Georgia Fisherman Boats State-Record Hickory Shad

A Georgia fishing report that had stood for 1 / 4 of a century has been damaged for the second time within the span of a 12 months. Timmy Wooden of Kite, Georgia, caught a state-record hickory shad weighing 2 kilos, 10 ounces on February 20, 2022. 

Wooden caught the fish on the Ogeechee River—the identical waterway that produced a report hickory shad in February 2021. That fish, a 2-pound, 3-ounce shad, was caught by Christian Blake Jones of Swainsboro, Georgia, whereas he was focusing on crappie. Jones’ catch was the primary new report for the species in 25 years—and the primary hickory shad within the state to prime 2 kilos. Now Wooden’s fish is the second.

Hickory shad are intently associated to the bigger American shad, and each are anadromous species that spend most of their life within the Atlantic Ocean. As adults, shad return to the river of their beginning to spawn. In Georgia, the spawning run often kicks off in January within the coastal southern rivers and might final till as late as Might beneath the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam close to Augusta. Each species are commercially harvested on the Altahama and Savannah rivers, however leisure anglers additionally prefer to fish for them as nicely, significantly on the Ogeechee and Savannah.

“The Ogeechee River is the place to be for those who’re focusing on report hickory shad,” mentioned Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the wildlife sources division on the Georgia Division of Pure Assets. “The nice information is that there are wonderful angling alternatives everywhere in the state and loads of fish to catch.”

Shad are endemic to the Atlantic Coast from Maine to the St. Johns River in Florida. The small fish had been a staple of the American eating regimen throughout revolutionary occasions—George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had been reportedly massive followers of them. Although the fish aren’t as highly-regarded in in the present day’s culinary world, some anglers nonetheless get pleasure from catching and cooking the bony fish. 

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Shad are additionally appreciated for packing a powerful punch in a 2-pound package. As soon as hooked, the hickory shad’s darting, cross-river runs and airborne leaps have even earned them the nickname “poor man’s tarpon” in some quarters.

“Don’t let the species identify idiot you; there’s nothing mediocre in regards to the sporting qualities of this small herring,” writes the International Game Fish Association, which lists the world report as a 2-pound, 14-ounce fish that got here out of the Econlockhatchee River in Florida in 2008. “Hickory shad, like their bigger cousins the American shad, are spirited fighters on mild deal with, and will be fooled by small jigs and flies.”

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