American shad

The American Shad, scientifically called Alosa Sapidissima, is a fish indigenous to the East Coast of North America. This fish species changes its habitat during the spring to deposit its eggs in freshwater bodies.

The American Shad is famous as it is the largest among ray-finned herrings.


The American Shad is a fish with sharp scales over its chest and stomach. When seen from the sides, it is a flat-looking fish with a silver-colored lower body and greenish at the top. Its lower jaw is lengthier than the upper jaw.

The color of these fish change as they move to freshwater during the spawning season. They grow up to 30 inches long and can weigh up to 1.5 kilos for the average fish. You will notice a row of dark spots in a linear direction above its stomach in the adults.

Habitat and Lifestyle

The American Shad is primarily found on the East Coast of Florida in the North Atlantic Ocean but will migrate to freshwater bodies during the spawning season.

After the fish are hatched from their eggs, they will move towards saltwater seas and oceans as they turn into adults. In summer, they are found in the shallow waters of coastal areas, and in winter, they will move to deeper waters.

Finding and Catching

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

You can find American Shads in the coastal waters along the Western and Eastern regions of the USA. To catch them, you should remember that they are found in oceans during the summer and winter and in freshwater rivers during spring.

You can catch them along the shoreline, where rocks and reefs protect them from the strong current of the ocean.

Peak Season

The peak season for catching American Shad is from late February to the initial days of April.

Best Bait

American Shad are attracted to shiny objects like,

  • Jigs
  • Spinners
  • Spoons