“Poor Man’s Salmon”, “White Shad”
DISTINCT IDENTIFICATION MARKS
This slender fish tends to have 1 to 3 rows of dark spots that run between the dorsal fin and gill cover. The farther back on the fish the spots go, the smaller they get.
The fish has a metallic coloured body, that can have a hue that ranges from greenish to dark blue and brown.
Once they spend some time in fresh water for spawning, they will take on a bronze/coppery colour near the head of the fish.
The females tend to be larger than the males, but range in size from around 40-60 cm
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES
Without a close examination of the fish, the most common difference is the females are bigger than males.
The Shad is a salt water fish, that comes into rivers along the coast of North America to spawn in fresh water. After spawning, if they live, will return to the salt water.
PLACE OF ORIGIN
The American shad can be found along the Atlantic coast from Florida to Newfoundland and Labrador. With some being found along the coasts of Russia. It also has a rich history of being caught and even shared by the Natives to pilgrims as they landed.
Between 1871-1881 The Shad was introduced into the Sacramento river and now runs up along the west coast of North America as well.
According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a Canadian Biologist found and recorded a shad being 75 cm (29″) long and weighing 4.2 kg (9lb)
The current non-Canadian record was caught in 1986 in Connecticut River, Massachusetts. The Shad weighed 5.1kg (11.2 lb)
BEST FISHING TIME
The best time to catch Shad is during the spring time as the Shad are moving into the rivers.
BEST LURE/BAIT TO USE
Some people will use the traditional spinners and spoons for Shad, but the most common and successful lure is the shad dart.
Many people love the taste of Shad. In fact the common french name for Shad is alose savoureuse or Savoury Shad. They are also very high in Omega 3; in fact almost 2 times higher than wild salmon per unit weight.