Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shad fishing on the Hammond River

The Hammond River is known as a real treasure for anglers in southern New Brunswick with many different species calling it home throughout different times of the year.   Now in late May / early June we have the end of the Gaspereau run, and the start of the Shad run. 

Both of these fish are notoriously hard to fish for unless you really know what your doing and know what bait to use.    For Gaspereau, I think I've figured out a trick tonight that I'll be testing on Saturday.   For Shad, there are Shad Darts and Shad Flies.

Doing a trial fish in preperation for our kayak angling group's outing on Saturday, I headed out with a couple members of the group (Steve and Craig) in hopes of confirming that Shad were indeed in the river.    Well, we definately found Shad, lots of them, as I seen many swimming directly under me.   Also, there were the much smaller Gaspereau swimming along side of them.    These two fish are closely related, with their size being the most obvious difference.

After trying several different colors of shad darts with no luck, and being frustrated seeing so many of them swimming under me, I tried just bouncing my lure off the ground next to the kayak.   It was an act of desperation.    Wouldn't you know it, I quickly jigged a shad!    The fish took off (my drag was set very light), swam around my kayak and eventually wrapped my line around my anchor.    I ended up waiting for the fish to tire, and then hand lined him in.   My first ever shad!    Unfortunately, as you'll see in the video, he slipped from my hands before I was able to get him down for a measurement.     I'm guessing around 18 - 20 inches.

I then kept up this tactic, trying to catch another shad.    I couldn't get one, but I did hook and catch 6 gaspereau.   The first jumped off the measuring board before I could get a picture, but I did get pictures of others.    My best pic (a bit blurry) was of an 11 1/2 inch gaspereau.

I've got some new ideas after playing around with my line that I'm going to try out on Saturday.   Hopefully I'll be able to catch (and measure) at least 1 or 2 more shad!

Here is another video from Steve Chapman who was out fishing with us on this trip.    He put his GoPro under the water and got some great footage of the fish all around us!