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well there is a lot more then that now, thats for sure. I was out there last night and the shad were everywhere. At times in certain corners of King Fisher, the water was almost boiling with 'em.

I snagged a nice 13 inch shad though. Any of you guys actually ever try to fish the shad? I have heard that they can be quite tasty.
 

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Fishing Fiend, my son and I fished King fisher a couple of years ago in the spring and the shad where so thick that year that inadverdent snagging (technically foul hooking) of shad in the 12 inch range was common. There were a few folks who put on large daredevils and did a rip return to deliberately snag the shad. (deliberate snagging is illegal except for Kokanee in season)

Fishing Looney is right about the feast and famine. Fishing was tough last fall and I expect it to be tough this year also. But mother nature has a way of balancing things out. It may not happen this year or next but these huge numbers of shad will at sometime suddenly crash and burn leaving the lake full of big hungry walleye and bass without any forage!

Then for a year or two the fishing will be exceptional we will catch tons of huge fish and in the future when you talk about good fishing they will be the years you talk about. Then we will notice the fish are getting smaller, having big heads and skinny bodies. Then we ill forget about the bust boom cycle for a while and complain about the quality of fishing, then one year there will be tons of shad in Chatfield again and we will complain about too many shad................................. :)

Dan
 

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Fishing_Fiend said:
well there is a lot more then that now, thats for sure.  I was out there last night and the shad were everywhere.  At times in certain corners of King Fisher, the water was almost boiling with 'em. 

I snagged a nice 13 inch shad though.  Any of you guys actually ever try to fish the shad?  I have heard that they can be quite tasty.
3-4 years ago I landed an 18" shad at Chatfield. I did not imagine that they grew that big. Have been told that larger have been caught out there. Was throwing a spoon for walleye and this fish actually was hooked in the mouth. Put up a pretty good fight.
 
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Biggest walleye I've ever caught (10 lb 6 oz - 30") was at Lake Mac two years ago. From shore, I'd cast a Kastmaster and when it hit the water, at least 5 shad would jump out of the water they were so thick.

I would say give it some time. Summer fishing could be really good!
 

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As for fishing for shad, it's a pretty big sport back east along the coast as shad make thier runs up the tidal rivers. It's a good time fishing for shad to about 5 lbs on ultralight tackle. We'd catch them below teh dams on the TN river as well, tehy school below dams pretty thick. Little white or green or yellow jigs retrieved pretty quickly seem to work well, same for streamers or little spinners. They can be alot of fun, especially on light tackle, they run and jump like tarpon.
As for eating them, they're a delicacy on teh east coast during the run, but I could never get past the smell when I pulled them from the water. Plus, I don't think the only freshwater variety would taste as good as the saltwater run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Ok since I made the idiot comment, I'm sorry. It sounds like many think it was mother nature, not the DOW.

I find it hard to believe that nobody has reported even one walleye at Chatfield since they allowed boating, Isn't this supposed to be the prespawn bite period?

I personally am not going to Chatfield until I hear a few better reports. I do live closer to Aurora and CC, it looks like I'll be spending more time there this year. I like Chatfield more but not getting a bite all day isn't really very exciting. I hadn't really thought of shad fishing till the last few posts, is it coming down to that?
 

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You should all be flyfishermen, you bunch of uppity elitists!
I guarantee if you ever fished the shad run on the Rhappahannock (spelling not guaranteed) in northern Virginia, you wouldn't complain. It's a good time and fast action. And those fish are apparently pretty tasty.
Would you rather whine and cry "oh I can't catch a _____ at chatfield/cherry creek" (which is starting to get annoying btw) or would you like fast action on light tackle? If it's C&R you couldn't ask for a better fight. And they make good catfish bait. Seriously, why am I getting flack about the suggestion of shad fishing? They don't even compete with the other fish for food (they eat plankton for the most part), in fact, they serve as food for the other fish,which leads to the pigs people have been posting lately. And now I'm done with my rant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Whoa Whoa Whoa VolFan, didn't mean to step on your toes there. If you like fishing for shad that's fine with me and I've got just the place for you to go. I'm not against it, in fact I may try it myself. What lures/baits would you suggest?

P.S. Also, what kind of flies do you think they may be hitting this time of year? >:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
1eyeRed, I'm still chuckling myself. The thought of those people catching smelly shad in Virginia makes me think of those guys sitting on buckets at Wash Park hoping for a carp. Sorry, I just couldn't let it go. Ban me from the site!
:) :) :) :) :)
 

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I'm definitely not seriously upset, but the shad fishing's good time, those things jump like no other. Anything small and shiny or bright usually works. I've used #8 bucktail streamers in white, green and yellow as well as small (1/64 oz or so) jigs in the same. Chartruese seems to work well. So do small bright spinners and spoons. And at Chatfield there's always a good chance of something larger grabbing the spoon/spinner/jig etc.
The shad are alot like carp in that noon really gives them any respect, but they are fun to catch and (I hear, I have never tasted them) are supposed to be pretty tasty. It beats sitting there playing with your rod by yourself... I may even go tomorrow morning...ok, probably not
 
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I respect that everybody has a preference as to what to fish for. Some people fish for trout others like wipers, and if you like carp and shad that's cool too, but we all have something in common, we all like to fish. I've experience all kinds of fishing from different states and what each one has to offer. Each state has a very unique style of fisheries which you can only experience in that section of the country. However, I noticed I always learn a great deal from each experience and try to apply it to my personal fishing strategies.

As far as the shad population, I think in the long run it will definitely help out with the quality of the walleyes. It's just a matter of do you want to catch a bunch of little fish or a couple of quality fish. Last year I caught so many walleyes out of Chatfield that I forgot how many, but every single one was released with the exception of 4 fish that were 18.5". I quit going there because the quality of the fish didn't meet my expectations.

I'm no expert, but I don't think the shad should effect the walleye fishing because if you look at Lake Mcconaughy, that place is littered with alewives, and the wiper and walleye fishing is exceptional. You can't keep but 1 Wiper because almost all of them are over the 18" mark. And the Walleyes are so fat that you think you have a monster on but it is only like 22". I really like the way the slot is for that lake because you can only keep 4 walleyes and they all have to be over 15" and only 1 can be over 22". So it balances all the sizes. That way I think those people that want to take couple home to eat can and it prevents all the trophy fish from being kept.

I was out on Monday night and fished from 9p.m. til 11:30p.m. I didn't even get a bite, but I'm not complaining. I was just glad to be able to get out. They just aren't there yet. Last year I started catching them in mid February already, but I think the weather was a lot milder last year. Have patience it'll happen, it's too early for me to judge that it's the shad population that is effecting the walleye bite. For those that are complaining, I think that your fishing during the wrong time of the day anyways. If it's not cold and dark and around the dam in less than 8 feet of water your probably fishing the wrong time of the day and place this time of the year. That's my experience, besides, you'll always have the whole lake to yourselves most of the time and there won't be any skiers. I don't think the walleyes usually move out to the flats until after they spawn. So, let's try to help each other out and not argue about who's right and who's wrong. I respect everybody's rights and opinions and I know there is always something to be learned from everybody. So good luck and hope to see you out on the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
There you go mcfly, making lots of sense. Just when we were having a little fun. I do think you will be wrong about one point though, I do think the shad will dramatically affect the walleye fishing this year. We'll see who ends up being correct about that.
 

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How would a person go about targeting Colorado shad for bait, just to catch, or in some cases for the pan? (I read something on Wayneswords that the Lake Powell shad were not that great eating). You have my ear.
 
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