Monday, 20.April: 3:pm-6:pm, the usual spot behind Bart's above the RR bridge. The river was down at least another 3', strong current, and a surface temp of 50ºF. About 7 or 8 of us spread out working the bank, and still able to maintain 6'+ between us.
On my third cast, I got a solid hook up. What we all thought at first glance was a long skinny buck, turned out to be a roe with very small eggs. She cut her gills, so I wound up keeping her, my vitamin (One-a-Day) shad. Finally on the board. Other than an alewife, and a couple of bumps/no takes, that was it for me. It remains slow, and I only saw 2 more shad caught in the 3 hours I was there.
Terminal tackle: 5/8 oz drail, over 2'-2.5' 8# flouro leader, with hammered silver, and copper leaves in chartreuse/green, pink, and orange. Pink hooked up and reeled it in, while orange got a couple of taps here and there.
I hit the usual spot about 4:30 pm after I got out of "work". Except for the breeze blowing down the river, it wasn't bad at the start. Until the breeze came up within an hour. Then it got cold. Water was up a little from Monday, but the current was ripping pretty good. The water was nice and clear, but cold at about 48º-49ºF. About 6 folx there on arrival, a few more came by, and a few left but never more than 6-7 of us at once, spread out along the bank.
It. Was. Slow. With the wind, it was tough to cast, get down to the bottom, and hold the bottom. I only saw 2 caught, and a 3rd was lost, before I left at 6:pm when I was too cold, and could barely feel my right hand. It's wishin' and fishin', not catchin'...
Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail, over 2-1/2'-3' leader over hammered silver green/chartreuse, orange w/black spot, and a "jamaican" (use your imagination, lol). No fish today.
Great that you keep trying. I have stopped on the other side of the river (under 291 at the Barber Street Launch) several times to fish and get the report from those fishing over the years. Shad fishing is a ton of fun on light tackle as you suggest. It seems they come up in waves. I have seen times where the shore looked more like a bluefish head boat with several people hooking up at once. As you so well know, it's like the lottery; you have to be in it to win it. Keep trying and you will be rewarded with action so good you will think you are there yesterday.
Mike V, thanks for the comment. And you're exactly right, I've never caught shad, or any fish for that matter, sitting on the couch!
Earl Bird, I think the action really is best from around Mother's Day through about Memorial Day. At least that has been my experience over the years.
Fished just upstream from the RR bridge behind Bart's. Arrived 2:30 pm, to only about 6 people scattered along the bank. The water was up a little from last trip, clear, and flowing quickly. The surface temp was 48ºF, down a couple of degrees. At least the air was warmer than my last trip.
There were never more than about 6 on the bank as people came and went in the 1.5 hours I was there. To say it was slow would be an understatement, nobody fessed up to catching anything since early morning. I only saw one shad caught, about 20 minutes before I left. The day was beautiful, and looked promising. C'est la guerre.
If it doesn't rain, after I finish work, and my chores, I hope to go out later this afternoon. Tight lines!
After wrapping up work (WFH at the moment), I headed down to the river in Cromwell from 4:pm-7:30 pm. There were at least a dozen people on the bank, and a decent number of shad near their feet. Water was nice and clear, and almost smooth as glass, but the laminar flow maked it hard to read the current. Current was cooking pretty good. I was not able to get a water temp, my arms aren't long enough for that task at this spot.
I landed my vitamin shad on my second or third cast. A nice little buck 1.5#-2#, and released for good measure. I saw about 8-10 more caught after I got there, but the bite pretty much shut off by 6pm-6:15 pm. No multiple hook ups, but enough tight lines to keep it interesting.
Terminal tackle: I had to double the weight of my drail from 3/4 oz to 1.5 oz to hold the bottom in the current. 1.5 oz drail over 4.5'-5' 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered silver w/yellow, green/yellow, chartreuse, and pink, and hammered gold in green/chartreuse.
The weather isn't going to last, but tomorrow is supposed to be about as nice as today. I will be out there, tight lines!