It has been one heck of a Shad season this year! We still have about a week and a half left to go before we fully switch over to Striped Bass.
We started the season with some of the best Hickory Shad fishing I have seen. We landed tons of fish on the fly rod and many of them were over 20". Despite the ever-changing water levels and sporadic temperature changes, we managed to stay on fish every single trip. Both the Roanoke and Tar Rivers have fished well for us this year as we have bounced back and forth to ensure we are on the best bite around. In the last few weeks, we have even been catching some early Striped Bass! We have shifted our focus now onto the Tar River as we target the American Shad for the last few days of the season.
We already had some great success targeting these fish last week and I am looking forward to putting more of these awesome fish in the boat. There's not a whole lot I love more than a big American Shad on the end of a fly rod!
We have been really dialing in our tackle this season and have settled on what we believe to be the best set-ups for American & Hickory Shad throughout the season- here is what I am running on my boat now:
9 foot 6 weight Orvis Helios 3D, Orvis Hydros size III reel spooled with Scientific Angler Sonar Titan Triple Density Sink 3/ Sink 2/ Intermediate fly line
9 for 7 weight Orvis Helios 3D, Orvis Hydros size IV reel spooled with Scientific Angler Sonar Titan Triple Density Sink4/ Sink 2/ Hover fly line
These two setups are easy to cast and when paired with the new style triple-density sinking lines from SA they keep the fly in the correct water collum. The 6 and 7 weight rods give you enough backbone to handle the larger American Shad while still being light enough to make the small Hickory Shad enjoyable. The 7 weight setup also pulls double duty for Striped Bass in the upper 3-6' of the water collum.
And speaking of Striped Bass... It is almost time! The Striper migration is one of the most exciting times of year for us and I am excited to be chasing these aggressive saltwater gamefish in our coastal rivers. I still have a few days left on my boat for both the Weldon season and Post-Spawn season:
04/25 AM & PM
05/03 AM & PM
05/04 AM & PM
05/09 AM & PM
Shoot us an email at Team@TarRiverCo.com to get your April or May Striped Bass trip booked!