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Johnsfolly

Sue's Shad - 5/11/19

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I have been trying to get on the shad spawning run by heading up north to the big rivers and their tributaries. Haven't had much luck, between work, heavy rains, cold weather, etc.. that had the fish start and stop their runs. Decided to look elsewhere for possible shad fishing for Livie and my Betterhalf. Saw videos of guys catching shad in the inlets near us. Those fish were not running the inlet to spawn, but more likely to feed near shore. My Betterhalf doesn't have a Maryland license, but does have a Delaware non-resident license. So on Saturday, I read a recent report from the Indian River Inlet in Delaware that shad were in the inlet and folks catching them on the incoming tide.

Packed up the gear, including a box of spoons and shad darts, and the family and ran out to Delaware.

20190428_073709.jpg

We got to the inlet about 60 to 70 mins before high tide. There was a good current running through the inlet. I saw a guy fishing a double shad dart tandem rig behind a lead weight. As I watched him as he caught a double and landed a third fish on his second cast. His buddy caught two using a similar rig. With that information I got our rods rigged up with a 3/8 oz egg sinker above a barrel swivel then a 17 lb leader tied with either a silver #1 PET silver spoon above a 1/8 oz chartreuse/green dart. Another was rigged with a 1/16 oz pink/pearl dart above a 1/8 oz chart/green dart. I ran out of 3/8 oz sinker and put on a 1/4 oz sinker above a 1/16 oz chart/green dart above a 1/8 oz red/pearl dart. We found a spot along the fence where we should be able to reach a seem in a back eddy. I made the first cast, gave it a 2 second countdown, slowly reeled in, and hooked the first hickory shad of the day on the pink/pearl dart. Not a big fish, but feisty fighter.

Hickory Shad - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

My Betterhalf hooked the next fish on the chart/green dart. This was her first shad ever.

Sue Hickory Shad - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

Two casts later she hooked up again this time on the spoon. I hooked another on the pink/pearl. Livie had the rod with the lighter sinker and I had her countdown to 3 before reeling it in. She finally got bit, fought and landed her first hickory shad, a nice 17" fish.

Livie - Hickory Shad - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

My Betterhalf hooked and landed two more. Then she hooked into something bigger. I didn't see it, but the fish showed itself to the guys up from Sue. They described what seemed like a skate or a cownose ray. It broke her off on the rocks and was lost.  I caught another shad, then hooked into a bigger fish that pulled drag. The fish dove into the rocks and broke me off. I never saw it. As the tide crested, wind picked up, and the bite slowed. Livie and Sue switched to fishing with small hooks and bloodworm pieces. Even then the bite was not fantastic. Sue landed a spider crab!

Sue Spider crab - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

Livie did catch a fish and it was one that she has never caught before, a cunner or bergall!

Livie - Cunner (bergall) - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

Sue headed back to the car to warm up while Livie and I tried a different spot trying to find an oyster toadfish. No bites. The tide had crested and the fish just were not biting. With the cool wind, we decided to head back towards the car. I decided to make a few more casts. As Sue was walking down to us, I got a heavy bite. Turns out it was a double. Decided that I could not do better and we packed up and headed home.

Double Hickory - Indian Rvr Inlet - 11May19.jpg

Sue and I ended up with six shad each. Livie caught two shad and the cunner. Not sure that the girls will be eager to return, but I plan on getting back there and catch a few more shad.

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Fun fact about Delaware.  You may know, but, they have no sales tax.  If you need to buy larger items, it may be worth the drive.  

 

Great report, happy to read the successes.  No crabs to be caught here.  

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12 minutes ago, Daryk Campbell Sr said:

Fun fact about Delaware.  You may know, but, they have no sales tax.  If you need to buy larger items, it may be worth the drive.

We do know about the lack of sales tax. A few of our staff live in DE for that reason. Others go to the outlet shops. My vice is fishing tackle😂!

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Left the girls at home this morning. Maybe it was the 5:30 departure time that kept them from going with me. Headed back for another shot at those shad. I tried the same tandem dart setup and got nothing. There were terns feeding in the seams of the heavy current. Switched to a 2 oz chartreuse and silver slab spoon. Stil not much going on. After nearly 25 casts actually had a hit and hooked a bluefish. Lost it right at the rocks. Couple casts later landed a shad then nothing. Saw guys down the inlet hooking fish. Found that they were slamming the blues by drifting what looked to be 1 oz jig heads with plastic bodies. Saw that they were silver or white with chartreuse tails. I left and headed to a local tackle store to see if I could find something similar. Found 3/4 oz pearl bucktail jigs and 7" ribbontail pearl colored worm bodies. I never could get into the middle of the action but did hook and land two 16 to 19 inch bluefish before they dispersed with the tide. No photos. Did see a guy land a chopper (5 to 8 lb) blue and another guy get nearly spooled when he hooked one to the boats 😂.

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