Monday, March 16, 2009

Fishing our tidal rivers in springtime

Fishing anytime from mid-March through May and you are likely to encounter these fish (pictured on bottom), which are anadromous. Averaging around 1 lb., with fish up to 2 lbs. Fish with light spin casting, using very small, brightly colored shad darts, spoons, jigs, or minnow imitation lures. Silver-sided with grayish-green back and a prominent dark spot, followed by a row of lighter spots (especially when fresh - not too evident in photo), on the upper part of the side just behind the gill cover; body long but compressed, asymmetrical top to bottom and in cross section it is wedge-shaped; the lower jaw protrudes significantly beyond the upper jaw when the mouth is closed. you can see this on the illustration. Each scale on the sides has a small dark spot.

If you are lucky you may even catch its larger cousin - in the same genus. What would that be?


  1. The fish shown is a Hickory Shad (Alosa mediocris), although I initially thought it was an Alewife. The larger cousin you're referring to could be the American Shad (Alosa sapidissima)?

  2. you are correct on both answers.

    the alewife is similar. However eye is too small. Eye of alewife is greater than snout length. and alewife do not grow that large - usually maximum length of ~ 12 inches.