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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of our readers and posters know anything about the life-cycles and habits of Shad. Can you recomend any litterature that would have this info in it. I wan't to learn more about shad, like what they eat, and what their daily routines might be, stuff like that ,which would help me catch them all summer long. I'm wondering if you could bait them to a specific area in order to get your cast net around a whole bunch of them at once. If any of you guys have any info that would help go ahead and post it, my CatFishig Adventures could sure benefit from a consistent suppply of shad.

Thanks in Advance and Best Regards
SHB
 

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I know a little about shad, I find them in back water areas like oxbows along a river, and back in coves on the large lakes. They seem to like a mud bottom.

They spawn in the spring when the water temp is around 60 degrees, and in late summer it seems like the schools of last springs hatchlings are everywhere.

I don't think you will be able to bait them because they are plankton feeders.

In my experience they are best used for bait when fresh. They seem to not work nearly as well after they've been frozen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you

Hey Thanks John, up here you can find them pretty easily in the spring. It seems like they're in the Inlets of our Irrigation resivoirs about the time the white bass and wipers start running. We try to catch about as much as we think we will need for the weekend and Ice them down, before we move off to the various cat holes that need to be sampled. I had good luck keeping them alive in a 100gal horse tank, which was placed in the back of a pick-up box trailer and towed behind us.

Anyone else have any good info? I'm going to print it out and put it in my notebook so I can refer back to it. We should Invent the CatFish College!
 

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shb, we catch um in the same places as everyone else, backwater and so on. I notice you mention keeping them alive. I have a 48qt cooler I made into a bait box with air pump and all. I fill it about half full of water, add two bags of ice per day, and a hand full of large salt tablets. You would think the salt would kill um quick but believe it or not I've kept them alive for a week and more. Just a little trick I picked up from a fishing guide on Cumberland lake in Ky. some years back.
 

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shb said:
Do any of our readers and posters know anything about the life-cycles and habits of Shad. Can you recomend any litterature that would have this info in it. I wan't to learn more about shad, like what they eat, and what their daily routines might be, stuff like that ,which would help me catch them all summer long. I'm wondering if you could bait them to a specific area in order to get your cast net around a whole bunch of them at once. If any of you guys have any info that would help go ahead and post it, my CatFishig Adventures could sure benefit from a consistent suppply of shad.

Thanks in Advance and Best Regards
SHB
Shad, at least the American Shad, is a migratory fish like the Salmon and migrates up rivers from the ocean each spring to spawn in the same area it was hatched from. It is basically an ocean fish that feeds on plankton and small shrimp or crustaceans when in the ocean. During the spring spawn, they don't feed but can be enticed to strike a small 1/8 oz jig baited with a 2" curly tail grub, often rigged Carolina style. I also have good luck using the Japanese style Sabiki rigs, which are multihook rigs using small artificial like flies on multi-dropper lines. These are available from Bass Pro Shops (Offshore Angler catalog). Me and my son have been fishing the Savannah River New Lock and Dam near the Augusta, GA airport for about 5 years now. They make their annual spawn run up from Savannah from about late Feb thru early June each year and spawn near the Augusta shoals area by the Augusta Canal wing dam and lock area.
During the peak of the spawn we often catch & release 50+ in a 4-6 hour period using either an Owner 5536-077 or Hayabusa S-506E Mix Flasher Sabiki rig. Using these rigs require a "finese" style of jigging to keep them just off the bottom so they don't hang up in the rocks. Average weight is from 1-3 lbs for bucks and 2-5 lbs for roe shad. The "roe" is prized by some as a "delicasy" when rolled in flour and fried.

Here is a hyperlink that will take you to EAngler.com website info link on various fish species: (this one is for American Shad)
http://www.eangler.com/AboutFish/fish.asp?ID=2
:eek: :-D :wink:
 

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The American Shad isn't the one we're talking about. What we use for cat bait are the gizzard and the threadfin shad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
any good for cats

Thanks for all the good info Slug-Gunner, I have read about the ocean shad runs in different outdoor magazines ever since I was a 6th grader. I always wondered if they fought as hard as the 2lb gizzard shad I have ocaisionally snagged. But now, since I have discovered big Catfish I just wonder if they would make as good of bait as a gizzard shad. They look pretty similar to me.
 

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Re: any good for cats

shb said:
Thanks for all the good info Slug-Gunner, I have read about the ocean shad runs in different outdoor magazines ever since I was a 6th grader. I always wondered if they fought as hard as the 2lb gizzard shad I have ocaisionally snagged. But now, since I have discovered big Catfish I just wonder if they would make as good of bait as a gizzard shad. They look pretty similar to me.
The smaller sized 8-12" American Shad make excellent "live" bait for both large Blue and Flathead Catfish and also are used quite a bit for both Striper and Hybrids at the New Savannah Lock and Dam area too. Last year I caught a 27 lb Striper using a 10" American Shad as bait and saw many others catch both Striper/Hybrids and Catfish in the 15-30 lb range. The larger shad are also cut into strips and used as "cutbait" for both catfish and stripers too. Many fish for the American Shad just to use them for cutbait for their catfishing trips and limb/trot lines - the shad is very oily and make excellent cut-bait. Last year both me and my son had a Striper well in excess of 30 lbs attempt to hit a shad we had hooked and were reeling it in. Just last Saturday, 5 April, I lost a large roe shad, estimated at 5-6 lbs since she was longer than my 24" basket, while trying to get her into my basket in order to get her up the 14' wall we fish off of between the lock area and spillway area. Even a 2 lb American Shad can put up a good fight and become airborne at times when in the high river current below the dam gate areas. For most who fish for them regularly, you consider it a "caught fish" if you get it to the wall since their mouths are similar to crappies and the hooks will pull out easily if not hooked in the upper lip hard cartilidge area. They can be found congregating below many dam areas on rivers that drain into the oceans along both coasts during the spring spawn run seasons. The hyperlink shows how wide their area of distribution is.
:roll: :-D :eek: :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks

looks like I am going to have to add Georgia to my wish list of fishing trips. It is pretty darn exciting when you have a huge predator fish trying to nail a panfish that you're reeling in. Sometimes guys actually land 20lb northerns on crappie gear, you know thats got to be a happy accident.
 
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