28.April, ~4:30-6:30 pm, Ferry Park, RH.
On arrival only two regulars were plying the boaters' dock. No shad on a stringer, the report was it's slow; a few short hits, and a couple shad lost. The water was clear, with fair current, surface temp ~53 F, and the wind was blustering up from the South. At least it was a warmish wind. On my 3rd or 4th cast I got "snagged". I thought I was dragging up some line from the bottom, and then it tugged, but only once. It still felt like I was dragging something off the bottom, until it got close enough to the dock to see: it the dock, me the shad. And then it started fighting, and trying to go under the dock. After a short tussle, it came out in front again, then threw the willow before we could get a net under it. A small buck, with a small fight, c'est la guerre. A short time later, Dylan showed up to make it a party of four, and then another regular and his kid or nephew (IDK, didn't ask; we're fishing) to round things out.

Just before 5:pm I got "snagged" again. It wasn't too heavy, and didn't pull back until it got close to the dock, but not enough for me to see it. And then it sounded. It stripped a lot of line on a sustained run, diving deep. I thought it might actually spool me, until it slowed enough to turn it's head, and I was able to gain back a few yards of line. It ran again, hard and deep. I fought it for at least 5 minutes, it almost doubling my rod back on itself, and making another half dozen good, hard runs. My partners were surprised by the shad's tenacity and stamina, and by the fact the rod (4'-6" U/L Ugly Stik Pro) didn't break. We eventually netted it, and it was a long, thin buck. I released it after our Kodak moment; that buck deserved to reproduce!

It was another hour before a small run came through about 6:pm when the sun made a brief appearance. A guy on another dock fought and lost about 3, Dylan caught 1, kid caught 1, and I set the hook on my third shad. (We were not all hooked up simultaneously, BTW.) This one was out away from the dock, and started fighting immediately. Not very hard, and it made only one run, but because of the current, and the distance it took a little while to get it to the net. It was another buck, longer and thicker than the Margaritaville special. I released it, too, after our Kodak moment. Things pretty much shut down after that little bit of excitement. All in all, it was a good afternoon.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' of 8# flour, and hammered silver willows in pink/green w/glitter and a black dot (the 1st shad and long distance release), and a Jamaican which brought the two shad I caught to the net.

If it doesn't rain too hard, I may make my way back to RH tomorrow after work. Tight lines!

George Darrell ...

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