Shad, God’s Gift to Bass Fishermen

Elvis Elvis

If you fish a lot in southern lakes, you will notice shad is the primary food for most any thing that swims and has a mouth to eat with. This can mean only one thing.

If there are shad in the area, then there will be bass. I have seen bass knock these little fish into the air and catch them before they land. I’ve even seen them scare the shad onto the bank and wait till they flop back in to eat them. In some of the southern lakes like Lay Lake or Logan Martin Lake, both part of the Coosa River, the shad will tell you everything. Well let me explain what I mean.

Starting in spring, shad will group up in very shallow water, which in turn, bass will follow to fatten up for the spawn. This is why top water baits and soft plastics, like the Fluke work so well. Timing and weather also plays a big part in springtime fishing. If it is cold the shad will not appear until later in the day, but more than likely if you are in skinny water there will be shad and bass. Keep your eyes open, look around for one of these little fish to shoot across the top of the water or something to bust the water. Go to the spot and work it well.

As the water begins to warm in late spring and early summer the shad will move out into deeper water. This is when ledges, roadbeds, and points get really good shallow. Shad will travel along this structure just like bass, which makes it easy for bass to fatten up after the spawn. As the water really starts to heat up during mid summer to late summer the shad will move into open water. This is a hard time to fish because the bass has a tendency to suspend under the shad. I would throw crank baits and dropshot rigs for this type of fishing.

Shad, Gods Gift to Bass Fishermen

Now for my favorite time to fish – the fall. The water is cooling down and the shad are moving in shallow again. The bass will become real active. They will start busting these schools of fish all over the lake. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and watch for the schooling activity. For most folks in the fall the pockets or sloughs seem to be the best, but sometimes a hump in the middle of the river can produce big time. Always fish with a buddy and stay safe, good luck.

Don’t forget to email me at barry@bamabassfishng.com with your questions or fishing stories.