Twaite and you see what the lads caught!

The lad’s shad a lot of fish!

Just like clock work the first 3 weeks in may brings about the unusual run of the Twaite Shad into the river Barrow. Two of our club men Tony Horan and Joey Bonnie are huge fans of this mini Tarpon (its a close relative) and armed with light tackle and a couple of tazzie’s make it their business to get out and catch a few of these cracking little fish.

joey bonnie shad
Joey with a lovely shad on a cracking day

The lads set out this morning with enough time for Breakie and at the right time to catch the tidal conditions needed to produce. It wasn’t long before the craic started and they were hitting fish hard and fast. This wonderful little fish can be frustrating to hook and the lads found out all too well dropping lots of fish right at the bank. The general experience when lure fishing for Shad is, short periods of intense activity, followed by lulls as the various shoals pass through.

Tony Horan shad
Tony with a nice shad

All in all it was a great day’s fishing and the lads had a bag of 45 fish between them, with a large number of dropped fish also. Although these herring like fish look like a perfect recipe for a huge pike, the lads respected the fish and saw all safely returned to the water. The shad is not as abundant as the huge bag number would suggest. The Barrow is one of the last rivers in the country that experiences a run of this hard fighting species so every effort must be made to return them fighting fit. If you are lucky enough to get the time to fish for them we recommend bringing a landing net and after a quick photo release it back to spawn. There is only a small window of about 3 weeks before the shad are finished their spawn and head back to sea. If you do head out let us know how you got on in the comments below.

The current Irish record was set in 2015 when Thomas Lynch caught his 1.64kg (3lbs 10oz) at St. Mullins, fish pictured below. 

irish shad record

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