Shad Fishing

The best Shad Fishing Guides On The Columbia River Are Located In Oregon And Washington And Shad Run Up The Willamette River You Can Catch Shad In The Willamette River Where It Runs Past Downtown Portland, Oregon.

Shad Fishing Guides

Fishing for Shad on the Columbia River or the Willamette River near Oregon City or just below the Bonneville pool can be lots of fun. Many catch dozens of shad daily. Shad runs are best in mid June.

Clackamas river shad fishing guides Oregon fishing guides shad fishing Willamette river Columbia river
how to catch shad shad fishing techniques shad fishing lures shad fishing guides. Oregon fishing guides
shad fishing Willamette river Columbia river how to catch shad shad fishing techniques shad fishing lures.

Shad runs on the Willamette River peak in June and just below Bonneville Dam. Shad are also used as bait for Sturgeon. How to catch Shad using tiny brightly colored silver lures.

Shad Fishing is best on the Willamette River and the Columbia River. The Clackamas River runs into the Willamette and Shad Fishing Guides park their charter boats next to popular Oregon fishing Guides at the RV Park. If local area guides know How To Catch Shad & Shad Fishing Techniques they use Shad Fishing Lures & Needlefish to catch Shad in the month of June.

 Email Shad fishing guides

Willamette River Fishing Guides catch Shad using popular Fishing Website Promotion for bait then catch Willamette River Sturgeon because they are a good River Fishing Guide and they often check the latest River Fishing Reports

Shad Recipes

     Use two to four pans full of your favorite Luhr-Jensen Chips ‘n Chunks™ wood fuel, finishing the smoke-curing process with heat only.

     For thick chunks — smoke for 8 to 12 hours, using three pans full of chips. Smaller chunks need only 5 to 8 hours and two pans full of chips.

PICKLE MARINADE 1 cup white vinegar 3/4 cup white sugar 1 cup pineapple juice 2 tblsps pickling spice Boil spice in vinegar-pineapple juice mixture for 10 minutes. Strain out spice and add sugar, cool, then pour over fish. For best results, allow fish and marinade to sit for 5 days before eating. NO CHEATING!

FRIED SHAD Clean a 3 to 4 pound shad and split it down the backbone. Cut into 6- or 7-inch pieces and gash each piece in several places. Soak in salt water for an hour. Drain and roll in corn meal with salt and pepper added.

     Put enough shortening into an iron fry pan to almost cover the fish. When the shortening is hot, put in the fish and fry to a golden brown.

SHAD WITHOUT BONES 1 large shad (4 pounds or larger) Melted butter Melted shortening Salt & pepper Aluminum foil Clean shad and rub inside with the melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake at 300 degrees for five hours. The bones will disintegrate.

Skillets Shad Spoons

Our flutter spoons are made specifically for American Shad, but also catch other fish species. Some of those species are trout, bass, walleye, panfish, striped bass and any other fish which find them appealing. Our fishing lures are all individually soldered and hand painted, which ensures only the best product is available for the fishermen. Skillets Shad Spoons is a proud member of the Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association (DRSFA). We want to help promote the American Shad as a wonderful game fish. Here at Skillets Shad Spoons we promote catch and release so we can enjoy American Shad fishing for years to come.

Above photo shows samples of many of our Shad Spoons.
Please visit our website to see them all and to order on line.

SHAD FISHING Shad by the hundreds of thousands migrate up the Columbia and Willamette rivers from late May through the month of June and provide some of the most exciting fishing action you’ll find anywhere.

Biologists who keep track of fish passing over fish ladders at Bonneville and The Dalles dams say that over the past few years, there have been runs of from slightly less than 2 million to nearly 4 million shad! That makes it the strongest and healthiest run of anadromous fish coming up the Columbia. In addition to such large numbers, they are also unmatched fighters, pound-for-pound.

A native of the Atlantic Coast — shad were brought to the West by Seth Green of Rochester, New York in 1871, shortly after the Civil War. Green is considered the father of fish culture in the United States. He transported 12,000 young shad, obtained from the Hudson River, via railroad in milk cans and planted them in the Sacramento River near Temeha, California.

During the next 10 years, 790,000 more were transplanted into the Sacramento River. The transplants fared well and shortly had established populations in several Sacramento River tributaries as well as rivers in Oregon and Washington.

Commonly called shad, the species name is American shad and the scientific name is Alosa sapidissima (Alosa means “shad”, sapidissima means “fine tasting”).

Buck shad average 2-3 pounds and roe shad (females) 3-4 pounds. They have a row of decreasing-sized spots on the side, are metallic blue to green on the dorsal surface and shade from white to silvery on the belly. The side spots sometimes are not visible, but show up when the fish is scaled. The body shape is somewhat like that of a small salmon.

Like salmon, shad enter fresh water rivers and streams in the spring to spawn. However, unlike pacific salmon, they usually don’t die after spawning unless water temperatures are high. In lower temperatures, some adults will live to spawn again.


