland. This construction closed off one of the largest rivers used by American shad. Historically, these fish traveled as much as 300 miles inland from Chesapeake Bay to spawn at Binghamton, New York. With the dams in place, fewer and fewer fish came back each year.

    Realizing that a valuable resource had been lost, state and federal agencies began to work with the power companies to see what could be done to rectify the situation. They began a restoration effort to bring shad back to their former range. A fish lift was built to move spawning fish around the lower dam; however, few fish were left from the original Susquehanna stock.

    To enhance the restoration effort, young shad were stocked in the Susquehanna River above Harrisburg, beginning in 1971. Over the years, eggs have been collected from the Hudson, Delaware, Chesapeake and several other river systems to provide young shad for the Susquehanna. The stocking program has had steady success with increasing numbers of adult shad now returning to the Susquehanna to spawn. Fish passage facilities have been installed in lower Susquehanna at hydro facilities allowing American shad to swim upstream.

    While the population of herring will probably never be the huge numbers of before, it is encouraging to see that such restoration efforts can have a positive effect. These efforts serve as examples to show us that if we are going to succeed, private industry and state agencies need to continue to work together in providing stewardship of our valuable resources.

    Scientific Names

    Many species of fish look alike, making it difficult to tell them apart. In addition, many types of fish have different common names in different parts of the country. To distinguish one organism from another, biologists give each a scientific name that is unique to that organism. The names are derived from the Latin language and consist of a genus and a species. The genus name is first and is capitalized. The species is second and is in lower case. Both the genus and species are either underlined or italicized when written. While several organisms in the same "family" share a common genus name (like family members sharing a last name), they have different species names. Occasionally, two members of a family are so similar that one is considered a subspecies of the other. In these cases, the organisms are given two species names. Here are the common and scientific names of New York State's herring:

    Common Name Scientific Name
    American shad Alosa sapidissima
    alewife Alosa pseudoharengus
    blueback herring Alosa aestivalis
    hickory shad Alosa mediocris
  4. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Pataskala, Ohio
    Good Post!! Thanks for sharing!
  5. Boss Hogg

    Boss Hogg New Member

    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    I thought that shad were vegatarians. I have never heard of anyone catching one on a pole.
  6. BigCat4

    BigCat4 New Member

    thanx all i was looking on yahoo for different shad pics and i couldnt find one thta looked the one i caught so...idk but it made good bait i know that
  7. photocat

    photocat New Member

    HOCO, Maryland
    if it hit the worm then its not likely a shad... like the rock hound said its probably something in the goldeye or mooneye line...

    And Gizzard shad get up to 19+ inches (I've caught them up to that but they probably can get bigger)

    Threadfins don't get that large usually maybe 10 at max i think (don't have them around so i don't really know)

    American shad can get to be 24+ inches and up to 5 or 6 lbs usually but mostly the 2-3 lber are caught (i know in MD its illegal to keep them but in someplaces its not)

    Hickory don't grow as large as americans but can get up there...

    Its too bad you don't have a picture of it or anything so we can help id it better...
  8. BigCat4

    BigCat4 New Member

    i found out what it was!! my dad went to buy a castnet(finaly) and he saw pics of skipjack and thats what i caught