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Thread: Shad

  1. #1

    Default Shad

    Could someone please define the main identifiers for the different types of shad that we have in this region? I netted quite a few last week that were 3-4 inches long with a prominent black dot on their sides, I'm guessing this was a thread-fin possibly? Then today I netted a larger maybe 6 inch shad that was almost rainbow reflective colored with a very faint black dot and a very very "thin, sharp" underside. Was this maybe an American or Hickory, or even Alewife is we have those?
    "Stick it, Stay, Make It Pay"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Small one sounds like a threadfin the bigger one was probably a gizzard shad.
    Red X Angler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Marion
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    The quickest way to determin threadfin from gizzards is to run your thumbnail down his "face" and if it catches his lower jaw and his mouth opens, the fish is a threadfin if you do not contact his mouth its a gizzard. Also the biggest difference is size. Gizzards get much bigger than threadfin. Blueback herring and Alewife's do not have as "deep" a body, they are more cigar shaped and the olny way to distinguish one form the other is to cut open their stomachs. The blueback will have a black lining in his stomach while the alewife will not.
    "I knew my tippet was too big when the willow tree I'd hooked on my back cast came flying over my head." - Jimmy D Moore

  4. #4

    Default

    Ok I have some of each in my bait tank or if not I have some frozen so I'm going to go see about the thumbnail trick. Best I remember the larger shad does have a rounded face like you are saying. Down near Lake Marion SC I have been exposed to what my friends that live there call gizzard shad, they are huge and look to be a different species but maybe its due to the size and it is actually the same fish.
    "Stick it, Stay, Make It Pay"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Check out the pics in this link.

    threadfin vs gizzard pictures - Google Search
    Friends, Fishing, Fellowship..RED X ANGLER

  6. #6

    Default

    Ok I went and looked at that one I wasn't sure about in the tank and its defiantly an alewife or blue back going by these pictures..

    TWRA - Photo of an Alewife and Blueback Herring - Jim Negus

    Now someone said cut it open check the stomach lining color.. problem is I'm unfortunately not smart enough to tell what little organ in there is the stomach. The shad I caught does seem to resemble the shape of the blue back more so than the alewife though. Just strange as I didn't know we had any populations of them around here but I guess maybe overtime someone has had them come off a hook or jump out of their hands when trying to bait.
    "Stick it, Stay, Make It Pay"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Cary
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    Here are some good descriptions / write-ups:

    Threadfin Shad
    Gizzard Shad
    Alewife
    Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100, Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for all the information.. maybe it is an alewife since the inside of the body isn't black like that.
    "Stick it, Stay, Make It Pay"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Marion
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    where did your baitfish come from? herring and alewife are definitley not in all the lake around but gizzards and threadfin are
    "I knew my tippet was too big when the willow tree I'd hooked on my back cast came flying over my head." - Jimmy D Moore

  10. #10

    Default

    It does not have any thread type fin on its dorsal like the threadfin and gizzard both show in the pictures I'm looking at. It also has alot more color when reflecting in the light than any of the other shad I usually catch. Before a shad has just been a shad to me and I hadn't cared to know the difference honestly but after catching this one I knew there was more to it. After I saw how to cut it open on one of those links above it defiantly didn't have the black abdominal cavity but looked just like the alewife abdominal cavity.
    "Stick it, Stay, Make It Pay"

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