As the shad fishing ramps up in the early part of the season, it’s time to start planning and preparing for some trips to different areas of the river. For me, that not only means getting the kayak and canoe rigged and ready, but ensuring I have what I need in my backpack to do some hiking when its time to head down the path less traveled to find fish.
Luc Desjarlais’ book Wade Fly Fishing The Upper St. Johns River Basin (Florida) for American Shad provides a wealth of information on places to hike to fish for shad on foot. Some of these hikes can put you many miles from civilization, so being prepared is key. For example, my hike to the Indian Mounds last year covered around 12 miles where I barely saw a boat or another person. Even if you are not planning a long trip, it is important to make sure you are prepared. Cellphone coverage can be spotty in areas, and even if you have coverage, help could be hours away.
In the video below, I invite you to take a look at what I normally carry in my backpack. There are likely things I could add, and perhaps things I could remove, but this is what I choose for me. I hope that you will also give some thought as to whether you have what you need in your pack, not only to ensure a great day on the water, but to provide first response that could save your life in an emergency. The video focuses primarily on the preparedness items that live in my backpack, rather than the items I would add to go fishing. In addition to the items highlighted in the video, I would of course add what I need for the day such as rod(s,) reel(s,) flies, vest or sling pack, lunch, water, etc.
If hiking is not your thing and you plan on using your boat, kayak, or canoe to pursue shad, give some thought as to whether you have everything you need in your float bag. I have a very similar list of items that live in my float bag that I bring every time I head out in the kayak or canoe. Regardless of how you are going to get to the shad, the key is to BE PREPARED!
Here is a list of the items in my pack along with weight.
|3||Sun & Bug||0.9|
|4||Swiss Army Knife||3.5|
|16||First Aid/ Trauma||15.6|
|18||Green Dry Bag (for clothes)||1.2|