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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 7, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Shad migrating up Lower Columbia River, and huge run eclipses one-million mark

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The Lower Columbia River shad numbers keep getting higher and higher.

Single-day counts at Bonneville Dam on Monday, June 3 were 94,426; Tuesday, June 4 it climbed to 218,775; Wednesday, June 5 it soared to 159,906; and then climbed to 212,172 for a season total of 1,106,241.

Shad anglers below Bonneville Dam were having excellent success with some groups hooking in excess of 100 fish, but it is crowded with wall-to-wall anglers.

Head east on Highway 14 about two miles past the town of North Bonneville, and take the right hand turn by the transmission towers. The access road allows anglers about three miles of prime shoreline in either direction.

Other can’t miss spots are the Camas Slough and Washougal area.

Shad like fast current in relatively shallow water (4 to 12 feet deep) and they’ll sometimes hug the shoreline so it’s not necessary to cast way out into the middle of the river. Look where the river gets narrow or a bend heading into a corner.

A light or medium weight spinning rod works best using six to 10 pound test fishing line (think lighter is better). A barbless size 1 or 2 hook attached to three- or four-foot leader works well.

Beads are the all-around and most effective way to catch shad. Usually about three beads in a variety of colors like red, silver or gold metallic and green tied above the hook. Shad darts, and small spoons and spinners also work well.

Anglers should also bring along a three- or five-foot long handled net to land the shad.

(Photo by Steve Ringman, Seattle Times staff photographer)

 

 

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