Please... we need help locating shad

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by river_rat_42, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. river_rat_42

    river_rat_42 New Member

    Messages:
    110
    State:
    Indiana
    I have asked for advice on here before and I have recieved some helpfull answers, BUT the one thing that I need advice on the most I have not gotten any great stuff yet. I need serious help finding shad and skippies. I live in Indiana and I fish the Ohio River ( Clark County; near Louisville ). I don't personally own a boat, but I have access to one. It's not a fishing boat it's a really nice and expensive speed boat. Which is kinda loud (not real bad), and it might be scarin' off the shad. Also, I live near a damn (McAlpine Dam) which may have some shad, but I have not tried there yet with my cast net. SO, knowing all this about my situation, where, when, and how would you all try to catch some skippies or shad. THANXX
     
  2. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    When your out in that speed boat, do you see them flipping the water tops?

    Also, do the boat have a sonar/fish finder?

    I dont know about your local waters, but here is somethings that may help..
    When by the water, watch the water top for them breaking the surface. You'll see them flip across the top when they spook from bigger fish after them.
    Try the slackwater or slower current by that dam. Back of coves usually have em in there as well...

    You want to spend some time crusing around in that boat looking for em bust the water and then give you a good idea where they hanging out at...
     

  3. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Good advice, Tim.

    Also, look for where small feeder creeks enter the river of lake you are at. They spend a lot of time up in there. Sunrise and sunset seem to be great times in those creeks and also in the coves. Around boat harbors would fit in the same category. What you are looking for is where water is calm, they like that at night. During the middle of the day, look for one of two locations mostly. Warm water outlets, like where either sewage overflow drains or power plant discharges are, or out in deep water. For the deep water, follow the seagulls and such. The shad school in large numbers. Whenever a predator attacks, they are usually run upwards to the surface. Seagulls are able to detect this even before it happens. They fly around in groups and suddenly swarm down to catch the shad hitting the surface trying to escape what it was that chased them up. This is one way to find them, but a bit hard to sneak up quick enough and also hard to catch in a net. I advise the other ways first. Warm water discharges are almost a guarantee. Feeder creeks and coves can be good any time of day, just not as good as it is when the sun is low.
    By the way, after dark, it gets easier. Find one of those locations and set up a light right over or floating the surface of, the water, if legal in your area. Shad will swarm to the light.
    Another possibility would be near that dam you mentioned. As Tim said, any slack water. One other idea would be the opposite, hard current where there is plenty of oxygen. Shad love lots of oxygen and school right where they can find a bunch. This luckily can be right next to the shore where the water is in a back current, flowing upstream to the dam. The closer you can get to the dam, the better.
    Remember, dams usually have lots of rocks and debris that can destroy a net in quick order. It's the price one must pay.
    Hope this helps and good luck.
    Come on guy's, I know there is more info I forgot, chime in.
     
  4. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    We have been having the same problem here also, so don't feel alone!!! They are not grouping in the regular places for some reason, I think it may be water temps. I would venture to say that they are running deep right now because of it.
     
  5. coltsfan

    coltsfan New Member

    Messages:
    714
    State:
    ohio
    everything they said sounds good to me, you also might want to try the boat ramps around the docks.but you have to do it before boats start putting in. the boats will scare em off
     
  6. river_rat_42

    river_rat_42 New Member

    Messages:
    110
    State:
    Indiana
    Thanxx for some of your help guys. But one more thing what time of day or night is best to try all of this.
     
  7. Cattledogz

    Cattledogz New Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    NC
    You will often see them breaking the surface at dawn and dusk. I have often seen them school up and be on the surface of a shady bank during the day, especially if there is a breeze blowing into that bank.

    When we went this last Saturday night we could find no normal schools in any of the regular places we find them whether shallow or deep....
     
  8. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Are you looking for a specific shad?Please enclose a picture and I will keep an eye out for you.:big_smile: :lol: :smile2: If you go down to Macalpine dam you will probably see folks cast netting them.Best bet is to go to the nearest tackle store or bait store and ask the folks working there or hanging around.Good luck:smile2:
     
  9. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    Two weekends ago on the Ohio River, DH, stoney and I spent about 5 hours trying to find bait. Tried to catch skipjack right before dark, and then threw the cast net all around the dam. I caught 5 small shad in a cove and one next to one of the unopened dam spickets. We tried letting the net go deep, threw next to walls, threw next to water feeding into the river, threw behind barges, threw in areas where the were lights from barge docks, tried to throw on a sand bar, tried to throw in a creek, tried throwing by bushes , tried throwing along lock wall of the dam, tried throwing in the heavy current at the dam. nothing worked. 6 shad in 5 hours. Although, I did skunk everyone that night. I threw the cast net on the upstream side of a parked barge where an overflow was coming out. It was a 3-4lb channel cat. Anyways, In the past I've been able to go to the Ohio river and throw one time anywhere along the bank and catch over 50 at a time. This year i havent seen very many small shad at all, where as last year they were EVERYWHERE. This year I have caught more big shad (8-16") than the last 5 years combined. Not sure what is going on. Maybe flooding during shad spawn, or maybe cold temps caused a big die-off. Not sure. Wherever they are they are very concentrated. Its been so bad that if I find a school of shad im going to consider freezing them. I guess ive taken for granted that i would be able to get shad anytime, but its been hard the last 2 weeks.
     
  10. river_rat_42

    river_rat_42 New Member

    Messages:
    110
    State:
    Indiana
    Hey Brent, I know exactly what it feels like dude. Sad as it is, I have not seen a shad get pulled up from me and my buddy's cast net in weeks and weeks. We've tried small creek mouths, near trees and rocky cover in the river, about the only place we have not tried is the dam. Were tryin it as soon as we can though. Keep the info comin please. THANXXX
     
  11. miichael

    miichael New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    North Carolina
    Go out at night on the lake and take you a big spot light (2 or 3 million candlelight) and stand up on the highest point of the boat. Cruise around the coves and main channel until you spot the shad just under the surface of the water. The zoo plankton rising to the top at night and shad are near then top in summer. Tie you a rope to the boat and to your landing net. Use the rope to hold the net in the water. make sure net has small holes so shad dont go through it. Drive along just fast enough so the shad cant swim back out of the net. Hold the spotlight at the net or a little in front and the net will get full in no time. You cannot hold a net with your hands because the water will be so strong. That's why you use the rope to hold the net, all you gotta do is hold the net in water. I do this sometimes when shad are not schooled up and i only catch 3-4 shad in each throw with cast net. dont run too fast or you will rip your net. When you get dozen or so in there pull the net out of water then stop boat. dump them in whatever and just keep rope tied to net and put it back in water and take off again. dont let the net get full or the shad in there will cause too much stress on your net and make it rip also.
     
  12. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    I know that feeling of not being able to get any bait in the castnet. Friday, I managed 5 shad, though I cast in 6 different places. Also got a 14" bass, but can't use them for bait in Texas, and two bluegill. Those guys became bait.
     
  13. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    Too bad your not down this way.They are lousy down here ,by the dams,boat dock,just about everywhere.In the 2-3inch range. Now I just need to do some praticing on how to throw that net.:roll_eyes: