Every now and then, when conditions are right, the bass in my local lake school up to attack shad. The action takes place after a period of high water and rain when the water from the upper lake flows over the dam into the lower lake. What happens is the foam created at the runoff provides food for large quantities of shad. From about 15 minutes before sunrise and for about 20-25 minutes only, the bass in the lower lake feed on these shad.
I accidentally found this out one morning when I was launching my kayak in the lower lake. As I was paddling away, I heard a couple of massive splashes and I watched as a three pound bass went completely air-born after a shad. I turned my kayak back toward the commotion and caught three nice bass in a matter of 10 – 15 minutes on a popper. Subsequent trips to the area taught me that this feeding frenzy only happens in the morning, not in the evening, and only for a matter of 20-25 minutes. Catching these bass is a daunting task as there are so many live shad in the area it’s difficult to fool them with fur and feathers. I’ve seen countless herons and egrets belly up to the buffet by standing on the water’s edge and picking off shad that get chased out of the water by hungry bass.
This summer, I brought my camera down to the area to get some video. The low-light conditions and the inability of the GoPro camera to zoom in didn’t provide the best quality footage, but I was able to put together a very short video.