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View Full Version : Do Shad "ball" in the Spring?



VietVet68
04-15-2005, 09:24 PM
As I finally got my "toon" rigged the way I wanted it, I took it for a trial run for a couple hours this afternoon. When I finally got around to turning on the Lowrance (332c) I was flabbergasted by all the fish it was marking suspended from 6'-15' foot over a 22'-25' bottom. Surface temp was 59.5 - 61.0, but what amazed me most, is that every now and then I was seeing what appeared to be "balls" of Shad. Many times I have seen them "ball" in the Fall, but I don't remember ever seeing them do it in the Spring. Is this possible?

fishnfilet
04-16-2005, 04:29 AM
I have seen them do this in the river system here in central N.Y..Dave

CrappiePappy
04-16-2005, 06:22 AM
it's not only possible ... it's normal. Shad run in schools, all year long. They "ball" up when they're below the surface ... for protection, by trying to appear as one big "fish". This works to a degree ... but only against smaller fish, that are "intimidated" by the apparent "size" of the ball. Large Bass, Stripers, Hybrid Striped Bass, etc will bust into the school; scattering the "ball", and picking on the smaller groups or injured/stunned individuals.

Considering the surface temps ... those suspended "fish" could very well have been Crappie, waiting for the warming water to finalize the maturing of the eggs - and feeding on any wayward stragglers in those Shad balls. Of course, they could also have been many other predator fish, doing the same ...LOL!! ..............luck2ya .......cp :cool:

Tn_countryboy
04-16-2005, 10:28 AM
Last Monday on Melton Hill there were hundreds of shad balls, they were everywhere, from two feet under the surface to ten feet deep. Didn't need the sonar just quite drifting and they'd just slowly swim by, rolling and turning as the ball moved in on itself. Cool to watch. They looked to be two to four inches long. I never saw any predators hanging around them though, that really surprised me.
Good fishing
Ed

TAE73
04-16-2005, 10:51 AM
As I finally got my "toon" rigged the way I wanted it, I took it for a trial run for a couple hours this afternoon. When I finally got around to turning on the Lowrance (332c) I was flabbergasted by all the fish it was marking suspended from 6'-15' foot over a 22'-25' bottom. Surface temp was 59.5 - 61.0, but what amazed me most, is that every now and then I was seeing what appeared to be "balls" of Shad. Many times I have seen them "ball" in the Fall, but I don't remember ever seeing them do it in the Spring. Is this possible?

A side note question for you... Are you pretty happy with your 332c? I am considering this one for the price and color screen. Also curious if it could be seen well in the sunlight? Also how much of a pain was it to wire it all up?

Tn_countryboy
04-16-2005, 11:07 AM
A side note question for you... Are you pretty happy with your 332c? I am considering this one for the price and color screen. Also curious if it could be seen well in the sunlight? Also how much of a pain was it to wire it all up?
TAE73: I love my 337, it's the same machine as a 332 just with dual freq. You can see it in bright sunlight easily, unless you have polarized sun glasses, then you have to look at it from directly in front.
It's not hard to wire up, it depends on how hard your boat is to restring the transducer cable. You have to remember that the GPS needs power also, so you end up hooking up two power connections. I think you could probably just hook them together and then to the hot wire and it would work just fine. I don't have any trouble with interference ( electrical) at all. Only gripe I have it that they gave you 25ft of GPS cable and I only need 18 inches and there's no way to shorten it, and they don't make a shorter cable. I'd like to use the GPS in my truck on long trips, so I guess I'll have a big wad of cable floating around on the dash. That's MY $.02
good fishing
Ed

LakeHardingSpirit
04-16-2005, 11:11 AM
About those shad balls, they are literally matted at the head waters of a local hotspot here in Columbus, Georgia, you can throw a bare hook at the mat and bring a shad in everytime, by foul hooking them, the cast netters are catching them by the hundreds and some take them to freeze for later use.

VietVet68
04-16-2005, 11:31 AM
A side note question for you... Are you pretty happy with your 332c? I am considering this one for the price and color screen. Also curious if it could be seen well in the sunlight? Also how much of a pain was it to wire it all up? TAE73, I would go along with everything TN_Countryboy said. I can't think of anything negative about it. I've had Lowrance paper chart recorders in the past, but this puppy puts them to shame. When I first turned it on yesterday and started marking fish, there were so many and such great resolution, that I stopped and made sure it wasn't in Demo or Simulator mode.

The only problem I had hooking it up was, the manual does not tell you that you have two different sets of power leads to hook up within the power cable.
But after a couple hours of not being able to get the GPS to work, I found a single sheet of "Important Read this" in the bottom of the box. It is only there that it tells you about the set of power leads for the GPS receiver.

You might also take a look at the R.A.M. swivel mount for it, it's handier than pockets on a shirt.

If I can find a little time this evening I will post a couple of screens that I captured yesterday. Goin after'em in the morning!

VietVet68
04-16-2005, 11:37 AM
Only gripe I have it that they gave you 25ft of GPS cable and I only need 18 inches and there's no way to shorten it, and they don't make a shorter cable. I'd like to use the GPS in my truck on long trips, so I guess I'll have a big wad of cable floating around on the dash. That's MY $.02
good fishing
Ed
Tn, my receiver has about a 18" lead coming out of it with a connector that attaches to the 25' cable.

Crapbie
04-16-2005, 11:57 AM
Maybe you can take some xtra small hooks and worms and cut the worms into smallish pieces and put on the xtra small hook and see what you catch from the ball shapes. I've heard its the best way to check out what you are seeing (unless you have an underwater camera ofcourse). You should know what depth they are at atleast. Maybe take some crickets and spikes too just incase. Even a crappie nibble or half of one may do the job. Do you have a cast net? You could try with one of those too if its nearish the surface. You could use some of what you catch for bait too.

LBM
04-16-2005, 07:51 PM
In the winter time while tight line jigging with braid you will feel the shad flip you line while jigging over the balls of shad. With the hookset you will sometimes foul hook a shad even as small as 1 inch.
Last winter I foul hooked a 9 - 10 inch shad and made the mistake of grasping it with my gloved hand to get it removed from the hook. The awful smell lingered for sometime on my glove and in the open boat. If I hadn't been the type of fellow that has always walked the straight and narrow I belive the spouse might have accused me of infidelity if she had got a wiff of that awful shad smell.

crappster
04-16-2005, 10:25 PM
Awwwww....man that is nasty! You could have left that last part out! LOL......sheez.