Two more months...

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FishSchooler

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Only two more months until the first of the shad arive... *gasp* I can live...
 
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plunkme

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lol yup i am waiting for that day to come too, where do you plan to fish at?
 
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Seon

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Newbie here. I'll be driving up with boat in tow and will be fishing for Sturgeon in May and will fish for Shad as bait. What size rod and reel, # test line are used? How much sinker weight are used? What kind of bait is used? Appreicate it if someone can post a sketch or pic of how the line is rigged.
 
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TTFishon

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I've never fished for shad before but plan on it this year in the Umpqua. I heard they are great fighters and make good salmon bait.
 
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tnffishman

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anyone know an area on the willamette where you can bank fish for shad
 
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Boywhofishes

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yeah i've never encountered shad in the willamette... i've tried fishing for them in the willy but i've never caught one there... good luck to you
 
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beaverfan

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What are these shad you speak of? Some sort of tiny lazy fish that don't put up a fight worth fishing for? Sure doesn't sound like fun to me!:dance::dance::dance:
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Newbie here. I'll be driving up with boat in tow and will be fishing for Sturgeon in May and will fish for Shad as bait. What size rod and reel, # test line are used? How much sinker weight are used? What kind of bait is used? Appreicate it if someone can post a sketch or pic of how the line is rigged.

Light Steelhead gear, or longer trout rods work well. I have a 4-8 lb. in an 8'6" version. I use it from the bank though. Sploosh weight depends on the current you fish. Backbouncing is highly effective though. But no more than 3 oz. in the Columbia and Willy. No bait is normally used, but little Triple Teasers, and Dick Nites are mildly famous, jig heads too in a variety of colors. You can put a gold duo-lock on a hook, and call it a Shad lure. Because it works. You rig it like a normal backbounce rig on a simple spreader. 3 foot dropper, 40" leader to the lure.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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anyone know an area on the willamette where you can bank fish for shad

From the Garbage hole down to Meldrum is normally pretty good. Anywhere you can get a line wet when the fish are in is a good spot on that stretch.
 
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FishSchooler

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They are fish that hang nearer to the banks to avoid the main force of the river. I personally love fishing near Bonneville dam. The such fast water there makes it a blast, but the very steep banks make it even harder (a fish almost pulled me into the river when I wasn't expecting a fish). My mom randomly threw like 5 feet of fine. She was like, oh no it got stuck, but its moving. Up flopped a big ol shad! You can use a reversed snap swivel, 1 oz will be fine. They dont seem to be afraid of big line. I used 10 lb blue mono and still caught tons, but I saw people using salmon tackle (minus hooks) and still catching.

The fish are pretty much everywhere in the river because there are so many. Last year, 220,000 shad passed the bonneville dam in a day. :shock:
I rig 2 diff ways.

#1:
Tie your mainline to a reversed snap swivel. Clip on a 3/4-1.5 oz weight. Then a 3 ft leader of oh, 8 lb is good. Then add a small chartruese jighead, 1/16-1/32 oz.
This rig lets you "feel" the river more.

#2:
Get some hollow core lead. Slide it 3 ft up your mainline. You can at a barrel swiv, but I dont. Then pinch it down. Then just add your lure. This rig personally catches me more fish and snags less, but you can't feel the river as much.

How to catch (from bank):

Cast upstream at a 45 deg angle. Then let it drift down (just like drift fishing) Once it is 90 degrees from you (straight out), slowly start reelin in. Reel faster and faster as you get close to the shore or you'll lose the jighead. Very snaggy fishing it can be. With shad, you dont really need to swing the rod like a giant samurai sword to set the hook. Just gently lift it. Their mouths are pretty delicate.

How to land:

Use a net! They have bones that form a saw like formation... they hurts...
 
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TTFishon

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What are these shad you speak of? Some sort of tiny lazy fish that don't put up a fight worth fishing for? Sure doesn't sound like fun to me!:dance::dance::dance:

I've never caught one but I hear they fight really good .
 
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Seon

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Hey Arctricamoeba and Fishschooler, thanks for the very thorough descriptions. Tight lines ;)
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Shad are a funny fish, biggest of the herring familey. They are not native to the west coast yet they are prolific as can be. They were intoduced into the Sacremento River in 1871 by a guy named Seth Green. He planted 10,000 shad. If he did that today I think he would be in big trouble! Five years after they were dumped into the Sacremento they showed up here in the Columbia. They rest is history. I couldn't figure out why the salmon were on the decline yet the shad kept growing in numbers. Turns out they don't die when they spawn like salmon. They can spawn three or four times, and they spawn in the open water not in reeds. We used to use the pull top rings off beer cans and pop cans as lures. We would paint the tab part red, punch a hole, put a split ring in it and put a hook on it. It was a cheep lure but the pull tab gave way to the new snap top..........any else here ever use those for shad. Schooler has the spot for sure. Bradford Island at Bonneville Dam
 
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FishSchooler

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Lots of folks fish for shad though. The line there before the dam opens for fishing (7 am) is long... at least a hundred cars lined up going up different roads. Lots of people fish there. To avoid the crowds, right when you cross the dam to get to bradfort island, dont go to the very end. Park to the right. It is very steep/pretty hard climb with a rod/net/tackel box (if I can do it, you can do it ;)), and its pretty hard to land a fish, but if you go with 2 or 3 people, its worth it. That is the stretch right off the dam. The shad will be literally stacked on top of eachother waiting to get into the ladder, you know what I mean. ;)
 
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plunkme

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shad fishing in plenty in the Willamette, i tried last year at clackamette park off the bank, set up is like drift fishing mainline tied to a snap swivel with a 1-2oz cannonball, about 3-4 ft leader connected to a shad dart, same goes with bonneville.
 
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beaverfan

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I always fish for them from a boat in front of Clackamette Park. My father and I use downriggers to get the shad dart a couple feet off bottom. As soon as we hook one it comes free and we're fighting it on a little ultra light with no weight. We usually catch 3/1 over people not using downriggers. I don't know why more people don't use downriggers for them more in fact I have never seen anyone else doing it before. It's way faster and easier to control your depth.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Because downriggers do not follow the bottom well enough to make backbouncing less effective. Downriggers do keep your gear down, but back bouncing always keeps your gear off the bottom exactly the same distance as your dropper. Downriggers for Shad work on flat, even bottoms, but if you bounce 'em proper, you should have better percentages over a rigger, just because your lure is constantly in the zone, not like a downrigger.
 
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beaverfan

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It works great out in front of Clackamette. You guys bounce your shad lures of the bottom? I don't see how you could get your jig or whatever you use for shad anywhere near the bottom without snagging some serious weeds. We keep our darts about 2 feet above bottom mostly and we seem to always catch at least twice as much as anyone else around. Never lost any tackle other than to a fish's mouth.
 

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