Although Redfish, Speckled Trout, Stripers and Albies seem to get most of the attention here in Eastern North Carolina, there is a fish that is near and dear to my heart during the month of March. Many of us associate the arrival of shad in our coastal rivers with the official kick off of spring and the fishing season. These fish arrive and pack themselves so tight in some spots that it's not unusual to catch 10 fish out of 10 casts. They have a penchant for bright gaudy flies and lures and put every bit of their energy into escaping once hooked. Known for their acrobatic jumps, they've rightly earned the name, "the poor man's tarpon".
The 2016 Shad Season in Eastern North Carolina is off to a great start. Lots of fish showing up in the usual places in the Neuse River and it won't be long before the Roanoke is busting at the seems with Shad. Both Hickory and White Shad are being caught and it should just get better over the next few weeks.
If you haven't had an opportunity to experience this fishery, then you are missing out. These shad are fantastically fun on a fly rod or a light spinning rod. They're also a great "first fish" on a fly rod, if you are just starting out. We have all the know how, equipment, and flies/lures needed to go get bent on a bunch, so give me a shout if you want to go. I'll be running some trips on the Neuse over the next few weeks, but don't forget the really big action on the Roanoke around Weldon NC. I'm offering trips out of Weldon on the last week of March, and I can let you know what days are still open if you want to go.
These fish are too much fun to miss out on, so I'll be more than happy to fill anyone in on equipment, locations, or the "how to" if you contact me. Have fun and I hope to see you on the water soon!
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