The American Shad is begins its annual migration from the ocean in late February to mid March. These fish have spent the last five years ranging up and down the east coast from the Gulf of Maine to the Sargasso Sea. As with other anadromous species, the majority of Shad coming into the river will die after spawning. The Shad coming into the Delaware River range in size from 3 lbs. (small males) up to 8 lbs. (large female) with the PA record being well over 9 lbs. The first shad generally show up at the power station in Trenton in early to mid March, depending on water temperature. By early April, we’re catching significant amounts of fish on most outings.
Click on the following link to see the Field & Stream article that we were featured in.
Striped Bass become our main focus when they enter the river to fatten up on the Herring, as well as to spawn. Though there is a small resident population of Stripers year-round, the majority of the fish overwinter off Virginia and North Carolina. Early to mid April finds fish up 50lbs cruising the river. Cut bait, plugs and topwater baits are the main method of fishing for Stripers since the Herring moratorium went into effect. Depending on where the fish are, we will either run up into the rocks above the Trenton bridges or down river to deeper water to tangle with these giants. We've caught Stripes up to 42lbs. on the shallow flats above Trenton.
Smallmouth Bass are the species we spend the most time pursuing. We begin in early to mid June (after the bulk of the Striper run) and catch significant numbers of Smallies through October. Fishing in late summer and into fall can be spectacular, with catches of over 30 fish in an outing common. Mix in Stripers, Catfish, Walleye, Rock Bass and the occasional Largemouth Bass and you begin to get an idea of the possibilities.
We've caught Carp up to 25lbs. on rods designed for 2-8lb. test - a real challenge for even the most savvy angler!