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Hey all,


I know the spring Shad run should be comming up the Rappahannock River pretty soon. Does anyone know about the time it starts? Or at least when it hits the Fredericksburg area?
 

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We always said when the Dogwood trees bloom, which is in April around here. Some years it is a little earlier but most year it is in April around Fredricksburg. Maybe some of the local people down that way could give us a hollar when it happens. Sure is fun on light tackle.

Tight lines...

Ken
 
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yeah, I thought it was in April. I thought it was like end of April into May. Does that sounds right? I can't remember and I havn't fly fished for them yet. I'll will be trying it this spring.
 

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The rivers I fish, normally start picking them up right after the Yellowperch start slowing down, and the White perch and Stripers start their run, depending on the winter, usually late march/early April.
 

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Hey, do you guys know where the Yellow Perch go after their run?
I always thought they were exclusively a freshwater fish, but they are rarely caught in the Nottoway River in the summer. I know the White Perch go into the ocean, but do the Yellows go out to sea also?
 
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blue bird,

Are you talking about these fish in the picture? These are a colder water fresh water fish and I can't see them going out to sea. If these are what you're talking about, I'm surprised they tolerate brackish water.

 

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I've caught them in brackish water (lower choptank river MD) I think i've only ever caught one outa there while i was fishing for catfish.

Tight Lines


Tim
 
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You know what? Now that I remember, I saw a couple caught in the Potomac a couple years ago just north of Quantico, VA. It does get brackish there during periods without rain. The yellow perch I seen caught were real small and the colorings were different from that of yellow perch caught in the Great Lakes region; they were more faded. Yellow perch is a highly sought after fish in the great lakes region--great tasting. They are good fish to catch when ice fishing.
 

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it was 60 degrees here today, no ice fishing for me ;)

Tight Lines


Tim
 

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Yellow Perch

Where does the yellow perch live?
Yellow perch thrive in clear water near aquatic vegetation, be it in lakes, ponds, or streams. Their range extends through the central North American continent, but they have been introduced into so many other places, their natural range has been difficult to ascertain. They are extremely hardy and can survive in water with extremely low oxygen content as well as relatively high salinity.

Common Names: Ringed perch, raccoon perch, striped perch.

Best Fishing: Brackish water tributaries of the Chesapeake bay and Potomac River. Top waters here include Machodoc, Maddox, Aquia and Occoquan Creeks. Rivers: Potomac, Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Chickahominy, Nottoway and New. Lakes: Western Branch, Prince, Waller Mill, Little Creek, Moomaw and Claytor.

Fishing Techniques: Ready feeders, but cautious biters and slow movers. Locate schools of fish by drift fishing or use deep jigging methods. Small minnows are the best overall bait. Other popular live bait include mummichogs, mayfly nymphs, worms and grubs. They’ll also hit fish eyes, cut bait and pork rind, as well as artificials tipped with some of the above, including small spoons, spoon hooks, spinners, bucktails, spinner baits and streamers.

Identification: Member of the family Percidae, which includes the walleye, sauger and numerous small darters. Generally olive-green above, fading down the sides to green or yellow-green, to yellow or golden yellow. Has eight vertical dusky bars on its side and a silvery, underside. Dorsal fins have a distinctive dusky blotch. Ventral and anal fins are yellow to orange, turning a bright orange on breeding males. Average 6 to 8 inches, but commonly reach 14 to 15 inches and 1-1/2 to 2 pounds. State Record: 2 pounds, 7 ounces from Lake Moomaw.

Feeding Habits: Juvenile perch feed on plankton, turning to aquatic insects, then small fishes as they grow larger. Occasionally they feed on crayfish, snails and other invertebrates, and the eggs of other species.

Habitat: Ponds, lakes, reservoirs, slow-moving streams, sluggish portions of large rivers and in tidal brackish rivers. Tends not to roam except during spawning runs. Prefers clean, cool water. Seeks out deeper water in summer and is often found over sandy, rocky or marl bottoms and over low-growing aquatic vegetation.

