Originally Posted by StriperHawg
Curious if anyone knows of some good locations in Central Arkansas to net good sized Gizzard shad? I've heard the tailwaters of the Arkansas River below the dam in Little Rock is a good area, any idea where abouts? Or any other less difficult to naivigate locations? Better yet, does anyone know where I could purchase them? I have the tank capacity and the information needed to properly keep them alive, for a week or so anyway.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Look for muddy warm water. You should be able to find them in your local lakes, check the pockets and back of creeks this time of year. If you can find the warmest water around, they will be there.
Read this article:
Author is James Woodard of southern stripes
When looking for gizzard shad you want to look in the back of the warmest creeks and coves you can find with mud bottoms and banks, if you can't find any then rock walls are your next best bet. You can find them sifting through mud or eating algae off the rock walls, conditions depend on where they will be. If you are looking in the morning start with the areas that get the sun rays first, muddy water warms faster and this will be a excellent place to start throwing the castnet.
The easiest times to catch them are in the evening and morning when you can see them flip just under the water surface. Keep an eye on the surface in distant areas for flips, they look like little ripples. Another great time to catch them is directly after a hard rain with a falling barometer in the back of creeks. The rapidly falling barometer will cause phytoplankton, algae and other gizzard loving food items to be released off the bottom. Often times this is when you'll find them the thickest at the top of the water column.
During their spawn times you can find them along rock walls releasing their adhesive eggs near it. Once you start catching shad, make sure you have a quality bait tank with a good filtration system. Often times it is a good idea to "purge" your bait before you put them in the bait tank. Catch them and put them in a bucket of lake water so they will do their business in the bucket instead of in your tank, leave them in the bucket for about 5 minutes then put them in your bait tank. Use rock salt to help with their scales and slime coat, and if they are getting red noses then they are stressed or the ammonia level is too high in the water. Slowly change the water or add ammonia killing chemicals.
The goal is to have your bait look healthy and active while fishing, so the more care you take of them, the better you will be rewarded. Getting gizzard shad can often be frustrating and difficult, but follow the tips listed in this article and you will be on your way to catching trophy stripers.