SHAD! 2021

Posted by: No Fish Today

SHAD! 2021 - 04/14/21 09:21 PM

I've gotten off to a slow start this year. I went out beginning in mid-March, here and there. After fishing all but daily over the last 2 weeks, I didn't get so much as a nibble until yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, 13.April:
Arrived ~4:30pm after work. The water has been way down, for want of rain and snowmelt, so I went to the Bissell boat launch rather than Bart's where I had spent most of the last month, and the preceding week. Half a dozen regulars were plying the water, but with no shad on the bank. Just before 5:pm, I had a solid hookset, and after a few minutes, netted a feisty buck, ~2#. Finally, my first shad of the year, and as usual, my vitamin shad (one-a-day). Only saw 1 lone alewife caught after that, and not another thing. I left about 6:30pm. (For those who keep score, the hook up came on a hammered silver in bright green w/black dot.) Water temp was in the mid-to-upper 50 F range, flow was fair and linear. A 1/2 oz or 5/8 oz drail was plenty for me, altho' others were throwing 3/4 oz.

Wednesday, 14.April:
The Surf Nazis were hogging the bottom of the ramp at Bissell, and rather than waste my time dodging those no account self-raised bastids, I headed down to Bart's. The water was as low as I've seen it this year, the footings on the RR bridge are exposed. However the water was clear, the current was flowing pretty well, and the water temp was just shy of 60 F. Only 2 regulars were plying the banks when I got there, but by 5:pm there were 9 of us spread along the bank. One of the original 2 had 3 hits between 3:30pm and 4:pm, he landed 2, lost 1, and kept one. About 5:pm the fella to my left landed a small buck. And that was all she wrote. I left about 5:30pm; no fish today.

Tackle:
Rod: a one-piece Ugly Stik, 4'6" U/L Pro
Reel: a Penn 4200 SS, spooled with 15# Power Pro

Terminal Tackle: 5/8 oz drail over a 3', 8# flouro leader, and willow leaves. I threw leaves in hammered brass in yellow w/red dot (until I lost it), a hammered copper unpainted, and a hammered silver in green and white w/black dot.

While the season got off to a very slow start this year, it is picking up. Most reports I'm getting of shad caught, come from earlier in the day. Morning, and early to mid-afternoon, with any bite (if it can be called that) shutting down after ~4:pm most days. Hopefully we get some real rain to raise the water level and temp, and the current.

Tight lines!
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 07:16 AM

You have no idea how happy I am to see this report! Welcome back George!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 11:32 AM

George,

Nice Report. Great effort. I am thinking the shad will be in thick in the next week or so. Weather permitting, I will probably try launching at Thompsonville to work just north of the old Enfield Dam on Saturday or Sunday. I will report if I get out.

MikeV
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeV
George,

Nice Report. Great effort. I am thinking the shad will be in thick in the next week or so. Weather permitting, I will probably try launching at Thompsonville to work just north of the old Enfield Dam on Saturday or Sunday. I will report if I get out.

MikeV


The line of white water shore to shore past the 190 bridge and the continuous booming whenever the outboard motor is off is notice that you need to be very aware of your circumstances launching at Thompsonville and proceeding south.

Make sure you have a very dependable outboard. If it fails make sure you have a trolling motor strong enough to make headway against the current, or at least able to make it to a shore before being swept into the Enfield rapids. Failing that have a very good reliable grabbing anchor to hold bottom reliably and means to signal/call for help.

If you drift into the rapids expect to be capsized. Rescuers will find the boat. They will probably find you if you are wearing full vest PFDs. If so, survival chances fair. If not wearing vest PFD they should find you when the water gets low.

All that said the shad fishing there is fantastic. Shad hold and rest there a while in large numbers after making it through the Enfield rapids on their migration north.

I will try to find safer areas to troll the CT river for shad, hope to start by launching Ferry Park Rocky Hill Monday and trolling south to The Wall in Cromwell. During the shad season I will work my way north exploring various regions of the river and will share what I learn here in my shad thread.
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 02:37 PM

I would really enjoy doing this, but have no gear for it. If possible, can I meet one of you shoreside for a morning of casting this coming week? I get my second shot tomorrow am, so I am going to be fully set if thats a concern. Let me know what to buy for shad lures, and do I need a drail? Id rather not throw one if not needed.

Never caught a shad in my life.
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 03:05 PM

Originally Posted By: O-BASS
I would really enjoy doing this, but have no gear for it. If possible, can I meet one of you shoreside for a morning of casting this coming week? I get my second shot tomorrow am, so I am going to be fully set if thats a concern. Let me know what to buy for shad lures, and do I need a drail? Id rather not throw one if not needed.

Never caught a shad in my life.


If you fish Quabbin, I assume you have a Massachusetts fishing license? There are easy shore options where no boots needed on the Chicopee, also Holyoke-South Hadley 116 bridge area: Slimshad Point and the South Hadley boat launch. Or, plan a drive south to The Wall in Cromwell late afternoon to early evening if you are a night owl, sunrise if you can manage. Advise your interests.
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 03:18 PM

Wouldnt mind the early sunrise shift on "the wall" , wherever this is in cromwell.

Do not have a mass license and wont be fishing quabbin this season so that is out.
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 05:48 PM

Paul,

Thanks. I will respect the Enfield dam. My two week wait after Covid Shot # 2 is up middle of next week. I will contact you to see
if you would like to take a trip on the CT River somewhere (Your pick).

Mike V

Looking forward to not having to fish solo. I will catch up with the rest of you shortly.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 06:37 PM

O-Bass, MikeV, and Paul, thanks fellas. It's good to be back. Obviously I didn't go out this afternoon after work. After drizzling a little in the afternoon, it started pouring when I left work. Tomorrow looks worse.

O-Bass, Saturday morning at "The Wall" should be good. They've been doing fairly well there recently, and the 411 is that this rain, w/rising water & temp, and faster current should help things pick up.
I will be heading over there myself, but NOT for sunrise, LOL! For equip't, most people use medium to heavy bass tackle. I'm--er, different... crazy I usually use an U/L set up, even at the Wall. Unless I need to throw heavier than 3/4 oz, then I use a med-action rod w/Penn 4500SS. Use whatever bass set-up you have, it will be plenty. The terminal tackle matters most.

