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Pomatomus saltatrix

 

Head and body bluish-green dorsally, silvery below; attains length of 1.2m and weight of 15kg at 10 years of age.

 

 

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Figure 1: The Natal shad trace

 

Hooks used for these fish range in size from 3/0 to 6/0 and, as they have very sharp teeth, a wire trace is necessary.

As can be seen from the diagrams, there are several traces that can be used – the standard Natal shad trace (Fig 1) and drift traces with or without floats (Figs 2 and 3). Many anglers use two hooks tied close together, rather than
a single hook.

Figure 2: The top-bung trace

The shad bite is very quick and consistent, with a short series of tugs as they shake the bait from side to side. Drift bait should be reeled in slowly with constant tension kept on the line or the bite will be missed.

  leader .70mm

 
No. 4 power swivel with 2/0 to
4/0 hook

  running sinker 300mm (.80mm)

 
120mm #9 steel wire, or use
a shad needle

Figure 3: The drift bait trace

 

Again, because of the shad bite, drift bait should be reeled in slowly with constant tension kept on the line or the bite will

be missed.

Once hooked, a shad will continue
to shake its head in an effort to dislodge the hook, and will keep on doing so when being removed from the water.
Live bait (pinkies and karanteen) is attacked in the same manner as fish bait, and large shad have also been known
to take smaller shad that have been used
for live bait.

The best spinners for shad are those that can be retrieved slowly and that have a good action in the water; spinning is often most effective where there is white water.  

 

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The best times to catch shad are undoubtedly in the early mornings before sunrise and in the late afternoons.

Minimum size for shad is 300mm (measured as shown).

Bag limit is four.

Closed season for shad is from 1 October to 30 November.

 

The South African rock and surf angling record was set
at Cape Recife on 13 February 1979 with a fish that weighed 
a full 10.3kg.