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Time’s Right To Go Shad Fishing

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 28, 2005) — Shad fishing is picking up in North Carolina’s various coastal rivers — the Cashie, Tar, Roanoke, Neuse and Cape Fear, among others.

Spinning rod enthusiasts are casting shad rigs with a spoon-and-shad dart combination, two-inch curly tail grubs in white or chartreuse on 1/6-ounce leadheads, or number three silver or gold spoons. Use 6- or 8-pound test line — the lighter the better — and fish in eddies behind fallen trees, large rocks or river bank irregularities. Shad will be near the bottom, so you may need to add split shot to get your lures to drop through the river current.

Fly rodders are able to entice shad on number four Clauser minnows in either a silver pattern or a chartreuse pattern with gold tinsel. Similar-sized and patterned flies also produce.

For more information, check out the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s weekly fishing report from the Roanoke River at Weldon. Click on the link for the fishing report from the home page at NC Wildlife.

Most anglers fishing for shad are reeling in hickory shad. If an ambitious project to bolster American shad populations succeeds, North Carolina anglers one day may be hauling in American shad as regularly as hickories. Learn more about the American shad restoration project here.
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