You will want to throw a drail, min. 3/4 oz., and up to 1 oz. or even 1-1/2 oz if the water is high and ripping. Join the Merry Pranksters on the Wall, we'll learn ya. I've got enough gear to get you started, and a guy who makes and sells terminal tackle (leaves and weights) will most likely be there, too. I can always give him a call if we need his services.
Posted by: ecurB

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 08:05 PM

Originally Posted By: O-BASS
Wouldnt mind the early sunrise shift on "the wall" , wherever this is in cromwell.

Do not have a mass license and wont be fishing quabbin this season so that is out.


Mike , Google directions to Cromwell Landing Park and it will bring you just upriver from the wall . It will bring you down Wall St . Wall St ends at River Rd and you'll see the park in front of you . Take a right and you'll see a gravel lot with a big bollard at either end . That's the wall .
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/15/21 08:18 PM

Hey thanks for the info guys. I have a funeral this Saturday but if I'm feeling better by Sunday and Monday after getting my coronavirus shot I'll let you guys know if I'm going to be down there. I'm not going to let it pass me by this year, tand I got to make a couple of trips down there.
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/16/21 05:02 AM

Originally Posted By: O-BASS
Hey thanks for the info guys. I have a funeral this Saturday but if I'm feeling better by Sunday and Monday after getting my coronavirus shot I'll let you guys know if I'm going to be down there. I'm not going to let it pass me by this year, tand I got to make a couple of trips down there.


Post here when you will go. AM shad start hitting at sunrise, they strike on sight only, good by 7AM when there will be at least a dozen veteran shad fishermen who can advise you. The Wall is long, plenty of room to find a spot, watch and learn. Planning first shad trolling launch Sunday at sunrise Ferry Park, Rocky Hill and plan to troll downriver toward The Wall.
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/16/21 12:26 PM

Will be at The Wall tomorrow 6AM.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/19/21 06:24 AM

Late report, it's been a busy weekend...

Saturday, 17 April, 8:30-11:45 am, up back of Bart's. The water was up at least 5' after the rain, water temp fell to ~43F, but was running fairly clear and with a good current, not too much flotsam. Four regulars were plying the bank on arrival, one had lost one, but caught two, including a nice roe about 8:am. All of which he released. One small buck was caught mid-morning before I left, but that was it, not so much as an alewife.

Sat., 17 April, 2:30-5:pm. After taking a break for my back, and to wrench on the Jeep, I went back to Bart's hoping to change my luck. Conditions remained about the same as the morning, as did the fishing. I saw one lone alewife caught. Rumor had it they had caught one or two, and lost a couple in my absence. No Fish Today, c'est la guerre. Still it was nice to be out, and running around in the Jeep again.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz. drail over 1.5'-2.5', 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver leaves in bright green w/red dot, dark/pale blue w/white dot, yellow w/red dot, and orange w/black dot.

I'm planning on heading out after work every day this week. And may try the Wall if the 411 indicates the water, which was coffee colored on Saturday and Sunday, has cleared.

In the meantime, whatever might be your piscine quarry, tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/19/21 07:58 PM

19.April: Arrived at E. Barbor St. ~4:30 pm. Overcast with a brief shower, which ended as I parked. Water was up between the middle and bottom cleats beside the ramp. Water temp ~52 F, fairly clear, with a fair current, and lots of floatsam. Three regulars were taking casting practice, no reports of shad. About 5:pm, one of the guys hooked and landed a small buck. And that was it, not so much as a nibble, not even an alewife. About 5:15 pm the breeze started picking up a little, coming up from Hartford. Not too hard, but it was chilly. About 5:30 pm it started raining lightly. I packed it in about 5:50 when it started to pick up. No Fish Today.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3+' of 8# flouro, and hammered willows: silver in blue/yellow w/black dot, yellow w/red dot, and a hammered copper in orange w/black dot.

Maybe tomorrow after work I'll head down to the Wall in Cromwell. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/21/21 06:32 AM

Yesterday, 20.April: After work, I headed to the Wall in Cromwell, and arrived ~4:30 pm to over a dozen people fishing its length. The river was flowing strong, even against a stiff breeze running up from Middletown. The water was fairly clear, temp. was 51 F, and there was some flotsam in the current. I noticed a few shad on the bank, and one being netted as I set up. Promising.

On my first cast, as I started the retrieve, I got a hit. After four quick head shakes, it was *gone*. No matter, I saw others fighting and landing shad. Most looked like bucks, but there were a few fat girls in the mix. I had a couple more short strikes, with a couple of head shakes, but no solid hook sets until after 5:pm, when I got hit hard. I was happy I brought my med-heavy tackle for the fight it gave in the current. Eventually it came in to the wall, and we saw a nice fat, football of a shad. Just as the net was scooping under, it dropped the leaf, flipped and slipped into the deep. So. D*mned. Close. Radio would have called it a catch. C'est la guerre. I left about 6:30 pm after another bump and run, or two, since nobody was catching over the last half hour. I didn't keep count, but I saw a lot of shad caught, and many released. Things are looking up in Cromwell. Rumor has it, it is still slow in Rocky Hill and Windsor.

If it doesn't rain when I get out of work today, I will head down to the Wall again. Tight lines!

Tackle: 6' one-piece Ugly Stik Elite mated to a Penn 4400SS spooled with 15# Power Pro. Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail over 4' flouro leader. Leaves: hammered silver in green w/black dot, orange w/red dot, and light blue/dark blue w/white dot. The last leaf, hammered silver w/two-tone blue w/white dot got all the attention.

And finally, a tip of the CTF hat to Cat Daddy, who introduced himself while we were taking casting practice after things settled down and the bite stopped. :wavey:
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/21/21 09:07 AM

Cat Daddy doesn't come on here too often but he's a good dude. I've met him a couple of times at the Swap Meet that I host Every Spring and he's a gentleman. Wish him well for me
Posted by: DUSKY17'

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/21/21 11:32 AM

Radio is a character. Met him a few times at the bissell and the guy who wears the fish hat and sells willow leafs.and weights. Might try the bissell saturday after fishing the farmington. Also need to stock up on fiddleheads.
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/21/21 01:14 PM

The long island off the mouth of the Farmington is loaded with fiddleheads. A boat is required for access. See boats moored gathering fiddleheads when shad trolling the Farmington. Got 4 bucks at sunrise this morning at The Wall.
Posted by: earl bird

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/21/21 05:42 PM

Does anyone here sell fresh fiddleheads?
They really don't turn me on, but my wife loves them.
PM me if you have any available.
Posted by: BillShu

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/23/21 07:54 PM

RADIO: Three Summers ago at Windsor Bissell bridge area, I was just starting down ramp to begin fishing, RADIO was coming up. He said " No use fishing right now, the Shad are hitting the sinkers instead of the lure"..
OK !!!!!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/24/21 06:26 AM

23.April:
I headed to the Wall after stealing out of work early, arrived about 3:15 pm. More than a dozen people were working the length of the wall, but there was plenty of room for all. A couple of shad were on the bank, and one in a net on arrival. The current was good on a falling tide, but not ripping as it was on Tuesday. I started with my med-heavy set up (6' one-piece Ugly Stik Elite mated to a Penn 4400SS spooled with 15# Power Pro), and threw it for about 2 hours. When the current slowed in the last hour or so before dead low, I switched to the U/L set up to finish out the day.

