How to Catch American Shad on the Delaware River: Part 3 Location
Fishing for the American shad can be difficult to find the right spot, being of 5 feet can put you out of the strike zone. You will have to adjust your anchoring several times before you find where you want to be. After you have dialed in your position take land references so you will be able to slide into your same spot over and over. Be very respectful of where you anchor in relation to another boat. Anchor next to some one is polite compared to right behind some one. Give the boat next to you 20-30 feet so you won't have any issues with tangling. Anchoring behind or ahead of someone can be very dangerous if one of your anchor pulls. The last thing you want to do is put your motor in their bow or vice versa. I have seen boats lose their anchor and hit other boat. I have seen this cause boats to capsize and at the least heated words to be exchange. If you anchor behind some one give 50-70 feet.
I will reveal my top 8 spots to fish for American Shad on the Delaware River with map images of where to anchor. These are the most consistent spots in my opinion of 25 plus years of shad fishing. All are located close to ramps but you may need a jet drive to access some of them.
The First spot is Lambertville New Hope Bridge, this is known for great American Shad fishing. It gets a little too crowded for my taste because is located next to a boat ramp and propped boats can easily fish here. If you can ever get up there by yourself or be able to get the second piling slot from the Pennsylvania side you will be able to do some serious damage on the American Shad. This hole is so good because it is a slow water pool just after a stretch of heavy water and a wing damn. The shad seem to rest and roam this area for longer times. Other resting spots are smaller and one school can push another school out. This area can hold several schools at one time.
Just north of the Lambertville Bridge (179) is the 202 Bridge. This bridge holds many of the same characteristics of the 179 bridge but it lacks the deeper water. The run up to the 202 bridge is shallower but stays deeper on the New Jersey side. You see that it will bottle neck right before the bridge. In the summer time it can get so shallow that it is only passable on the New Jersey side. This deeper channel funnels the shad into to one hole. Note: The shad will be on the move and not resting.
As you keep moving up the river about 3 miles north of the 179 bridge you will find the Stockton Bridge. The Stockton bridge holds a lot of shad and gets anglers away from the crowds. Almost every piling can be a very effective spot. Learning where this season run will follow is a bit of trial and error but is easy to move from piling to piling. The bridge has deeper water ranging from 3-7 feet and can have the same effect as the 179 bridge.
Here you will find a natural set of falls and a deep water eddy where the river splits. Anchoring just off the eddy provides you with a great place to target the American Shad.
Eagle Island is just north of the Stockton run, this is where the river joins together again on the New Jersey side of the river. It offers a bottle neck of about 50 feet. Anchor just north of the rapids and hug the Jersey side.
Note: Pennsylvania side of the river where it joins can be a great spot as well.
The Foot Bridge:
The foot bridge at Bulls Island is 1 minute from the boat ramp. It offers the same exact features of the 179 bridge, a long stretch of deep water. The foot bridge is know for incredible shad action. Plenty of room to fish, move from piling to piling until you find the run.
The Bulls Island Eddy:
The Bulls Island Eddy is just north of the foot bridge and 2 minutes form the boat ramp. This is the last resting spot for the American shad run before they have to run the radios and the wing damn.
Note: The wing damn run also provides great fishing but it can be difficult to anchor.
The Old Bridge:
Located north of the Bull Island Wing damn. This area has a long stretch of slow water as deep as 12 feet funneling in to a shallow bend.
Note: Just south of here is a back eddy that is great fishing and can be accessed by a propeller driven boat.
There are many place to fish for the American Shad. This Include a Stretch of water that is the most productive along the Delaware River in the Bucks County area.
Next Article we will cover is Strategy