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#1840414 - 04/23/23 10:09 AM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
cat_in_the_hat Offline

Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 2245
Loc: Tolland CT
I expect the CT River will reach flood stage by tomorrow after being a nice 24,000 cu ft/sec yesterday when I got my first shad of the year at The Wall in Cromwell. Shad fishing may be tough the next 2-3 days in the CT River.

Two shad derbies upcoming:

Windsor Shad Derby 6:00 am, Friday May 5th through 2:00 pm, Sunday May 7th, 2023
entry fee $20, download entry form:

http://www.windsorshadderby.org/shad-masters-fishing-derby.html

Enter in person, between 12pm and 3pm on MOST Saturdays in April at the tournament headquarters at the boat launch on 159 in Windsor, CT. All mailed entries must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2023, and received by May 5, 2023. Shad may be caught anywhere in the Connecticut River or its tributaries.

HG&E Shad Derby Dates: May 13, 14, 20, 21 Time: 9 am – 5 pm (weigh-in hours)

https://www.hged.com/community-environment/recreation/shad-derby.aspx

Shad must be caught by hook and line on “Derby Days” anywhere in the Holyoke, South Hadley, and Chicopee area, no entry fee or preregistration, fishing license must be shown with entry.
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Fishing Info
#1840525 - 04/26/23 08:16 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
No Fish Today Offline

Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 1376
Late report, Tuesday 25.April: Arrived at Bart's a little after 4:pm, and fished until 6:30. There were about 8 or 9 of us all together working the bank. The water was very high, and not nearly as muddy as Monday. One fella was casting from just inside the guardrail at the top of the bank. The current was strong, the surface temp was ~55ºF. Some flotsam, but not enough to trouble anyone. I switched to a 1 oz drail to get and keep at depth with the strong current. Altogether about 5 shad were caught, a couple before I arrived, and three while I was there. The three were C&R by one guy who had a nice corner spot with a couple of trees in the water, forming a choke or pinch point. The 3 shad were hooked close to the bank in about a 40 min period. Nobody else caught a thing. C'est la guerre.

Today, 26.April: I arrived at Bart's about 4:20 pm. The water was down about 2', and much clearer. The current remained stiff, surface temp had dropped to ~52ºF from all the rain, and a couple of chilly nights. The bank was crowded, a couple of more folx around than yesterday. And there were about a 1/2 dozen shad on the bank! About a 1/2 hour later, I FINALLY got the skunk off me! After a nice little fight, I landed my vitamin shad, a decent roe at 3# 8oz. After the weigh-in, and a Kodak Moment™, I released her. The action was pretty consistent up until about 5:45 pm, when it fell off. About 6:15 pm I headed for the grocery store, and some supper.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz. drail over 2.5' of 10# flouro, Bill's spotty leaf (hammered silver, with white and 4 red dots) did the trick for my vitamin shad. After I lost it, I tossed a Jamaican, but it didn't get more than a look; certainly no takers.

Shad! They are here in the rivers, and starting to show up in numbers, and many are roes! And, we saw the first alewife caught today. It's go time--tight lines!

George Darrell ...

I support "PETA",
"People Eating Tasty Animals"
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#1840530 - 04/27/23 06:30 AM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
earl bird Offline

Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 1649
Loc: Terryville
Yes - now keep it going.

Fishing: the art of casting, trolling, jigging, or spinning while freezing, sweating, swatting, or swearing.
Henry Beard and Roy McKie
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#1840538 - 04/27/23 08:41 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
No Fish Today Offline

Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 1376
27.April: I arrived behind Bart's about 4:30 pm to a crowd of 9 or 10. There were no shad on the bank, but several had been C&R before I got there. The water was down at least 2' from yesterday, clear, and the current was strong. The bite was slow, but I saw 3 or 4 C&R, and a couple kept. Some of the hook ups were "soft", several of us got the grab and run, and after a few head shakes, they were gone. I had 2 hooksets, but lost them when the water got skinny. One was nice, long and fat, and it felt good to feel the weight tugging back. Two alewives were C&R, fat bastids they were, too. I headed out after 2 hours on the rocks.

