The Pulitizer Prize-winning author John McPhee wrote eloquently about the American shad, in Founding Fish. This shad is a popular springtime target on the Potomac River, in the vicinity of Washington D.C. But really one of the best places to catch these acrobatic sea-run fish is Florida's St. Johns River.
The run generally starts around the end of January and lasts through the end of March. Bring light tackle for these small, fighty fish. Five or 6-weight fly tackle, or light spinning tackle is the ticket.
Top places to intercept shad on the St. Johns include Hatbill Park, Marina Isle, Lemon Bluff, Puzzle Lake and Mullet Lake, and Lake Harney. The Fly Fisherman in Titusville (321.267.0348), Orlando Outfitters (407.896.8220), and Mosquito Creek Outdoors (407.464.2000) can all point you in the right direction.