Written by Paul Dorsett, Fisheries Biologist
When asked to choose my favorite species of fish, Threadfin Shad is always the first thing that comes to mind. Threadfin Shad play an incredible role in many fisheries as a prolific prey species and their high fecundity (ability to produce lots of offspring) makes them an especially attractive option for stocking. Not only do they occupy a unique ecological niche, they can also provide an exciting angling experience by altering the behavior of predators.
Threadfin Shad are primarily pelagic, meaning they inhabit the open water, rather than the areas near the bottom or the shoreline. They travel throughout their environment in large schools—almost like a single organism—with rhythmic movements reminiscent of flocking birds. When pursued by predators, they will “pop” along the surface and easily lose bright silver, golden or blue-green scales into the water column, which causes further confusion to their pursuers, which include Hybrid Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass and Crappie.