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Non-fly rod caught fish


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Poopdeck

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 06:34 PM

Please read no farther if the thought of spinning gear offends you. Hit tge river for some shad today and the shad were happy I showed up. After a while counting is so pointless so I'm guessing upwards of 50 shad landed in the boat. Not a bad day but I watched other boats easily doubling that number. Great day of shad fishing. The shad run is so much fun but I got one more trip on Monday and then it will be time to switch to striper.

#2 steeldrifter

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 07:17 PM

Non fly rod??? ohmy.png  Blasphemy!! lol.... How big do those shad get?


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#3 caloosa bug

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 07:38 PM

Sounds like fun. But I've always wondered what is the big deal with shad?  Is it just in the fun of catching them?  You can't eat them can you? 



#4 Poopdeck

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:55 PM

3 to 7lbs with the females on the bigger side and the males on the smaller side. Its all about the fun catching them since they taste like crap. They are a salt water fish that spawns in freshwater. They have wide bodies and when they turn their bodies into the current they fight like hell. Great runs and acrobatics and they pull hard but have paper thin mouths. When you have 2, 3, or 4 fish on at one time getting them all in is a challenge. That and there are hundreds of thousands of them in the river and they make great chunked bait for the stripers that are right behind them. In the fall their will be millions of shad fry making their way back to the ocean fattening up the smallmouths, walleye and everything else in the river. The Delaware river also has the best shad run anywhere because it's the only undammed large river in their range. When they are in thick the fishing is nothing short of epic and they are in thick right now. In another couple weeks they will be gone.

#5 tjm

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:34 PM

Sounds like fun. But I've always wondered what is the big deal with shad?  Is it just in the fun of catching them?  You can't eat them can you? 

 

Long time ago there was a shad factory in Rehoboth, Ma.,where I was told they canned fish in the manner of mackerel or salmon;  and harvested the roe.

That spot was a flyfishing Meca in the "80s (at least for a couple years, idk after). They are considered good to eat and a 6-8# male makes some fancy runs, enough so that when  a cry of "fish on" went up all the others for a hundred yards reeled in. They got into the 30" neighborhood, iirc.

Numbers that were harvested in the early 1800s ran many millions in a single river, I read that nearly a million barrels of salt were used to cure the shad taken in one river over an eight week season.

I had lived about 15 minutes from that shad spot for twelve years before I was aware of it, I read about it in some national magazine. The few times I fished it the fishing was slow to none. I did see one guy chase a deep runner up and back for over a half hour.

Those guys called the flies "shad darts" but to my eye they were awfully like a jig.

 

And I'm not sure those are the same shad he was catching, they were American shad I believe and unless my memory is bad there were gizzard shad and hickory shad in the same area, or maybe they are the same.

 

Poopdeck, that sounds like a ton of fun verging on work.



#6 steeldrifter

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:58 PM

I had no idea they were anywhere near that size. When I hear the word shad I think of 3"-6" fish. That's cool they are that big.


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#7 mikechell

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 10:14 PM

Specifically, American Shad.  Not the same thing as Threadfin or Gizzard Shad we are all familiar with in freshwater lakes.

 

St. Johns River has a run of them every Winter ... but I've yet to catch any.

 

Actually, that's not true.  I caught some back in the '90's, fishing spinning gear with my brother-n-law.  We didn't even know what they were, then.


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#8 Swamp Fly

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:37 AM

Planking shad is a traditional way of cooking them in VA, low and slow. They are rather bony and that technique is supposed to soften the bones.  I've never done it myself, I suspect it's like a traditional BBQ: Kill the pig, start cooking the pig, drink and socialize till it's done.  There used to be an even that involved planking shad and consuming some bourbon which was attended by the who's who of the political scene years ago.  Think Virginia Good Old Boy network at it's finest, cigars and tumblers in hand.  I've always wondered what major deals, legislation, or disasters began there.  That event might still be happening for all I know. Supposedly every VIP had a State trooper assigned to keep them out of trouble on the way home. That way there wouldn't be a news storys about anyone the next day.  Shad row is famous and helped to wipe out stocks up and down the east coast.  They are great fighters.   When I was a kid growing up in VA they were in a small local reservoir that I fished.  They would school up and swim in tight circles to the point that they would create a vortex on the waters surface.  We would snag them for the fun of it (not something I'm overly proud of today but well...).  I'm fairly certain I must have eaten a few, but I just don't recall.  I've caught them around the Lemon Bluff area of the ST Johns River (Chell's general neighborhood).  I've also seen them trying to get over the jack dam at Lake Washington in Melbourne (FL not AU) which is probably another 50 miles up stream at a guess.  I wasn't in a position to fish for them at the time.  They were also introduced in California and the fishery is well loved there.



