Posted by Alex on June 10, 2003 at 14:07:03:
In Reply to: Re: Any yellow tails at wheeler dam? posted by Bluewater on June 10, 2003 at 13:01:03:
Bluewater, there are many factors that are involved when it comes to threadfin shad populations. I have fished below wheeler along time now and I am religious when it comes to keeping accurate records of each fishing season and each individual trip. This is my opinion only based on records and weather paterns. The year before last, we had a tremendous shad kill on the Tennessee river because of the harsh winter. This was a big contributing factor for what you see now. Over the years there are two things that I have found that takes it toll on our "threadfin shad" populations, hard COLD winters and extreme floods! If you remember, we had a flood back in May and during this time of the year threadfin shad go to the banks to spawn. During their spawn this year, alot of their eggs were washed away and destoyed. I have seen time and time agian when this happens.
Now with this said, I hope to incourage you! Our threadfin shad will make up for the loss in late June or early July. They will have a what I call a back up spawn which will produce a good population. Now here is the key, normally by this time of the year it is not uncommon to see large schools of small shad on the bluffs or in main river channel pockets. These shad are very small, maybe a half inch if that. This will still happen but at a later date. Starting in late August you will see the HUGE schools around the dams like you normally do. They will be impossible to net with a cast net or a shad nocker. Be patient though. As the water starts to cool, we should have a tremendous algae bloom and the shad will catch up! With all this said, look for a tremendous fall and winter season.
I have learned alot over the years that if you learn about the food sources, half of your work is over. About four years ago I went to Yahoo and typed in threadfin shad. I spent many hours reading up on this often overlooked "BAIT". After learning about threadfin, I went back and looked at some of my old records and weather patterns. To my surprise, it all made sense. The years that showed low shad populations coinsided with hard cold winters and flood years. If you ever have some spare time, go to yahoo and read up on threadfin shad. It will surprise you! Good luck, keep your chin up and look forward to tremendous fall fishing!
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