Archive for category Shad Reports

It’s ‘prime time’ now for American shad!

After having such a dry spring, it’s nice to see some rain falling as I write this update tonight.  Once it clears up, the Delaware River should be in really great condition for American shad fishing as we wrap up April and move into May.

The month of May is a great time of year to get out for American shad fishing in the mid/northern section of the Delaware River.  If you are looking to get out there with me for an American shad charter this spring, then please get in contact with me soon to book a date for this great fishing trip.

Of course, if you want to go on a trip for some other type of fish this year, there are Fishin’ Fun Charters trips that target muskies, walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, trout, salmon, and largemouth bass at various locations in NJ.

For now….fish on!   Steve

Fishing Show Season is here!

With winter moving along (heck, did it even start this year?) the fishing show season is now upon us.   I’ll be at the following two shows before kicking off my charter season this year.  If you come to one of these great shows, then please be sure to stop by my table and say hi! 

Sat 2/25:  Ramsey Outdoors, Cabin Fever Days, Roxbury, NJ

Sat 3/31 – Sun 4/1:  NJ Trout Hatchery Open House, Pequest, NJ

Please note that I’ll be starting up the northern pike fishing trips in about 3 weeks and Delaware River American shad trips in about 7 weeks from now.  I also have picked up a plethora of new muskie lures over this winter that I absolutely cannot wait to start throwing and trolling with for those big toothy critters!!!!!

As usual, please be sure to book your American shad trip as early as possible since it is a very popular trip and the best slots do tend to fill up quickly.  If you can’t wait to get into American shad again, then view The Reel Deal “The Great American Shad Run” episodes on my Press tab that we shot last year!  I tend to look at them every so often when I am dying to get that “feel” again of a big female shad on super-light tackle!  :)

For now…. fish on!




The “Reel Deal” show comes to the Delaware River!

Hey Shad Nuts! Check out my shad fishing epsisode on The Reel Deal now airing on Cablevision during June.  This 3 part video can be found on my site’s Press tab.


American Shad Update – Delaware River

I fished the Montague, NJ, area of the river for 5 consecutive days from Thursday, 5/26 – Monday 5/30 (some client trips, some personal time. Some full days, some half). Thursday – just 7 shad, the water conditions were still in ‘transition’ from earlier rains.  On Friday – 14, Saturday – 32, Sunday – 16, Monday – 14. Water temps started out at mid-60’s on Thursday, were up to 72 by Monday due to this heat wave! Most shad seemed to be fresh fish with plenty of fight.

Beginning on Sunday into Monday, when the water temps were hitting 70, the vast majority of the hits took place in tree shaded faster water from 5 PM-ish to dusk. I didn’t see any spawning activities on the surface near dusk.

Over the five days, I didn’t get a lot of hits off the surface on micro darts as I normally do in the “latter part” of the season. The surface action really didn’t start to happen for me with consistency until Monday evening. Before that, most fish were taken either near the middle of the water column or just off the bottom, and that’s not indicative of a latter season pattern to me. All fish seemed to still be ‘heading north’ too.

So. . . if you still want to get out there for American shad fishing this year, then you better hurry up!  Unfortunately, the ‘Great American Shad Run’ must ultimately come to an end each and every year.  Then the long wait for ‘next year’ sets in for anyone who considers themselves to be a ‘shad nut’ (like me).

American Shad Update – Delaware River

Did pretty well over the weekend (combined client, TV show filming, and personal fishing numbers)… Friday (18), Saturday (15), Sunday (21).  Water temps ranged from 57 to 61 those 3 days.

The flow was starting to get a little slow by Sunday, so I’m looking forward to just a ‘little bit’ of rain these next couple of days.  I’m seeing some females that are looking very plump and ‘ripe’, and the bulk of the fish were taken in the top 25% of the water column.  With clear water and lower flows, I’m going with size 0 and sometimes size 1 flutters along with micro darts.  This year on the downriggers and flatlines I’m using 7′ ultralight baitcasting rods, and also found some 8.5′ 100% fiberglass rods that seem almost like “fly rods with spinning handles/guides” to me, and it’s been quite a blast using this stuff.  With these rods being so super soft I’m seeing less fish popping off the lines, and a heck of a lot more ‘fun factor’ too!

American Shad Fishing is Heating Up Now

Of all the fishing charters that I run in Northern NJ at various freshwater locations from spring through fall, there is nothing quite as exciting to me as the annual spring American shad run on the Delaware River. For the dedicated group of shad-loving folks on the Delaware River that are certifiable ‘shad nuts’, the sheer strength of an 8 pound+ female shad at the end of the line is what sustains us year-to-year. Catching these fish is truly a blast!

I’m receiving excellent reports from people ‘down south’ on the Delaware River about big catches and larger size fish this year, so I expect some great things for this year’s annual shad run in the northern areas of the Delaware River that I fish. I picked up four new 7′ ultralight rods for use on my downrigggers this year to add even more sport to an already exciting fish fighting opportunity.

I’ll be starting up those trips quite soon in the northern NJ parts of the river, and I hope to have you out there on a great American shad trip this year. Once you get to feel a strong American shad fresh from the ocean at the end of your line, you’ll probably end up becoming a certifiable “shad nut” too.

For now… fish on!