Shad 2021


Who's ready?? I get home in late January & will be looking for reports, if not i'll give it a go.


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Yes chartreuse little curly tails on jigs. If the shad are there the banks will be lined with people. Check water flows before you go. To much and its dangerous and poor fishing to little is the same thing. You can catch shad on sabikis too. Just watch out they bend hooks tangle rigs and nets when they do.Originally posted by 40inchreds


Thank you sir! Good insight! I've caught many in the past, so am aware of how strong they can be, even though it has been a good while since I have caught one.

This is how I make Shad darts for the Shad, and I've used them for Schoolie size Stripers too. Not the strongest hook, but stronger than a basic Aberdeen that are often used, and not easily bent either. Since they tend to get lost often, not expensive either. I think this was a size 2 hook and I buy them when I find them cheap, just for the Shad darts. I dressed a bunch last year, and also kept plenty for plastics, so I should be well prepared in that dept.

As I had mentioned, sabiki rigs were not legal where I had fished for them, so not likely I'll be doing that. I've never been fond of fishing with more than two hooks or lures anyway, for the reasons that you've said.

My favorite Shad Dart.


Sometimes the Sabiki Rigs will produce more strikes than the jigs/darts will. I cut the Sabiki rigs in half ( 3 hooks each ) and splice more line and snaps/swivels onto to them. Those 6 hook Sabikis can be dangerous bigsmile
Good looking jig! The one mold I have will pour the heads with the hook up front, like in my photo, or centered. I like the up front position if I'll be casting them, but have caught on both while casting. It's an old Hilts mold, and I'm not sure if it was made that way, or someone had it modified before I got it. I've had it for many years and have other older Hilts molds that aren't like that.

I don't think I've ever caught a fish on a green jig. Maybe, but don't recall. It was always either a chartreuse or an olive shade like on a bass jig if I used green. I read an article when I was a kid that mentioned international orange as a hot color for shad in the Susquehanna River, and I've caught them on orange, but it was never a hot color for me.

Maybe one of those, "you should have been here last week colors"! bigsmile Everyone has their favorites for sure!

I think the last time I caught any shad, my one son & I had gone to try & catch some Crappies. We still lived in MD then, and went to a tidal river that we could fish from a bridge. I remember catching some shad on a safety pin type spinner with a jighead and white curltail that had red dots on it. It was probably 2 1/2" long. Everyone that I hooked was from under the bridge in the shade. I've read that they're often light sensitive, so bite better on darker days. That day was nice and Sunny, so maybe something to that. They weren't legal to catch then, so all of them were released, but fun to hook up on the light spinning gear. bigsmile
Different places they bite different and people fish them different ways. When the current is really bad sabikis with big weights or trolling are the more effective options. I usually jig herring on the sabiki and catch both. The herring sabikis are really small and light wire hooks so it takes a lot of skill to finesse a big shad on one when they hit it. Personally my favorite style to catch them is when the water is slowish you can cast up current with a single jig and reel it in and feel for the strike. On those days i dangle one out the back and see if i can out fish it. The herring hit jigs too and sometimes you catch the occasional yellow or silver perch, crappie or bream. I just stick with chartreuse and sabikis.
congrats on 3 pages.

Ted show em the mount of the big bass. if you didn't block my texts, you'd see i answered you pronto.

lotta horseshit in this thread. i like it.
Different places they bite different and people fish them different ways. When the current is really bad sabikis with big weights or trolling are the more effective options. I usually jig herring on the sabiki and catch both. The herring sabikis are really small and light wire hooks so it takes a lot of skill to finesse a big shad on one when they hit it. Personally my favorite style to catch them is when the water is slowish you can cast up current with a single jig and reel it in and feel for the strike. On those days i dangle one out the back and see if i can out fish it. The herring hit jigs too and sometimes you catch the occasional yellow or silver perch, crappie or bream. I just stick with chartreuse and sabikis.Originally posted by 40inchreds


I've always preferred to be casting a single jig or a spoon for Shad, if I wasn't using fly gear. I've used Tony Accetta spoons for shad too, and they're made in small sizes, 12 to 14, and they're a good lure to cast for Shad, but the 12 & 13 is light and don't cast as well as a Shad dart so probably better for trolling or like you describe with sabiki rigs in current. Huntington Drone spoons are also made in smaller sizes, 000 & 00 and they too worked great on shad, and any of these worked well for the various panfish. Nungesser is another spoon brand that I've used and may still have some of them. For spoons silver or gold were always good, but I've used some painted ones too. If you folks have not used the small spoons, maybe they would be a good something different to try, not that you need to do that if what you use has worked well.

I appreciate you sharing your comments and all the comments expressed here. IMO, much of this isn't all that different from what is used up & down the Atlantic coast, and good to share the details of how local folks go about fishing for them in specific areas. Until I started reading on this site a couple of years ago, I wasn't aware of the fishing in the diversion canal area.

I used to know a fellow who fished the Roanoke River for Shad and Stripers, and from what he had told me, how they fished wasn't much different than how I had fished for them in MD, or how they're fished for here, but the colors used were usually the biggest difference. I recall that he liked pink a lot. He passed away several years ago.

I follow a FB group that fly fishes in FL for Shad, and they're starting to catch some now, although mostly bucks, and only in a few rivers. So, shouldn't be too many weeks before they start showing up here.

I'm looking forward to hopefully catch a few this year. thumbsUp
Last edited by bigjim5589
The Rediversion canal near St Stevens, not the Diversion canal near Cross. I fish it from a boat. When the current is running fast you need to use a 1 to 2 ounce sinker below your jig to keep it down near or on the bottom. Just cast it behind the boat and hold the rod or place in a rod holder...and wait for a Shad to hook up. I may cast toward the bank with just a jig too, with an 1/8 or 1/4 jig head. Looks odd with a 1/4 jig head and a 2" grub, but it works.

Last edited by stlhunr
Hey big Jim ,you forgot about the 000 barracuda spoons and the hildebrandt spoons ,we used all of them until the plastic jigs came out.Never looked back because of the price and jigs worked better.And stlhunr,I’ve caught many a shad in the diversion canal after they quit biting in the rivers.Right where canal and lake Marion connect.
Never tried fishing for them in the Diversion before.
Hey big Jim ,you forgot about the 000 barracuda spoons and the hildebrandt spoons ,we used all of them until the plastic jigs came out.Never looked back because of the price and jigs worked better.And stlhunr,I’ve caught many a shad in the diversion canal after they quit biting in the rivers.Right where canal and lake Marion connect.Originally posted by sman


Cool! I remember the Barracuda spoons but never used them. Hildebrandt too, very well known name, but never used their spoons. Yes, and the rediversion canal near St Stephen's is what I was mentioning, not the diversion canal.
Last edited by bigjim5589