A fair number of shad were caught, and about half released. Bill, who makes and sells leaves, caught a decent roe at 3.9#, 22" length, which he promptly released after a Kodak moment. All I got today was casting practice, a few bump and runs, and a head shake. No Fish Today.

Terminal tackle:
Med-heavy set up: 1.5 oz drail over 4' 8# flouro leader. Leaves: hammered silver in two-tone blue w/white dot, green w/black dot, orange w/red dot, and green w/red dot.

U/L set up: 1 oz. drail over 1.5'-2.5', 3'-4' 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver leaves in yellow w/red dot, orange w/black stripe, chartreuse and blue w/black dot, and hammered copper in pink w/black dot.

I'll head out in a little while, and see what today brings. Wish I could spend the day on the river, but yard work beckons and the grass wants cut before it rains. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/25/21 08:49 AM

24.April:

8:am-11:45 am, it was a beautiful morning at the Wall, I counted 16 people spread out along its length, and a just-netted shad as I set up. The water was clear, and a little lower, and the current was slower than it was yesterday, to be expected on an incoming tide. I started with the U/L, and by 10:30 am the current picked up a little, and a few more shad were caught, a couple way out in the river. With that I switched over to the med-heavy set up for the extra reach. All for naught, as I got little more than a few bumps, and one alewife to keep the skunk off. skunk But, the lawn beckoned for wanting a cut before the forecasted rain.

2:30-3:30 pm, after cutting the lawn, I headed over to Ferry Park in Rocky Hill, and saw that all the docks are in, and only one person, Bill C, was fishing from them. For such a beautiful day, I expected more people. I guess they were too busy cutting their lawns. I had a solid hook set on my first cast, a great way to get started. It immediately ran deep, and for Glastonbury, stripping line from the U/L. I turned its head, and gained some line, and then it ran deep, stripped line, trying for Hartford. After working its head around again, it made a shorter run for deep water, but I gained enough line to get a look at a nice fat roe. When she saw the dock, she made a final run up the river, turning under the dock. I fought to keep her from going into the pilings, but horsing its head around under the dock was our un-doing. She was gone. But what a great five minutes!

Other than a few bumps, and short hits, I got nothing else. A few other regulars trickled in, and they all caught at least one before I had to go cook supper, my domestic duties not yet finished for the day.

Things are looking promising for next week. A good soaking rain on Sunday, followed by some nice, warm days.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz-1.5 oz drail, over 3'-4' of 8# flouro, and a variety of willows in hammered silver, copper, and gold. The roe went for hammered silver in blue/white w/black dot.

Tight lines!
Posted by: earl bird

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/25/21 12:11 PM

Great shad reports.
Brings back memories of years ago when I spent many days each year at Enfield Dam fishing for shad.
Peak season should be here in another week or two.
Posted by: cat_in_the_hat

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/25/21 02:11 PM

Good fishing at Bissel bridge launch right now, nice clear water and flow, Barts is the pits, detailed report coming in my thread
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/25/21 07:36 PM

24.April, 12:30-4:30 pm, Ferry Park in Rocky Hill.
The breeze was coming down from Hartford, not too bad, nor constant. After this morning's rain, the water was surprisingly clear, and the current was strong. I think it was just about high tide, or just past. There were three people casting for shad when I arrived, no shad strung to the docks, but they said they had caught and lost a few. On my 2nd or 3rd cast I got hauled up short, but after a couple or three head-shakes, it was gone. In the meantime, another half dozen characters showed up for some of the action.

Shad were caught, or just as often lost at the dock intermittently through the day. I got a few bumps and taps, but no takers until about 2:30 pm, when I got stopped cold. It pulled drag immediately as it ran deep, I'd turn it's head, and it would make another run in a different direction trying to shake me. In the stiff current, it put up a great fight, and I finally got it near the dock. As soon as it saw the dock, it made another hard run. Once I brought it to the dock again, it flipped hard away from the net, threw the leaf, and was gone. It was a big shad, I think a buck from the looks we got of it. About an hour later, I had another good hit, and a short fight before the line went slack. The knot had failed at the willow leaf. At this point, I loosened my drag a little, as it was obviously screwed down a hair too tight. Over the next hour or so, one of the regulars sharing the dock with me, lost 6 consecutive shad at the dock. I swore off grabbing the net at that point, because every time I touched it, he immediately lost the shad! shocked That's some bad Ju-Ju...

A little before 4:pm, the sun made an appearance, triggering a late afternoon run. A couple of the merry pranksters on the dock across from me had back to back hook ups, then a double. The guy next to me hooked up about that time, but just as quickly lost it. As he was bemoaning his fate, I had a tap-tap, and RUNnnnn! After a good half dozen runs, I took it to the net--SCORE! A nice fat roe was entered into the books for my vitamin shad. After a Kodak moment, I put her back in the drink; good genes need to be allowed to go forth and multiply. By the time I got the picture, the three others with me on the dock were all hooked up for a triple. Schweet! I have rarely seen this kind of action since the 80s, or early 90s, actually IIRC 2012 and 2015 were banner years for this kind of action. However hunger called, so I packed it in when things slowed down after 4:pm. Every day fishing is a good day. Today was a very good day. Good company, good fishing, and even a little catching, LOL!

I stayed with the U/L today. Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over a 3'-3.5', 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver willows in chartreuse/orange w/black dot, white with orange dots (reverse ladybug?), Jamaican (green/yellow/black), and blue/white w/red dot. The two lost shad hit the ever popular Jamaican, the vitamin shad hit the last leaf listed.

I'm really looking forward to heading back to Rocky Hill tomorrow after work. Tight lines!
Posted by: Don P

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/25/21 09:27 PM

Lots of action, and great reporting! Congrats!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/26/21 10:11 AM

Great to see you guys catching them. Great reports. As Mick Jager used to sing: "doup da doube you've been shaded shaded..."
Keep up the great work. I will be going out for them late this week. That should be the "kiss of death"/bring things to a screeching halt for anyone with in a few miles of me.

