Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2013 'Shad Map' Notes

These are last year's notes compiled on the Shad Map. As it is a new year I am currently clearing out all of last  year's data and will begin to post 2014 data. Enjoy.

Fishing along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Federally licensed by the US National Park Service.

Friday 4.19-Sun 4.22Fishing was good on Friday. Loads of crazy snakehead carnage (see my Youtube Page)

White perch and American shad were the only fish biting. We didn't have any sort of record breaking weekend. It was a lot of casting and slow fishing. Everyone got into fish and we even had a few snakeheads foul hook themselves (unlike the guys with weighted trebble hooks purposely snagging.) My biggest concern with the snakehead carnage is that none of the fish were killed before they were taken away in trash bags. Any of these anglers could drop a fish into a new system and spread the invasive species.

Wednesday 4.17.13
Water levels back to something I prefer. Clarity still not great. We got into white perch, and all 3 shad on the fly. Nothing great. I still don't feel the full run is on. Loads of snakehead snaggers and netters. One guy had a massive spear. It was awesome to watch these guys.

Sat-Sunday 4.13-1.14
River levels jumped and visibility went down. Got to river yesterday when the search for the lost angler was called off. Fished with my podcast producer Jason. He caught an American Shad and a huge crappie at the platform. He also lost a fish that took him into his backing. I got a 6lb smallie up there. We then moved down to the VA side where I got about a 8lb channel cat.

Sunday was slower with a higher water level and tide. All clients caught an American shad. One client got a slam of all three shad species. It was much slower. Saw kids in the water up to their waist fishing, cast netters going neck deep into the water, litter, hand liners, open fires and fires from the night before. The US Park Service non-emergency hotline didn't care about me reporting such activities.

Monday 4.8.2013
Days on the river don't get much nicer than today. Water was extremely clear. I could see rocks at least a rod length deep. Loads of herring with minnows chasing them to eat their eggs. I managed one white perch before my kid wanted to go to a playground. An angler downstream landed an arm-length striper on spin gear.

Sunday 4.7.2013

The first shad of the season. Two hickory and one gizzard were landed today. The hickory took damsel nymphs and the gizzard took a shad jig. All fish caught along the seam of the fast/swirly water.


Saturday 4.6.13Slow day. Sporadic schools of river herring showed up along the shores but none landed. A few biters and bumps but that was it. Called US Park Police to report cast nets and dip netters taking herring but no one showed up.

Thursday 4.4.13
No signs of fish other than a herring pulled up by a cormorant. I spent about 30 minutes searching for fish. Two more warm days and it should be on. Remember water takes longer to warm and cool than air.


Wednesday 3.29.13
I'll be giving a power point slideshow on fly fishing for shad at the Seneca ValleyTU meeting.

Friday 3.22.13
I fished above and below the platform today. Didn't see any sign of life. Fished the mouth of Pimmet Run and the same. Water is clearing and dropping.

Sunday 3.17.13
I fished below the platform where the kayakers take out. I saw one gizzard shad surface and foul hooked two. Water conditions too high and cold. It will be on soon.



Monday 4.30
Water is very low. Fishing from spots that were under water a week ago. Not much activity. White perch bite is still good. We only fished for 2 hours on outgoing tide. Shad jigs and damsel nymphs. Herons fighting on rocks for 1st time this season. Baby geese looking for their mom. One vanished, prob eaten by a heron. HUGE beaver swimming around.  Called US Park Police to report cast netters taking dozens of fish on each toss. Of course as 99% of the the time I call, no one showed up. We moved to Tidal Basin to fish together when their time was up.

Tuesday 4.17 Morning
Outgoing tide. White perch on every cast if retrieve slow and twitch. Schools of perch and herring all along shore. Hickory shad in deeper water. Schoolie stripers mixed in with perch.

Afternoon incoming tide. White perch on every cast if strip and twitch slowly. 1 schoolie for every 10 perch. Largest striper 10". Lots of hand liners, spears, cast netters, dip netters along shore with camp fires. Watch your line as several hand lines up to 80lb mono broken off in water.

Sunday 4.15
What a difference a day makes. Warm water possibly? Pimmet Run was loaded with herring today. We got into American & hickory shad, white perch, herring, and a sucker today. 99% of the fish took the damsel dropper. Most fish were on the swing. Fished 11am-5pm. Action constant. Saw the biggest (female) American shad on one of Alex B's shad flies. Thing barely fit in my net.

Saturday 4.14

The shad and perch bite has shut off for us on the shore. Had an 11 year old client WORK a school of white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) After several hours, she hooked and landed one on a size 10 Copper John. She got the 'grip and grin' shot. Tomorrow we'll walk the shore to look for deep currents. Glad to see the park police out enforcing rules. Glad to see Marymount Univ doing a river clean-up.

Friday 4.13
Plenty of fish busting the surface at dusk. Carp or Stripers? We got the 1st smallie of the season on a shad jig.

Sunday 4.8.12 & Monday 4.9.12
The bite has been slow the past weekend. Only white perch. No shad. Very few fish spotted in the water. No snakeheads spotted since Friday.


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We have been fishing 5-8wt fly rods with 15' sink tips. Leaders of 8 or 12 straight mono. Flies silver/red shad jigs, orange or pink comets, chartreuse damsel nymphs. Perch hitting flies slow retrieve along bottom. Shad when in, will hit fly on fast or slow retrieve.

Only 1 striper caught all season.

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