411 seems to indicate the CT river is too fast and muddy. If we don't get too much rain Saturday into Sunday, I'm hoping it clears up enough to head to Rocky Hill, or Cromwell. I may take a drive down on Saturday morning before the rain to see if conditions are improving. It's go time, tight lines!

Terminal tackle: 1 oz. drail (3/4 wouldn't hold the bottom if you could get it down there), over 2.5' 10# flouro leader, and a Spotty hammered willow. I noticed a couple of other shadaholics tossing Spottys to some effect, and pink seemed to draw a couple of hits.

George Darrell ...

I support "PETA",
"People Eating Tasty Animals"
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#1840579 - 04/29/23 09:09 AM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
No Fish Today Offline

Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 1376
28.April: At Bart's from 5:pm-7:pm. While it was overcast, the weather was mild, so I expected more than the 4 or 5 people who I joined on the rocks. The Farm'y had fallen another 2' or so, it was clear, and had a nice current. The surface temp was ~56ºF. There were no shad on the bank to start, but I was assured that a few had been C&R before I arrived. It was a slow afternoon, 3 shad were caught, 2 released, and 4 or 5 alewives made an appearance. A couple of times I thought I had a bump or two, but salad on the hook, or weight belied that fallacy. No fish today.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz. drail over 2.5'-3' 10# flouro and a couple of hammered silver willows, a spotty, Jamaican, and a pink w/black dot. When the current slowed a little after 6:pm, I switched to a 3/4 oz. drail.

George Darrell ...

I support "PETA",
"People Eating Tasty Animals"
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#1840589 - 04/29/23 03:26 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
earl bird Offline

Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 1649
Loc: Terryville
Many years ago, when we fished at the former Enfield Dam, and occasionally near Bart’s, we used shad darts. That is all that was used. We had a mold, would make the darts, and paint them. Also, after the season was over, and the water receded, we would go and pick up the snagged darts by the handful. Actually, I believe that I still have some.
Are the darts not used any more?

Fishing: the art of casting, trolling, jigging, or spinning while freezing, sweating, swatting, or swearing.
Henry Beard and Roy McKie
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#1840595 - 04/29/23 06:31 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: earl bird]
ecurB Offline

Can you eat that ?

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 1626
The general thought is willow leaves over soft bottom , darts over hard bottom . That said I've caught plenty in the reverse sense . Good to have an assortment anywhere you are .

.

"Politically correct" was initially coined by Leon Trotsky to refer favorably to those whose views remained in sync with the ever-shifting Bolshevik Party line. This was important, as "not PC" people risked prison or death.
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#1840596 - 04/29/23 09:31 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
No Fish Today Offline

Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 1376
29.April: Today I ran down to Cromwell to look over the Wall, arriving about 10:am. Dylan, surprise, surprise, was already working the Wall, and had a bleeder shad on the bank. He said he had C&R another one before I arrived. There were a few other people there, but had not begun fishing, yet. The water level was ~3' below the top of the wall, and flowing pretty well. It was raining lightly to moderately, and there was a lot of flotsam on and in the water, forcing us to choose carefully when, and where to cast. I C&R a middling buck by 10:30 am. After that I had a few hits and head shakes, but no firm hooksets. At noon I had to step out to get some groceries for supper. By that time, another half dozen folx had their arms in a cast with Dylan and I. A few more shad were C&R, and a couple of bleeders were kept for tables.