#9 Powershooter

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:52 AM

Swamp Fly , I'm in Virginia too , when you said plank cooking I immediately thought you were going to say tie em to a board , cook them on open fire , throw the fish away and eat the board . That's always been a joke I was told growing up here near the James .
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#10 Poopdeck

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 06:34 PM

They are American shad and their runs were a major industry back in the day. They were valued for their roe. The rest of the fish is nasty. There is no way of preparing them where they taste good. Many say they can but I can tell you I've had shad prepared many different ways as there is a shad festival every year where you can get shad in every conceivable manner. Nobody and I mean nobody ever takes a second bite of however it's prepared. Powershooters plank method is the old joke for shad.

Shad populations were almost wiped out from the commercial netting operations and later to the pollution in the river causing an oxygen block in the Philadelphia area preventing them from getting to their spawning grounds. As the population decreased the fish netters went out of business. There is only one family that continued to pay for their permits even when no shad were being caught. They are the only netting operation left on the river and they do it merely to preserve living history. It's kind of cool actually. With the closing of industry on the river the water quality improved greatly and the shad have been coming back each and every year. The runs have been incredible the last ten years with each year bettter then the last. So far this year it's been banner worthy.

Fun doesn't really describe it. How do you describe going home early because your arms are sore not because you ran out of time?

#11 mikechell

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:53 PM

Poopdeck ... I've never tasted shad, and I do not doubt what you're stating.  However ...

 

"The American shad has been described as "the fish that fed the (American) nation's founders".[4][5] Adult shad weigh between 3 pounds (1.4 kg) and 8 pounds (3.6 kg), and they have a delicate flavor when cooked.[6] It is considered flavorful enough to not require sauces, herbs or spices. It can be boiled, filleted and fried in butter, or baked. Traditionally, a little vinegar is sprinkled over it on the plate."

 

It's from Wikipedia, so subject to debate ... but the references ring true.

 

I also know the board walk at State Road 44 is lined with people who catch and keep when the run goes through there.


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#12 Swamp Fly

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 08:50 PM

Weird my post disappeared into the void.

 

Powershooter, LOL that was always the joke when I was growing up on The Peninsula!  I spent a lot of time in and around the James, my Fathers house is less than 2 miles away.  Of course it was still a Ketone infused mess back then.



#13 Poopdeck

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 10:30 PM

It's the fish that taste good to starving Indians. The Lenape Indians would feast on them after a long cold winter of eating birch bark. Wikipedia is wrong on this since there has not been starving Indians around for a few hundred years. I live at ground zero of shad Mecca. There is no better shad run or shad fishing anywhere. Shad and shad fishing has been a part of the community ever since there was a community and before. There's a festival every year to honor shad here. Trust me when I say they are in no way a delicacy. Although I live in an area where shad are heralded, I don't know a single person who thinks shad are even edible let alone good eating. One of the best parts about shadfest is watching someone take their first, and last, bite of shad. It rivals the ghost pepper challenge.

SD here's a picture of an American shad. This ones close to 5lbs. The bigger ones have a really nice purple hue to them
Attached File  shad.jpg   98.75KB   0 downloads

#14 tjm

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 01:19 AM

Pretty fish, Poopdeck

 

The huge numbers I remember being quoted as caught and salted would indicate some one ate them back in the 1800s. Tastes do change as people become more mollycoddled though, 150+/- years ago carp tasted good enough that the Federal guberment imported and stocked them at great expense and today most real men outdoor types won't consider eating one. I'll bump around on the web and see if I find any numbers like they used in the papers back then. Seems to me it was a major export once.



#15 caloosa bug

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 07:24 AM

Interesting! I'm ready to go catch some now.

 

When I heard shad, I was picturing a slimy, stinking, gizzard shad. I've been seeing a bunch of them recently at the spillways. I was thinking to myself, who would want to have 50 of these things snotting across the deck of a boat?

 

Those do look like fun.