It looks fast and fun. Excuse my lack of knowledge, but do people eat those? I think of shad as baitfish, but I take it you are fishing salt or brackish water and that is a different species.
It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain
We have an American shad run on the Delaware River usually in April and early May. There's even a Shad Festival in Lambertville, NJ. They run up the river to spawn and you can fish for them as north as the East and West branch at Hancock, NY. All the fishing with rod and reel or fly rod is done in fresh water. They can be baked, broiled, smoked though I've never heard of them being fried. The real delicacy is the shad roe. The roe sacks are removed rinse, floured and fried in butter. Very, very good. They are a blast on a fly rod. The one RHenn is holding is about the average size for a male fish, 2 to 3 lbs. The females are a larger and can run 5 to 7 lbs. In the fall, when the juveniles are heading downriver back to the ocean, smallmouth, walleye and muskie fishing really turns on.
We have a run in the St John river that is just about to end, I don't eat the roe, but quite a few folks do down here. We have a Shad Derby down here, but I think it is all about catch , photograph and release. I was told that we don't get the real large ones this far south, and we get Hickory shad mixed in with the American shad, or so I have been told, but do not know how to tell the difference. The one in the pic is one of the larger ones we caught, and I think that a 19" fish is leading the fly rod division.
Sounds like fun. Sandies/white bass and crappie will start running soon here in Texas. I'd love to catch some shad one day.
I bet they pull a bit! Very interesting.... I think of shad as a baitfish to emulate, not something catch. Those big things could be fun though.
The Green Hornet strikes again!!!
Uncle Jesse, we have American Shad that are popular in the rivers around Sacramento, including the American River. Most people think they have too many bones to eat, but I've heard some people smoke them. I tried that once but the bones got stuck in my pipe. LOL.
Quivera, do you have any Skipjack herring in the streams where you are? Those are really close, size-wise and appearance, to American Shad like what is pictured.
Honestly, though, I'm like you. Shad = cut bait. For that matter, so does Skipjack Herring.
Sorry if I upset any fly-fishing purists. I'm an equal-opportunity fisherman........I do just about everything.....
Here in the metro Washington, DC area we have runs every spring on the American shad and the hickories in the POTOMAC. Some get very large and we do or did have a moratorium on them so it's usually C&R for all shad. I know that the Americans can be prepared by fileting and smoking them nailed to a plank of cedar. Here's a little historical trivia, George Washington's estate Mount Vernon its on some very choice River front on the Potomac and he harvested great numbers of shad right in front of his home. In those days the Potomac fishery was very bountiful. A lot of work has gone into restoring it and we now also have huge stripers, LM and SM bass, panfish, walleye and of course the snakeheads which are another story. Some restaurants are now serving the snakeheads!
The C&R laws are still in place for shad although I've seen folks, especially upstream of Chain Bridge on the VA side, netting some for the pot. Both hickory and white shad are a blast to catch on a flyrod; hook a 5lb white on a 6wt and you'll never think of shad as baitfish again.