Spawning Habits: Runs in schools up tributaries to spawn in late February or early March when water temperatures reach 45 to 50 degrees F. Also seeks out shallow shoals in lakes where water movement will aerate eggs. No nest is built, and the females release eggs in long gelatinous “ribbons” or “streamers” which are fertilized by the males as they are released. Spawning activity takes place at night.
 
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wizardude,

Good info you posted there. Anyone know any good places, such as ponds that might be good to fish for yellow perch that contains no PCB's? I don't feel like eating these little delicacies from the Potomac and other possible tribs that have a high PCB concentration.
 

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Last year the shad were here about march 20th...but not in good numbers untill the beginning of April. By the second week of April Last year I had several 200+ shad days (I fish almost every day in the spring, most days for 5-8 hours). With all the rain keeping the water so cool last year they stayed around untill about mid May. I guided (for free) several guys from one of the other boards and will again this year. I will post on here when they show up and anyone who wants to try can let me know. Last year they wanted small shad spoons (look like a small drone spoon) in silver or gold. Also you can save money on shad darts by just using small marabou crappie jigs (they work as well and you can find them much cheaper).

The yellow perch will show up about mid Feb to March in the Rapp near Fredericksburg.

Last spring was a great for white perch, crappies, smallmouth, and largemouths.

Near the end of the shad run the herring run begins (thats the one associated with the dogwood and cherry blooms). The stripers are alot of fun at this time and days of 30 - 40 are not uncommon. They are not the monsters, but most are 14" - 26". They are real suckers for cut herring on a circle, wild eye shads, and big clousers.

Mitch:)
 
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Mitch,


Good info there! Those dates give me a good idea now. About the shad, are they hickory shad or white shad. I also plan to do some fly fishing and once in a while cast some spoons and spinners; do ya know any good fly patterns ( I heard yellow/red patterns) and how small are these spoons?
 

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Kenmefish said:
We always said when the Dogwood trees bloom, which is in April around here.

Tight lines...

Ken
Here in Southern Pa, the old timers call the Forsythia Shrub, "Shad Bush".

I've been watching this cycle for about 25 years, and the appearance of the bright Yellow Blooms, is a very accurate way of predicting the Shad Run in the Deleware and Susquehanna Rivers.
 

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Pauky,

Those are the Yellow Perch I'm talking about. I'm thinking the mystery of where they disappear to in the summer will remain just that a mystery!
 
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blue bird,

I know yellow perch dig colder water and up in the Great Lakes, they come in close to shore, harbors, and rivers in the spring (to spawn) and fall. During the summer, they also disapear; they go out to deeper water where it's cooler. When the fall comes around, they come back near shore and perch fishermen come back out. During the winter, the ice fishermen are having a blast with them. Yellow perch feed good during the winter.

So I'm sure they are just finding deeper holes and holding in the cooler water.
 

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littlefry said:
I know this is a crasy question, but what is spawning? Do fish stop biting? Is this whats consider mating time? Please advise.

Yes, mating time, and no they don't get lockjaw, quite the opposite :D
 
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littlefry said:
I know this is a crasy question, but what is spawning? Do fish stop biting? Is this whats consider mating time? Please advise.
Yep, you're correct. The fish, both male and female, come up the rivers (in some cases, but not all) and lay and fertilize eggs. As for the fish not feeding, that depends on the species. Some dont' feed like Chinooke & Coho Salmon for the most part, but they can feed at times. They mostly strike out of aggression. Other fish do feed during spawning and feed heavily like the yellow perch.
 

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Pauky,

You are probably correct about the Yellow Perch holding in the deeper holes in the summer. That is the hypothesis I've always heard. However, there is still a mystery. The Nottoway River has some deeper holes (30 ft.), but they aren't plentiful or all that big. Considering the number of perch caught this time of year those holes would have to be slam full of fish down there and they would still feed. So how is it that very few yellows are caught after mid-March? Those 30 ft holes are fished year round. I'm not suggesting that we are wrong about them being there all year long. I just think it odd that it is as if they go somewhere else.
 
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