Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mid Atlantic Hickory Shad Fishing

In the Mid Atlantic region, hickory shad have begun their spring spawning runs. Recreational fishing for these acrobatic fish should continue until mid-May.

These exciting fish can be caught in numerous tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, with the Susquehanna, Gunpowder, Patuxent and Choptank Rivers being known for strong spring runs.

"Now is the perfect time to fish Hickory shad," said Tom O’Connell, director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service.

Hickory shad are anadromous; they spend their adult life in the near shore waters of the Atlantic ocean and coastal bays, ascending streams and rivers each spring along the eastern seaboard.

Hickory shad are part of the herring family and related to the American shad. They can be caught by using small shad darts on ultra light spinning tackle, or on a variety of small “shad flies” on fly rods.

Kayaks are especially effective for catching hickory shad as their shallow draft allows anglers to explore smaller creeks in search of schools.

Hickories are smaller than American shad, averaging 14 inches in length, with large specimens topping 20 inches.In most states, fisheries allow for recreational catch and release only. The best fishing for shad often occurs at dawn and dusk.

source: MD DNR

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