American gizzard shad

The American Gizzard Shad is a part of the herring species that live in the freshwaters of America. It is also called the DorosomaCepedianum scientifically but is commonly referred to as mud shad.

It can be identified by looking at its plump body with a small mouth and silver color. It has large eyes with black spots behind both gills.

They can be consumed, but they are mainly caught for being used as bait for catching bigger fish. Introducing these fish into water bodies with native species will result in a decline of the latter since they can adapt to any environment and lay millions of eggs.


The American Gizzard Shad looks purely silver in color, but the top of its body has a slight greenish-silver mixture. It has a deep body, and its jaw is shorter and weaker than the upper jaw.

It looks like a common carp but much smaller, and the body is silver in color with a bit of green on top.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Native to the waters of North America, the American Gizzard Shad mostly lives in the backwaters of lakes and reservoirs. They can also survive in streams and rivers but prefer deep lakes with muddy surfaces.

These species feed on tiny creatures in the lakes like zooplanktons ? insect larvae, small crustaceans, etc., or marine algae.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

You can find American Gizzard Shads in shallow water bodies with muddy bottoms like ponds, reservoirs, lakes, etc.

The best way to catch them is by casting a net to catch many at once. Using a fishing rod will be time-consuming since these fish like to stay in groups.

Peak Season

The peak season for catching American Gizzard Shads is from April till the end of May.

Best Bait

The best bait for catching American Gizzard Shads is using artificial lures. You can also use worms and other tiny insect larvae.

  • Worms
  • Insect Larvae
  • Casting jigs