The Lower Columbia River shad numbers has eclipsed the 1.5-million mark, and it doesn’t show any sign of letting up producing excellent fishing.
Single-day counts at Bonneville Dam on Thursday, June 6 climbed to 212,172; by Friday, June 7 it was 187,575; on Saturday, June 8 it dipped to 124,636; and then Sunday, June 9 it shot up a bit to 140,262 for a grand season total of 1,558,734.
Last week, 1,118 anglers in Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam kept or released almost 11,200 shad. It has been elbow-to-elbow with anglers below Bonneville Dam.
Access below the dam by heading 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)