Tight lines,

MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/26/21 08:58 PM

26.April, ~4:30-6:30 pm, Ferry Park in Rocky Hill.
The breeze was mostly at our backs, occasionally swinging around to come out of the North. The water was clear, but there wasn't much current. Maybe tonight's super moon event has something to do with it. The current was slower than it should have been on a falling tide, I had little problem grabbing the bottom with a 1 oz weight.

There were only three regulars on the docks when I got there, and I missed a couple of regulars who were there earlier in the day. Bill C. had a few shad on a stringer, but said action was incredibly slow, and that he had lost as many shad as he caught today, going 4 for 8. About my 6th or 7th cast, something small and light hit me, and I thought it was an alewife. No, it was a small buck shad that didn't put much effort into fighting me. As Bill tried to net it, it rolled and threw the hook. A little while later, one of the other regulars hooked a decent buck, and landed it. And that was all she wrote. There really wasn't much of a bite today. Anyway for me, No Fish Today. Maybe tomorrow.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over a 2'-3' 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver willows in blue/white w/black dot, and a Jamaican (green/yellow/black).

I'm not sure where I will start, or end at tomorrow. I'll try to get fresh 411 during the day tomorrow before I decide where I'm going. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/27/21 08:44 PM

27.April:
4:15-5:15 pm, CT River at the Bissell boat launch at E. Barber St. The water was very low, below the last cleat on the ramp, with a poor current, tubid dirty water, and ~56 F. The wind was whipping up from Hartford, making casting a chore. Three were working the bank, including Dylan, and Radio, and there were no shad on the shore. I stuck it out an hour but had to quit it: too windy, and too many snags. I was re-rigging every 5 or 6 casts. It was an expensive hour, I figure a minimum of $.25/cast, might have been a hair more.

~5:45-7:pm, Ferry Park in RH. The wind was no better, beating up from Cromwell/Middletown, but the water was deeper, the current was better, and there are far less snags. Six, including Bill C were working the three docks, and there were shad. Miguel lost one, then caught one before he left, he released it after a Kodak moment, but Bill C struck out this afternoon. I had a hook set on my 3rd cast, and thought it was an alewife, but it turned out to be a small buck shad. He didn't put up much of a fight until he got close to the dock, then he ran deep. He self-released just as I got him out from under the dock.

A couple of more regulars joined us, including Dylan who caught a nice big buck. Except for a couple of short strikes, that was about all she wrote. It was getting cold in the wind, and since the shad weren't playing anymore, my supper started calling louder. No Fish Today.

Terminal tackle: At the Bissell I down-sized from 1 oz, to a 5/8 oz drail, over a 3' 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver leaves in blue/white w/black dot, Jamaican, reverse lady bug, and orange/yellow w/black dot.
At the Ferry I up-sized the drail to 1 oz, over a 3' 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver leaves in orange/yellow w/black dot, and green/pink w/glitter & black dot. My hit came on the orange/yellow leaf, while Dylan landed his with a hot pink w/black dot.

Tomorrow RH will be the place to be for me. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/28/21 08:38 PM

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!
Posted by: earl bird

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/29/21 06:24 AM

Action!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 04/29/21 07:33 PM

29.April, ~4:30-6:30 pm, Ferry Park at RH.
On arrival 5 people were working the docks. Two regulars, a father and his son who allegedly hooked but lost a shad before I got there, and someone else soaking chunks or drowning worms. And there was one dinky little anorexic shad on a stringer, I had to look twice as at first glance I thought it was a large alewife. It was drizzling to start, but scattered showers punctuated the afternoon. At least it wasn't windy. The water was a little dirtier than yesterday, and the current was about the same.

About 5:pm, two more regulars showed up. There was no action until after 5:30 pm, when Miguel landed a middlin' buck, and then Peter had a good tussle with a decent shad on the fisherman's dock. Without a net he really struggled to control it over and around the lawyer rails, and eventually he dragged it around to where he could beach it. By 6:pm the rain had picked up, and become steady. With no more action, I headed home to get my supper. No Fish Today.

I don't think I'm even going to try tomorrow, the forecast is not looking good. Actually, it looks pretty Sh*tty to be honest. Maybe Saturday, maybe...

Terminal tackle: 5/8 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader and a hammered silver Jamaican, and a reverse lady bug.

Tight lines!
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/01/21 02:51 PM

I've met a few hammered silver Jamaicans. Fun guys.

I have Monday off, and I just might try Shad fishing
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/01/21 05:55 PM

O-Bass,

I don't have Monday off, but if you can make it around after 4:pm, I'll be heading to the Wall after work. I should be there by 4:30 pm, depending on traffic. I have enough terminal tackle to give you a good start. If it interests your fishing-jones enough, I'm pretty sure Bill (who makes leaves and weights) will be there, too.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/01/21 06:21 PM

May Day, 1 May (not mayday! :p), 12:40-ish pm, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill.
On arrival, nobody, not one body on the docks. The wind was whipping down out of Hartford, and the current was ripping as fast as I've seen it in RH this year. The water was way up from yesterday, coffee colored, with lots of small flotsam in the drift, and the surface water temp was down to 52 F. With a 1 oz drail I couldn't reach the bottom, however hard I tried to work it. Even in spite of casting upstream, it wouldn't sink down far in the current. If I had my med-heavy tackle, I'd have thrown 1.5 oz of lead, but I only had my U/L tackle. One of the regulars showed up right behind my 2nd or 3rd cast, and he threw a 1.5 oz drail. And he couldn't grab the bottom either, and left after maybe 5 minutes. I packed it a few minutes later, and headed to the Wall. I wasn't in RH for 20 minutes.

The Wall, Cromwell, 1:20-ish pm-3:30 pm.
On arrival, a small group was dead-sticking chunks on their meat-sticks down at the far South end of the wall, I had the place pretty much to myself. For all of about 5 minutes, when a regular rolled up and joined me. The water was still turbid, but the current wasn't nearly as strong as it was in RH. And the wind was MUCH less, more like a light breeze. By 2:pm, there were another 7 or 8 anglers plying the wall for shad.

