American Shad: Alosa sapidissima
Green or greenish blue with metallic luster on back and silvery sides. The chest and abdomen have bony scutes. They typically have several spots along their side.
In Florida, it occurs only in the northeast, mostly in the St. Johns River and Nassau River when it returns from the ocean to spawn, typically between late December and early April.
Plankton feeders, but strike small bright spoons and flies. They are anadromous, meaning they mature in salt water, but return to fresh water rivers to spawn.
State Record: 5.19 lbs. Big Catch minimum: 18 inches or 3 lbs.
Fishing Tips and Facts: Historically the sport fishery was mostly a troll boat fishery with some spin casting from the bank. In recent times, fly fishing has become very popular. The sport fishery is primarily located between Sanford and Melbourne. The flesh is good, especially smoked, and the roe is excellent.
Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.