Penn Sea Fishing

Posted in Penn Fishing Gear by Penn Fishing Gear on November 29, 2011

Penn Sea Fishing

Fighting A Hickory Shad

Anglers love a fish that puts up a fight as it adds a measure of excitement to their fishing expeditions. This is one of the reasons that the Hickory Shad has become so popular in recent times. This little fish has a fight that belies its small size and it’s great for eating on top of that. In recent years, this fish has garnered enough attention to find its place in popular sports fishing magazines coast to coast.

The Hickory Shad has an unusual jaw-line – defined by almost the appearance of an under-bite. The lower part of the jaw typically curves upwards – toward the head of the fish.  The body is an unusual gray-green color and they almost always have a dark spot above the head. Another characteristic that singles them out is the shiny silver marking that runs down the side and flows to the belly of the Alosa Mediocre.

The diet of the Hickory Shad is comprised of crustaceans, squid, the occasional fish egg and small fish.  They spawn typically during the February to June periods in moderate temperature waters.  The female is capable of spawning multiple times before she dies, and once they lay their eggs, they generally float to the sea bottom after they harden.  The fish from these eggs usually mature between the ages of two and four.  Spawning is done in bays during migration and the young fish swim out to the ocean once they hatch.

We do know that they are found mainly in tidal waters during their spawning times.  In general, you can find these fish along the western Atlantic coast but they have been known to be found anywhere between Maine and Florida – their main spawning grounds can be found in Chesapeake Bay.

Fly fishermen are the most likely to be on the lookout for hickory shad.  Generally, the fish are more active and therefore easier to land during spawning season.  They prefer small spoons, artificial lures and flies as bait.  An ideal water temperature for landing the Alosa Mediocre is about 55 degrees, although it’s not unusual to find them in warmer or cooler waters either.  All in all, the recreational fishing enthusiast find these fish fun to fish for, especially given that they have fight in them that sometimes surprises anglers given the smaller size of them.


When you are out saltwater fishing it is important to make sure you have the right supplies. Some of the most popular brands include Shimano Fishing Reels, Penn Saltwater Reels, and Team Daiwa Reels.

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