With a 1 oz drail, I had no problem bumping along the bottom, and holding it there. I switched to a 3/4 oz drail because it was too easy to hold the bottom with the extra 1/4 oz of lead, go figure. After about 2 hours casting practice, and no hits, I had witnessed 4 shad hooked, and two landed. No Fish Today for me, however it was a beautiful, warm day, and being on the Wall beat all hell out of mowing the lawn. I'll be out again tomorrow afternoon following my Jeep club meeting nearby.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail downsized to 3/4 oz, over 3' of 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered silver, white w/orange dots, Jamaican, and a smooth-finish silver leaf in chartreuse/orange w/black dot.

Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/04/21 08:31 PM

4.May, 4:30-6:30 pm, above the RR bridge behind Bart's.
On arrival there were at least 8 fishing the bank, including forum member Andy C. It was good to see you Andy, it's been a long time since I saw you last May! Over the course of the afternoon, a few more people came by, including Bill C who reported some success earlier in the day at the Wall in Cromwell, and Radio.

The water was dark, with a lot of debris floating by, but there was some current, unlike last night when I stopped by and it looked like a pond. It looks like the water had fallen a little from yesterday, in spite of the overnight rain. That probably had more to do with the tide, I suspect. I saw about a half dozen shad fought, only one lost, one kept, and the rest released in the two hours I was there. I had a few bumps, and one tug, but only managed a minnow, and an alewife to keep the skunk off.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. If the rain isn't too heavy, and as long as they keep the electricity turned off if it does shower, I plan on giving the Farm'y another shot.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 2.5'-3' 8# flouro leader, and willows in smooth silver w/orange & chartreuse w/red dot, hammered silver in chartreuse/blue w/white dot, and Jamaican.

Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/05/21 09:17 PM

Cinco de Mayo, 4:30-6:pm, behind Bart's & the RR bridge.
On arrival Dylan and Bill C were working the bank. Bill had 1 shad on a stringer and had C&R a couple, and Dylan reported he had C&R 2, and lost 2 before I got out of work. The water was a little higher than yesterday, dark but not coffee colored as is the CT River. The current was fair, not as strong as yesterday, and it was raining lightly, but steadily. I C&R an alewife about 4:45 pm, and just before 5:pm the rain stopped, and the shad started running. Bill caught one, right in the gills, so that went on the stringer, too. Dylan promptly set the hook on a nice long buck shad. Another angler had joined us and he hooked one, just as had Bill, right in the gills, and he gave it to Bill for the stringer. I set the hook on a firm hit, and it immediately ripped line off the drag. It made another 3 or 4 hard runs before I turned its head in to shore, still it tried to surge and run, but it was almost spent. She was a nice long fatty, and after a Kodak moment, I released her. My next cast netted another roe for a pic & release, it wasn't as fat or long as the first, but a roe back to back--LOVE it! Dylan and Bill each got another couple of shad between them. By 5:30, the current had all but gone slack, the water was like glass, and the bite was over. At 6:pm I packed it in. It was a very good day, if short. I'm sure the water will continue to rise over the next day, maybe two, from all the rain, but I'll be back to the Farm'y again tomorrow, as long as the current is good, the shad will be running.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader, and a Jamaican. Dylan's hot pink w/black dot was a real winner.

Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/06/21 08:33 PM

6.May, 4:30-6:pm, behind Bart's and the RR Bridge.
On arrival similar situation as yesterday afternoon. The water was up a good 18", and surprisingly clear, with a good current. A few regulars were working the bank, Dylan and Bill C had caught a half dozen or eight between them, and Bill had almost a limit on his stringer. He keeps most of the bucks, and releases the roes unless their bleeding; a good man. They were catching alewives on almost every cast, it was hard to get down to the shad through them. I soon found out the alewives were in thick today. A few more regulars joined us by 5:pm, and another 6 or so shad were caught and most released, except for two bleeders. I continued to catch alewives, and they hit on every cast, sometimes just mouthing the weight or nipping at the willow for a couple of tugs before dropping them. I didn't get my vitamin shad, but at least I didn't get entirely skunked. C'est la vive, c'est la guerre.

Terminal tackle, same as yesterday, willows in hammered silver Jamaican, and one in Chartruese and Blue, w/black dot.

I have a MFO (mandatory family obligation) tomorrow after work, and won't make it out again til Saturday. In the meantime, tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/08/21 10:06 AM

Nice Going. Glad to see you getting out and getting fish.

MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/09/21 08:10 PM

9.May, 3:30-6:pm, behind Bart's and the RR bridge. There were 6 people working the bank when I got there. As I was unloading my tackle from the car, one guy walked away with a decent size shad, after setting up bankside and getting a couple of casts in, one of the guys to my left landed a nice roe, and right after that, a guy near the bridge to my right landed a decent buck; both were C&R. Shad seemed to come through about every 45 minutes and 1 or 2 were caught, and most released. About 5:30 pm, after watching pretty much everyone else get 1 or 2, I finally got my turn in. I had a solid hookset on a fair to middlin' shad, it was hooked in the side of the mouth at an awkward angle, and it fought outside it's weight class. It gave me 3 good runs before I got it to the net, and I released it after our Kodak moment. A couple more shad were caught to make it 8 observed for the 2.5 hours I was there. All in all, it was a very good day.

The water was about at the same level as it was on Thursday, and fairly clear with only a little flotsam. There was a decent current, which improved as the afternoon wore on, and the surface temp was 59 F.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' of 8# flouro, and hammered silver willows in blue/chartreuse w/black dot, safety green w/black dot, and the "reverse ladybug" (white w/several orange dots). The ladybug brought my vitamin shad to the net.

Depending on how much rain we get, and how dirty the river is, I may give Bissell a shot tomorrow after work. Otherwise, Bart's has been treating us pretty well the past week or so, and it won't trouble me to go back there. Tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/10/21 10:20 AM

Nice trip. You are getting shad pretty consistently. Keep up the good work.

MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/10/21 08:38 PM

10.May, 4:25-4:45 pm, Bissell. The water was up to the last cleat, ~1/2 way up the ramp, and dirty. The current was languid, I expected better after the rain overnight and this morning. Two guys were dead sticking on the bottom of the ramp, and only one regular was taking casting practice, but not catching. After taking a few casts, and mostly snagging the bottom, I bailed up to Bart's.

