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Scott M

Shad fishing

4 posts in this topic

I'm wrapping up "The Founding Fish" by John McPhee. I highly recommend it to anyone.

When I come out to visit the east coast, I'd very much like to give this a try, and time my trip with the shad run.

Are there any east coast shad fisherman out there? Do you use shad darts? How easy would it be to pack a rod and give it a shot?

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Hey Scott, glad you are interested in shad fishing. It is fun when they are running.We used to say when the forsytha blooms the shad are in. usually early to mid April around here. I have only fished them in the Merrimac river. From shore in Lawrence Ma and Haverhill Ma and some canoe car top action in Haverhill as well. Shad darts work well. I usually fish a heavy dart up front with a smaller dart trailing 12-18" behind. We have also used Willow leaf blades with great sucess as well. I think I have actually done better that last few yrs on the willow leaf rigs. My buddy owns River st bait and tackle and can point you in the right direction when the run is in. You could even keep in touch with him prior to your arrival to see how the run is going River St bait & tackle . I also heard of some great run on the Conn. river in western MA but never got out to fish it. I would recommend that run over the Merrimac run as some yrs the returns on the Mac aren't that good. MAss wildlife should have all the numbers on all the rivers for the recent shad returns. Google should provide the way there. Good luck if you get out this way. If you're late for the shad run you'll be smack dab in the thick of the striper run and that is no half bad either. Better actually, lol.


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Hey Scott, The salmon falls river gets a pretty good shad run. Most people fish from the bridge that crosses the river between Eliot, ME and Dover, NH (Rt. 101). They use locally made shad flutters. Suds N Soda Sports in Greenland, NH carries them. Some people use shad darts, but most use flutters. I don't usually hear about when the run happens though so I'm no help there. I will ask around and report back.

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