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Shad Fishing out of Charleston SC

Around Valentine’s Day every year, many local anglers take the 45 minute trip from Charleston up to the Tailrace Canal in Moncks Corner for the Shad and Herring run. Light tackle and a handful of Chartreuse grubs can provide an afternoon full of excitement. If kept under pressure the shad will jump a few feet out of the water earning themselves the name “Tailrace Tarpon”. The Tailrace is found easily by hopping on highway 52 and heading north. The boat landing is located directly across from Gilligan’s. Once you splashdown, head north on the water way until you run into the dam and see the locks. There will be other boats there, almost guaranteed. Stay behind the line that’s marked on the left and right side of the channel, throw the anchor and fan cast until the fish start biting.

What to fish with?

Small 2” chartreuse grubs and smaller jig heads are the bait of choice. I find that a good Lowcountry Combo is the ZMan GrubZ in chartreuse Sparkle and the Ned Rig Finesse Shroom in a 1/6oz Jig Head. To purchase visit the link or stop by your local Charleston Tackle Shop like Haddrell’s Point Tackle.


I have found that fishing for Shad is more productive when they are generating water from the dam; it will be clear when this is occurring because the water will be steadily moving away from the dam. When you begin catching these fish, keep in mind that they make great bait and some people find the roe a desirable treat. You can keep up to 10 Shad per angler on your boat. Next February head up to the tailrace canal, catch some shad, and for the love of fishing, have a good time.

For more information on Shad Fishing in South Carolina check out this South Carolina Sportsman article.

For more detail about their life cycle check out this article from the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Join us next time for more wisdom from the water until then, good luck and tight lines.



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