~5:pm-7:pm, RR bridge back behind Bart's. Only 2 plying the bank on arrival. As they left, a few other anglers straggled in. The water was about the same level as last night, actually ~4" lower, and fairly clear, but the current was really nice and strong. Surface temp 53 F, with lots of flotsam, and larger pieces of wood, logs, and limbs drifting through. On my third cast, my retrieve was stopped cold by a hard hitter. She fought well in the current, and it's always more challenging with U/L tackle, that's why I use it. She made a few good runs before I got her to the net for our Kodak moment, and released her. She went over 3#, maybe pushing 4, nice and thick. On my second cast following, I had another good hookset. I was able to net it and unhook it, it might have been a small roe or large buck, but I never got the chance to check. As I reached for my phone for our moment, it got all slappy, tossed itself onto the rocks and surfed right into the water. LOL, that was one energetic shad! About 6:30 pm I netted a small roe, releasing her after our Kodak moment. Other than 3 alewives, in addition to the shad, that was all she wrote, and nobody else got more than an alewife.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader, and all 3 shad were C&R on a "reverse ladybug" hammered silver willow.

The way things have looked, and been happening at Bart's the last few trips, I'll be heading back tomorrow after work, unless I get some 411 that somewhere else is on fire. I doubt it. Tight lines!
Posted by: earl bird

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/11/21 04:42 PM

I continue to enjoy your reports.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/11/21 09:00 PM

11.May, 4:25-6:20 pm, RR bridge behind Bart's. The water was about the same level as yesterday, fairly clear, with a lot of maple seeds, and oak flowers, but not as much lumber floating past. The current was good, but not as strong as yesterday. I didn't bother with a surface temp today.

Three regulars were working the bank when I arrived, and gave reports of scattered shad, and a few alewives making an appearance. Dylan had a hard hit, and a good fight with a few runs for good measure before landing a nice fat roe. She measured about 21" long, and weighed 3.8#. Unfortunately she was gill hooked and bleeding out. He didn't want her, and offered her to me. Thank you Dylan, I vacuum sealed the fillets, and egg sacks for some good eats.

A couple of more regulars came by to join us, including a young guy who has been putting in his time. Dylan wound up catching two more roes over the next hour and a half, both had released their eggs and were spent. They looked like long, lean bucks, but their vents were dead giveaways. One was released unharmed, but unfortunately the other was gill hooked. One of the guys who joined us landed a roe bigger than Dylan's. He didn't weigh it but it was obviously longer, and fatter; we guessed over 4#. After that, the alewives stormed the place.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over a shorter 2'-2.5' 8# flouro leader (there wasn't much room in my back cast where I was standing on the rocks). Willows in hammered silver: reverse ladybug, orange/chartreuse w/black dot, Yellow w/black dot, and a hammered copper in red/white w/black dot. Evidently I didn't set the table right today, as other than a few short strikes, probably by alewives, I got no fish today, except for the gift.

Tight lines!
Posted by: O-BASS

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/11/21 10:46 PM

Good stuff
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/12/21 08:51 PM

12.May, 4:45-6:40 pm (delayed at work), RR bridge behind Bart's. Three regulars were working the bank when I arrived, and no shad on the bank or tales of C&R. The water was down about 1', clear and with decent current, surface temp a nominal 60F. A couple of more regulars settled in upstream of us in the next hole, and they C&R a couple of shad over the next hour or so. Then the guy to my left brought in a short, but very fat roe which I netted for him, and he promptly released. About 6:15 pm I had a light hit that quickly escalated to a fair tug in the current. A rolling tale flip showed a middlin' buck more than 1/2 way across the river. Have I mentioned how much I love the way the U/L handles shad? laugh After a brief tussle, Dylan helped me get my one-a-day in the net for a Kodak moment before I released it. Even the alewives were few and far between this afternoon.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro and several hammered silver willows in a variety of colors. The Jamaican was the plat du jour for my scaly friend.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. Tight lines!
Posted by: kayak fisher

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/13/21 05:51 PM

Even though I'll probably never make it up there to shad fish, I really enjoy your daily reports. Thank you.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/13/21 08:17 PM

13.May, 1:45-6:pm, the Wall, Cromwell. Over a dozen folx were working the wall, from end-to-end. A gaggle of chunkers were down on the south end of the wall dead-sticking, but the shad fishermen were spread out pretty well along the rest of the wall. The water was down enough to confirm I made a good decision getting a new net with a 8'+ handle. It was clear, mostly debris free, and there was some current but it wasn't as strong as I expected. I started off with my 6' med-heavy Ugly-stick mated to a Penn 4400 SS over a 1.5 oz drail, the usual leader, and a hammered copper willow sans decorative paints. On my second cast I had a strong hook up, and the dance started with a leap. She had some back, and used it to her advantage in the current. That she hit it way out helped her, too. But the med-heavy set up was more than enough to bring her to the wall, and we saw that she was long and fat. Once she saw the net, she tossed the hook with a roll, and was gone. So close, and yet so far. C'est la guerre. 1.5 oz of lead was too much for the want of current, so I switched to my U/L set-up with a 3/4 oz drail. It took a little longer to reach the bottom, but little was the operative word. It wasn't much work to hold near or at the bottom.

A small run must have come in, because a few more were landed before 3:pm, and a little after that I had had another hook-set, this one was close to the wall. Beau coup fun on the U/L bringing a middlin' roe to the net. She went back in the drink after our Kodak moment. Things settled down a little after that, with a some alewives thrown in the mix so we could draw a few short straws. After 3:30 pm, things heated up. Shad were landed by ones along the length of the wall with a double for good measure, and then close to 4:pm there was a triple. And just after the triple, I had a soft hook-set, it felt like an alewife. When I got it close to the wall, we saw one of the smallest bucks I've ever seen. It was maybe twice the size of a blueback herring, maybe it weighed a pound, or a hair more. Most of the shad caught (and most were released), as far as I could tell, were spent roes, having spawned; a few were big and fat, and heavy with roe. I'd say a couple of the largest ran ~4.5# +/-.

Today was a very good day at the Wall, it was getting crowded by the time I left. And for good reason, the ladies are in! I saw a few really good, drag-screaming runs today. I love that sound. After work I'm going out of town for the weekend. But I took next week off from work, and I think it was very good timing. It seems to be prime time.

Terminal tackle: drail weights were covered in the foregoing verbiage, leader same-same. Willows: hammered copper got a big roe close to the net, hammered silver in Jamaican, reverse ladybug, blue/chartreuse w/black dot, orange w/black stripe (got the dinky buck, and a handful of short hits that didn't stick), and finally a red/white w/black dot.

See you next week. Until then, tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/13/21 09:33 PM

Great Trip. Great Report! You got me sold. I will try this shad thing this weekend.

MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/14/21 06:09 AM

If I weren't going out of town this weekend, I'd meet you, and help you get started. Good luck MikeV, tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/17/21 08:41 PM

MikeV, glad you met up with Paul to learn the ropes. You're hooked now! BTW, you posted in the 2020 Shad thread, LOL!

