Regional Reports-East

Deer Creek

The April moon means shad. And one shad run that has seen a tremendous resurgence in Maryland is the Hickory shad run. Almost any river system that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay is worth looking into, but Deer Creek and Octoraro Creek (tributaries of the Susquehanna) and the Potomac around the Chain Bridge area are good bets. The bite usually starts slowly and builds as temperatures warm; 55- to 60-degree water is optimal. The shad are more active at low-light conditions, (cloudy, overcast days are good) and fishing is often best at dawn and dusk. On light tackle these fish hit and fight hard and jump again and again. You don't need much beyond 4-pound-test on your spinning reel. If you're flyfishing, a three- or four-weight rod with a sinking-tip line does the trick. Small silver and gold spoons work well, as do fly patterns in hot pink and bright yellow. The Hickory shad fishery is all catch- and-release, but it's as much action as you can ask for. Contact: Dale Weinrich, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (410-643-6801).