I was a member on an old now defunct forum called PAC - Philadelphia Anglers Club and through people on there like Mike, Don, Tom, Louis, WG, Matt, Doug, and a whole slew of other people I got taught the basics by a couple of die hards. Like any young kid with some gas money and a dream in 2009 I drove down to Maryland and made my suicide run, listed here : Suicide Shad Run. I then tried again and caught a few in 2010. Failed miserably in 2011 and since I caught both Hickory and American shad as lifers kind of just forgot about it, casually mentioning it fondly from time to time but never really aspiring to participate. I live 40 minutes from the Delaware River, so in essence its pretty shameful, but that is the way of the "lifelister", new species prioritize over "Personal bests" and fun. As I get older I've prioritized fun back into fishing.
Flash forward to 2017, in the here and now. I got a call from Mark saying he tried a couple of times and finally hit the shad run semi locally having his best day ever. The stars of work aligned and we fished together the next day and I had my best day of shad fishing ever in kind.
Day 2.5I told my wife of the shad run and that the crowds were getting thick. Kori works 7pm to 7am, so naturally she was in the car at 730am jettisoning up to the spot. She worked her ass off as seasoned pros brought in shad left and right. Literally, they were being landed to her left and right. Meanwhile I just stood behind her with spare rigged pole in hand. All this while my 3 year old skylar casted her Disney Moana like a seasoned pro relentlessly behind her. Skylar stated proudly "I'll catch a fish eventually". Tired and downtrodden after 4 hours of casting we went and got lunch and immediately went back. Kori skillfully brought in the el super beasto on 4LB test. Her hard work was rewarded, sure its a single shad but its a similar result to my first ever time, these fish like things a certain way and if you don't get that you'll be left scratching your head.
Day 3.5The third day of my shad run I talked my father into going. He was also using super light line and after losing 2 he finally landed an American Shad. His first "since I was a teenager". I on the other hand caught Smallmouth Bass and Fallfish. Not a successful day for me but I accomplished what I set out to do, put my family on some shad. The Park ranger was working over time I was stopped all 3 times, on the 3rd effort he said "oh I know you, no need for your license". At least I get recognition somewhere, riverside is the best place I suppose.
Hopefully I'll update this as I fish the run more....