Sunday, 16.May, 12:45-3:45 pm, on the Wall. The water was way down from Thursday, the current was decent, and there wasn't too much flotsam. There were only about 10 or 11 people working the wall when I arrived. One shad was landed as I pulled my gear from the car, and another as I set up; 15 minutes later I C & R my vitamin shad after our Kodak moment. Throughout the afternoon one or two were caught at long intervals.

When the heavy rain came most folx left, but a couple of us waited it out. We fished in an off and on light rain for another hour or so, but with meager results. Other than a few alewives, and a couple of hits that didn't stick, I was done. Rumor has it things heated up after 4:pm when a nice run came to town. I guess I should have stayed, but I was hungry and tired.

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro, and hammered silver in red/white w/black dot, blue/chartreuse w/black dot, Jamaican, and blue/white w/black dot.


17.May, 8:30 am-5:15 pm, on the Wall. The water was down even more from last night, current about the same, and no junk floating by worth noting. And there were only a few people, and never more than about 7 or 8 people total, the wall was down right lonely today. About 15 minutes after I started casting practice, I had a good hook-set. After a short tussle, it came to the net, and was released after our Kodak moment. Then the casting practice set down in earnest. A shad, or two was caught about every 45-60 minutes; not clock work, but fairly regularly at intervals.

One of the regulars caught a huge roe before I left, it was heavy, long, and fat. I'd guesstimate over 4#, maybe pushing 5#, and it gave him a nice fight. I managed to tangle with 6 over the course of the day, landing 5 and losing 1 that saw the net, turned and looked at me, then jumped and spit the hook back. I'd swear it, that shad mocked me! shocked

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro, and hammered silver in red/white w/black dot, blue/chartreuse w/black dot, orange w/black dots, orange/yellow w/orange dot, Jamaican, and a smooth gold in pink w/black dot. The last hour or so before I left, the current was so slack I had to switch to 5/8 oz because I was losing rigs, including drail snagging the bottom hard.

Since I took the week off, I will be hitting the River hard. The Wall for sure, and maybe a couple of trips down to Harbor Park, or Rocky Hill. Tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/18/21 03:57 PM

You know what they say...Better late then never.


MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/18/21 09:31 PM

18.May, 10:45 am-5:pm, on the docks at Ferry Park, Rocky Hill. The water was clear, except for flotsam that came by in clumps, often hanging up on the docks before floating loose again. The current was good, surface temp ~64F. There were only 2 regulars working the docks when I arrived, and 0 shad to be had. Another regular showed up by 11:30 or so, and we carried on a brisk casting practice for the next 2 hours. We caught and released a few alewives, yellow and white perch, and the odd minnow to keep the skunk off. The two regulars who were there before me left around noon.

About 1:30 Bill landed a nice roe, and 15 minutes later I did the same. A little after 2:pm, I landed a buck, and another regular joined us on the docks about that time. I wound up catching one more roe about 3:pm. Over the rest of the afternoon we caught shad about every 20-30 minutes. And between us we caught about a dozen, most were released, and most were roes! It was a very good day to be out.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3' of 8# flouro, and willows in hammered silver orange/yellow w/orange dot (candy corn), Jamaican, blue/chartreuse w/black dot, Bill's "Stop Light" (white w/ some red and green dots and a couple of black bars; it's hard to describe without looking directly at it!). Candy corn was hot for me today. Another regular had good results with a hammered silver in pink w/black dot.

One of my brothers is coming to visit for a couple of days. Tomorrow we'll hit the Wall by noon, and maybe Ferry Park (depending on the 411). It's looking to be a great day to be out, and I can't wait. I hope the shad cooperate, but we all know it's fishing and not catching. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/19/21 08:09 PM

19.May, 11:am-1:50 pm, the Wall. The water was down a bit more, decent current, clear and very little junk floating by. My brother drove up from Christmas-town, PA this morning, so of course I took him fishing for the day. We've been trying to get together for shad for a few years, and this year worked out. There were only 3 regulars working the wall, including Radio, and only Rod reported catching one earlier. We fished, well mostly took casting practice for an hour or so, until Bill showed up, and whispered a couple in. One of the regulars caught a decent roe, and a while later, Bill C & R one small buck at the far right of the wall. By 1:45 I was getting hangry, so my brother and I went and grabbed a bite.

2:30-6:15 pm, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill. There were only 2 regulars working the docks, one of whom hailed us across the parking lot with a thumbs up; he had two on his stringer. A couple of hours later, a bunch of other regulars showed up. As did the shad, mostly for everybody else. About a dozen were landed in the last couple of hours, with most released safely. I did manage to get my one-a-day before retiring. My brother managed a few alewives, and a dink schoolie, but the shad spurned him. We'll be out tomorrow morning to try again. Tight lines!

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3' *# flouro, and hammered silver leaves: candy corn, Jamaican, and chartruese/blue w black dot.
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/20/21 01:45 PM

Thanks for the updates. They are most appreciated. Glad to see you were able to get together with your brother and catch fish. Sounds like they are still in, maybe not as thick as mid run, but enough of them to be entertaining. Stay on top of them till they are gone.


MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/22/21 08:08 PM

20.May, 8:15 am-11:45 am, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill. My brother and I had the place to ourselves. We opted for the half day trip so we could meet up in North central Mass with a couple of old friends from our college years. My brother managed a few alewives, and a yellow perch, but no shad. As for me? No fish today. Nada.

21.May, 8:am-11:30 am, the Wall at Cromwell. Another half day trip, as my brother had to head home for an early tee time on Saturday (today) morning. There were only two fishing the wall, and one was landing his 2nd shad as we arrived, and he prepared to head home. As yesterday, my brother C & R a few alewives, but no shad. About 10:30 am right after I touched bottom, I had a solid hit with 3-4 heavy head shakes, and then it was gone. Somehow it had broken my leader above the leaf. Maybe it was cut on a clam shell, who knows, but that was all the action anybody had until he had to head home.

On both days the water was clear, but not really moving, although the current started to slowly pick up about the time we left.

Terminal tackle: we had to drop down to 3/4 oz drails, and we threw the usual hardware.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/22/21 08:19 PM

22.May, 1:45-4:40 pm, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill. The water was barely moving, but there was more current than I had on the preceding two morning excursions. However, the cotton has started to pile up in the water, clinging to the line, and clogging up the guides, and spool. Some casts caught me pulling more cotton, than actually fishing. And its only going to get worse next week. I may be putting things to bed for this season.