Gary's Guide Service is located in Roseburg Oregon witch is in Southern Oregon near some of the best rivers in the Northwest like the famous North Umpqua, South Umpqua, Main Umpqua, Elk, Rouge, Sixes, Coquille, and Coos. They are the best Salmon, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, and Shad Rivers in Oregon.

Oregon Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife

Mid Columbia River Guide Service featuring full-time fishing guide Elmer Hill. Specializing in Trophy species such as Walleye, Spring & Fall King Salmon, Keeper & Oversize Sturgeon, B run Steelhead and Shad in areas from Bonneville Dam and surrounding areas upstream in the Columbia River to Tri Cities Washington "Hanford Reach" Including Snake River Fishery. 30 years experience will insure you have a comfortable and safe trip.
CALL TODAY 541-969-2537 OR Visit our website

For both sexes, spawning appears to start as early as age two and continues as late as age seven. Actual spawning TECH BULLETIN OREGON / WASHINGTON Compiled from the Diaries and Logs of the Luhr Jensen Fishing Research Team. Published as a service to the industry by Luhr Jensen, Inc., P.O. Box 297, Hood River, OR 97031 #8822-527 SINCE 1932 occurs at night, with the semi-buoyant eggs being laid near the surface, where they are fertilized. They drift with the current and hatch 3-6 days later.

Shad may return to their stream of origin but are not as rigidly determined to do so as are salmon. This is thought to be a major contributing factor to their relatively quick expansion so shortly after their introduction.

On light tackle, shad are spectacular fighters that make reel-singing runs and perform heart-stopping, topwater, tailwalking acrobatics.

Many people think of them as bony, overgrown members of the herring family. However, properly prepared, they are delicious, and are especially good pickled or smoked and canned. Add to that the fact that there’s no limit, it's surprising that shad remain one of the most underfished resources in the Northwest.

FISHING TECHNIQUES An excellent way to fish for shad is to anchor in water from 9 to 22 feet deep with the current running two to seven miles-per-hour. The Willamette River at the mouth of the Clackamas is one of the very best fishing areas. Try using a 36" long lead dropper line which should put your lure at the right depth. In this section, the river currents are slow enough that you don’t need to use as heavy an anchor or as much rope as you need on the Columbia below Bonneville Dam. There, because of the swifter current, it is better to shorten the dropper line length to 27" so you’ll be fishing at the right depth.

Like kokanee, shad have a very soft mouth, so on the swifter Columbia in particular, rig a Luhr Jensen Trout Snubber (#9700) on your leader to help keep from tearing the hook out of the fish’s mouth.

The best-producing lures include 1/ 16-oz. Bang-Tails®, size “O” Needlefish ® and #500 or #501 Super Dupers®. The Needlefish and Super Dupers work best from the boat, while the weighted Bang-Tail spinners work well for casting from the bank.

#0003 Copper and #0133 Pearl/Red Head are very good standard colors for the Needlefish. The #0814 Metallic Perch and #0076 Cerise/Pearl colors of that lure also are excellent.

When fishing the swifter Columbia’s  waters, try adding a Bigfoot® 5mm Chartreuse and a 4mm Red bead to the leader above the wobbler so its action will slow down and make it even more effective in enticing the shad to bite.

SUGGESTED TACKLE TO USE A good fishing rod to use in the heavier current is a medium back bouncer fitted with a reel loaded with 20-lb. test Berkley® Trilene® or Big Game® line. Use 10-lb. test leader, but for the lead dropper line, use 8-lb. test. Being lighter than your leader, if the sinker gets hung up, you can break loose without leaving your lure on the bottom of the river.

Another good way to fish the heavier water is to use a size 20 Jet Diver™. rigged free sliding. This eliminates needing a heavy weight to get down to where the fish are.

Once you’ve found the fish, you can get back to proper depth each time simply by counting the pulls from your reel to the first guide on the rod. This will put you right back into the “strike zone” and improve your chances of consistently catching fish.

Thanks to the great people at Luhr Jensen
for this information and for their helpful website 

SMOKED SHAD CHUNKS 1 pkg. Luhr-Jensen™ Smokehouse™ All-Purpose Brine Mix or 1 pkg. Luhr-Jensen Smokehouse Buzz Ramsey’s Deluxe Trout & Salmon Brine Mix Mix with one cup of hot water. When dissolved, add enough cold water to make two quarts of brining solution. Place the fish chunks in a plastic, stainless steel or glass container (don’t use aluminum) and pour the mixture over them, making sure they are totally immersed. Soak larger chunks for eight hours in your refrigerator and smaller, or previously frozen chunks, four hours. Rotate the chunks or stir the solution occasionally.

 Remove the chunks, rinse them off and pat dry, allowing them to air dry until the surface appears to be lightly glazed.
Load them into your Little or Big Chief™ Electric Smokehouse.

 Email Shad fishing guides