James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.04'
Flow: 2240 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 10:48pm
Low Tide: 5:06pm

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Posted In: Fishing

A Shad Fishing Primer: Where to Go, What to Do When You Get There

April 18, 2018 10:36am

The run of hickory and American shad up the James River to the Fall Line in Richmond is truly something special. With spring finally starting to show herself a bit, the next couple of weeks are prime time to head down to the river and wet a line, whether you have five minutes or five hours.

Shad are a wonderful species for anglers young and old. They may be the perfect species for beginning fishermen and ladies. Get in the right spot with the right rig and you should soon be in business.

There aren’t a lot of secrets in shad fishing in Richmond, so I put together a map highlighting the best spots to fish for shad from the bank. When fishing conventional tackle, the best bet is shad darts or spoons. Use a ¼ or ½ oz sinker with a 14-16”, 10 to 12 lb. test leader and a shad dart or spoon on the end. Pick a spot. Throw it out, reel it in, and hang on!


Shad spoons.


Shad darts.


Shad spoon and sinker rigged with length of leader between them.


Catching shad below the Mayo Bridge.

About Tee Clarkson

Tee Clarkson is the Outdoors Columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch and owns Virginia Fishing Adventures and Virginia Outside summer camps, and in his spare time somehow finds time to get outside with his wife and kids.