The shad bite is good right now with both the air and water temperature rising. The big news this week is that the larger American Shad have been caught reportedly up to 6lbs! This is the time to be on the water to see what it is all about. The James is clearing up to the greenish glacial tint that most anglers like to see this time of year, bringing in the first trickle of White Perch. The Herring are thick in some places, which are going to bring some bigger Rockfish soon.
Most shad are being caught upriver from Ancarrows a bit with a smattering downstream. The shad have been in their normal spots, holding downstream of structure. If you are a fly-fisherman, look for water that freshwater trout would like, and there the shad will be holding.
The terminal tackle that is working has stayed very similar, with gold spoons and green spoons taking a few more fish than other colors. Shad darts are working well, with traditional colors like chartreuse and pink topping the list of fish-catchers. Fish the spoons with 1/4oz to ½ oz weight, and fish the shad darts in tandem to get down to the fish. The fly fishermen and women have been having good luck with Green Top shad flies and Tommy’s Torpedoes. Colors are secondary to presentation, but a marabou tail or a flash tail helps. Stick with full sinking lines for now, but soon we will be able to use sink tips on our floating lines or just floating lines.