On arrival there were 5 regulars on the docks. Bill had one buck on his stringer, and nobody had caught anything but a few alewives. Between 2 and 3, another regular showed up, and he managed a buck by 4:pm. Other than a couple of alewives, I go nothing. At 4:30 I had a call from home, that one of the cats was in distress. So I had to bail to attend to the critter. Male cat, turned out to be a urinary blockage. The vet has him now, and he should be fine after 2-3 days. He's a pricey little piss-ant...

Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail, over 3.5' 8# flouro, and hammered silver in pink w/black dot, pink w/white dots, and pink/green w/sparkly sh*t.

It looks like the shad run is winding down. I'll head out to Rocky Hill or Cromwell after work next week, but only until the cotton is so heavy on the water that it sticks to everything and clogs up the works. Then I'm done, unless I hear of a late run in early June, after the cotton has had it's run.

Tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/22/21 09:06 PM

Thanks for the update. It does sound like the shad run is about over. It should get good for small mouth pretty soon. I wonder how those spots would be for smallies. I usually launch at Barber street and take the run way up to beyond the Farmington. There is generally only enough water to fish though June.

Tight lines,

MikeV
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/24/21 08:11 PM

24.May, 4:30-6:45 pm, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill. There were 5 regulars working the docks, and 0 shad. One, who had been there in the morning for an hour or so, reported he had C & R one then, but had returned again, just minutes before I arrived this afternoon. The current was fair, and while there was cotton on the water, the stiff breeze from the South must have pushed most of it to mid-river, or the Glastonbury side; it wasn't too bad for the amount drifting in the breeze.

About 15 minutes into casting practice I had a solid hit, and a decent fight on my hands. We tussled for a few minutes before I was able to get a look at it, but when it saw the dock and the net, it ran deep, and turned under the dock. I got it out twice, but each time it saw the net, it ducked and ran. The third time it ran very deep, and well under the dock, and that's where we parted ways. It was a heavy shad, probably a roe. A little while later Bill C & R a nice fat roe. He netted and released another one before 5:30 pm. A little after 6:pm I had a hard hook-set, she just stopped me, and immediately started running. She made a couple of hard, deep runs that nearly doubled my rod, and pulled a lot of line off the spool. Once near the dock, she made a couple of shorter runs underneath, but I managed to get her to the net for a Kodak moment before I released her. By this time the breeze kicked up a couple of notches, and it was getting cold and difficult to cast. I gave it another half hour or so, but called it a day after nobody else was getting more than casting practice, and tangled leaders in the stiff breeze.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader, and hammered silver willows in pink/green w/glitter, yellow w/white dots, and blue/chartreuse w/black dot. The first and third leaves worked the shad magic this afternoon.

There are still some shad trickling through, although I believe we are nearing the end of the season. I won't be out tomorrow, as I have to pick up a cat at the vet after work, but I'll be out Wednesday again. Tight lines!
Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/25/21 03:04 PM

Thanks for the update. I am glad to see you enjoying the last few shad of the run. Its funny how there are a few that hang around like a bad smell, way after you would expect them gone. I guess I will leave a shad set up in the boat for at least another week.

I plan to target underutilized species this year because if few people are chasing them, they should be easier to catch. Last year, When I launched at Barber Street(under 291) I focused exclusively on small mouth which is fine when they are hitting. On almost every trip, I saw "double digit" cats and carp that looked like bronze beer kegs with fins. I am not a fish snob, and even if I was, catching "double digit" cats and huge carp on light gear has to be a hoot. Do you or your buddies chase cats and carp? Any plans to? Bill Lanese (Sinker Bill) is supposed to show me the ropes soon. I will report results as they happen.

Tight Lines

MikeV
Posted by: ecurB

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/25/21 06:24 PM

Those big cats and carp fight great . Another thing I like is that it's not such a problem if you break them off . This allows you to scale down your tackle and have some real fun with them . Also they'll usually hit in the dead of summer heat .

Fresh chunk , live or fresh dead sunfish for the cats and "corn bombs" for carp has always done well for me . I chum heavily for carp .
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/25/21 07:42 PM

Hi MikeV,
I don't know if any of them chase cats or carp, I've never heard them talk about targeting them. Bronze-backs, crappie, trout, and some salt species have come up in conversation, though.
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/26/21 08:01 PM

26.May, 4:20-6:10 pm, Rocky Hill. The water was flowing, and getting thick with cotton. The wind was screaming up from Middletown, making casting challenging, and the water very choppy. We got our sea-legs on the pitching docks. Three regulars were working the docks when I got there, and we were joined by two more a little later.

By the time I left, only three shad were caught. I got the stinky kitty. skunk No fish today.

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3.5' 8# flouro leader, hammered silver willows in blue/chartreuse w/black dot, and one in white w/red & green dots & a black line (Bill's "stop light" pattern).

All in all the cotton is manageable, even if the shad are few and far between. The ones we are getting tend to be roes, and fight out of their weight class. One of the regulars reported that Dan at Hale's shad shack had netted 80 shad last night, so the chance is still there. And so I'll be out again tomorrow for a chance at whatever shad are left. Tight lines!
Posted by: No Fish Today

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/27/21 08:08 PM

27.May, 4:25-6:10 pm, Rocky Hill. One solitary shadaholic was working the docks when I arrived, and he reported not so much as a nibble. About a half hour later another shadaholic joined us at casting practice. And that's what it was, practice casting. Nothing, nada, zilch. The current was fair, but the water was sh*tty with cotton, which clogged up the line, guides, and reel. I was tempted to order a cotton jenny, and start bailing the damned stuff. Fortunately the wind switched to our backs, and blew it toward the center of the river, and the Glastonbury shore. Still we were busy picking cotton from the lines, but it was at least tolerable at that point. For Ss&Gs, I grabbed a surface water temp, ~73F!

Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail over 3.5' 8# flouro leader, a hammered silver willow in white/chartreuse w/red & green dots & a black line.

No fish today. For anybody. I will try it again tomorrow after work, weather allowing, but between the cotton, and the weekend forecast, I'm thinking I'm done for the season. It's time to start thinking about the salt. Tight lines!

Posted by: MikeV

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 05/28/21 11:47 AM

George,

It was a good run. You did well. It is probably best to shift gears now.

MikeV
Posted by: earl bird

Re: SHAD! 2021 - 06/11/21 05:38 PM

I guess that your season is over. As a former shad fisherman, I have enjoyed your regular spring reports.