By 2:30 pm I was able to return for an hour before having to head home to cook for company. On returning, there were 10 people stacked up on the Wall near the North corner (left side facing the water). I made it 11. And a few striper guys headed to the southern corner (right side) of the Wall to chunk bait, or throw lures; what they threw I didn't see, I was too busy watching shad get landed (most were released). About 3:pm I had a solid hookset. He put his head down, and ran deep, using the current to gain any advantage he could get. It took me a few minutes to get him in close to the Wall because he wanted to stay deep, and ran down river to keep the advantage of the current. It took another minute or so to get him to the net. At first glance it looked like a roe, long and fat, but a little milt betrayed him. My guesstimate is 2.5#, maybe a little more. He was bleeding, so he was donated to someone who wanted to smoke shad. Other than a couple of bumps, I didn't set another hook before I had to head out. Pretty much every shadaholic caught one in that hour, and a couple of them hooked 2 or more. Most were bucks, but they were all middling to decent, with good color.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz. drail, over 3.5' of 10# flouro, and hammered silver willows in pink w/black stripe and dot, white glitter and chartreuse w/2 black dots, and "candy corn" (yellow/orange). The first 2 leaves each garnered me one shad, the last one attracted a couple of bumps. If I haven't mentioned it in this thread, I really love the 15# braid (Power Pro) I use for my main line. It has great abrasion resistance, and I can feel every bump from fish, the bottom, and today everything drifting submerged in the current that hit the line. Every. Thing. And, with no stretch, unlike mono, a hookset is a flick of the wrist away.

I'll be heading back to Cromwell tomorrow. The shad are here, and the numbers should improve over the coming week or so. Git ya some, tight lines!


Edited by No Fish Today (04/29/23 09:33 PM)

George Darrell ...

I support "PETA",
"People Eating Tasty Animals"
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#1840599 - 04/30/23 03:18 AM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
jd06010 Offline

Member

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Bristol
Friday April 28th I shad fished for the first time. I want to thank everyone at the wall who showed me the ropes. I was really unprepared never having done this before and they were nice enough to show me the rig and how to use it. I was throwing a spoon and no one was catching. I decided to try my luck elsewhere. I put everything away and was in my truck ready to leave had it started when Dylan (I think that was his name) gets one on. Shut off the truck and went out to see it landed. After that, instead of bringing out the same worthless spoon I ran up to ZAH's knowing where it was from previous adventures and he had a few willows. Got back to the wall and Bill was there telling me a little more about how to rig and what weight to use. Again being unprepared I didn't have the right line on the rod so I lost one rig as the line snapped during a cast. That was the only line lost however. Didn't catch anything but had a great time.

Had an hour to spare on the way home from Cabela's on Saturday the 29th so I stopped back by the wall. This time I was prepared. Had to try out the new rod I just bought right? Didn't catch anything but the rod worked well.

Don't eat the bait it must be bad the fish don't want it either.
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#1840621 - 04/30/23 04:50 PM Re: SHAD! 2023 [Re: No Fish Today]
No Fish Today Offline

Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 1376
30.April: I arrived at the Wall about noon time. The weather was overcast, no breeze, and no rain, yet. The water was down a couple of feet, ~5'-6' below the top course the Wall. The current was a little stiffer than yesterday. There were about a dozen regulars already working the water, and lots of reports of shad having been caught, and most released before I got there. I fell into casting practice, and had a few hits, but after a head shake, or two, or three, they were gone. That was pretty much the pattern of my day. About 2:pm, I had a solid hookset. After a tussle, where he ran deep, and often, I fought a decent buck to the net. Where he promptly threw the hook. C'est la guerre...

A little while later, it began to rain, lightly at first, but it picked up, with the wind. Within 20 minutes, it died down, and had stopped by the 30 min. mark. By 3:30 it started to rain lightly again, and I called it a day. Most of the other regulars lit up the shad, fairly consistently throughout the day. I didn't even try to keep count of the shad caught, with most having been released.

I picked up a 7' one piece Bass Pro Graphite series Medium action rod. Mated to my Penn 4400 SS, it is a nice set up, especially throwing a 1.5 oz drail. Anything over an ounce was a bit taxing on my 6' UglyStik.

Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz. drail, over 3'-4' 10# flouro leader, and I threw the rainbow of willow leaves at them today. Hammered silver, in white and pink w/black dot got me the hookset today.

Tomorrow is another day, and I will be heading back to the Wall after work. Even with the rain we've had, the shad are hitting in Cromwell. Tight lines!

George Darrell ...

I support "PETA",
"People Eating Tasty Animals"
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