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Delaware River Fishing Reports - 2010

Lambertville Family Keeps Shad Business Alive in N.J. - Star-Ledger Feature Article

Every year American shad migrate up the Delaware River to spawn. The numbers and timing of the "shad run" vary year to year depending on water temperature and conditions. Having accurate, up-to-date information on the run can greatly impact on angling success and enjoyment. Fortunately, there are resources anglers can use to get this information.


In addition to occasional postings below from Principal Fisheries Biologist Mark Boriek and others, anglers can utilize the following resources:

  • Shad Hotline - Operated by the Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association. Call 610-954-0577 or 610-954-0578 for the latest updates.
  • Woo's Shad Fishing Reports - Active bulletin board of reports.
  • Lewis Fishery Reports: Contact Steve Meserve of the Lewis Fishery in Lambertville at to be added to his list.
"The Big D" (pdf, 165kb) - 2006 Digest article about the river and its fisheries.

5/30 Report
5/22 Report
5/11 Report
5/7 Report
5/1 Report
4/23 Report
4/17 Report
4/15 Report
4/14 - 2 Report
4/14 - 1 Report
4/13 Report
4/9 Report
4/6 Report

Shad Hotline Report, 5/30/10
Well the season is winding down. There are still shad being caught in the Easton/Phillipsburg area. I got some reports from Hummers Beach, Smithfield Beach and Dingmans Ferry.

Downsize to the smaller spoons and darts. Yes, darts picking up a lot of fish 1/4 oz down to 1/32 oz. Fish those downriggers 1-2 feet off the bottom moving them up if no action. Dipsey divers any where from 20 to 30 feet behind the boat. Move the lures around as the fish are in their spawning mode.

Fishing will be better early in the morning and at dusk but fish can be caught throughout the day.

The season should last about 1-2 weeks at the most.

Good luck and good fishing. See you next year.

Shad Hotline Report, 5/22/10
Shad still in Riegelsville and Easton. For the most fish Smithfield Beach and above.

Water temp in Riegelsville today 67°. Shad will start their spawning very soon. Fish can be caught throughout the day but fishing is most productive in the morning and just before dusk.

Shad Hotline Report, 5/11/10
River is at summer lows 4.5 Reigelsville. Water temerature 58°. Water clear.

I'm getting reports out of Reigelsville, Easton and Smithfield Beach. Lewis fishery still netting fish in Lambertville.

Shore anglers will have to get closer to the channel. Boat anglers fish those downriggers 1-2 feet off the bottom. Don't forget those dipsey divers 30-35 feet behind the boat. Small silver spoons in this clear water working the best.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/7/10
Still getting good hauls of shad and lots of other fish too. Thursday we kept 5 buck and 5 roe and returned 3. We also had 6 small mouth bass, 38 catfish, 5 suckers, 30 gizzard shad, 12 quillback and a stripped bass. Water was 66F and 2.01'.

Friday we kept 3 bucks and 2 roe and returned 1. We also had 6 small mouth bass, 83 catfish, 5 suckers, 4 gizzard shad 2 carp 5 quillback, 1 stripped bass and a frog. The water was 64F and 1.83'.

Shad Hotline Report, 5/1/10
Shad fishing continues to be good throughout the river system. River is slightly on the high side but has cleared up.

Boat anglers, fish 1-2 ft. off the bottom. Dipsey divers 30 ft. out the back of the boat in 8-10 feet of water working very well. Fish the current breaks.

Shore anglers, fish spoons with 1/2 or 5/8 oz. weight varying your casts. With the higher water concentrate on the current breaks. As the river drops fish will move back into the main channel.

Large silver spoons (#3) working the best in any color.

Shad Hotline Report, 4/23/10
Not many reports and the reports seem to indicate the fish have that dreaded lock jaw. Water temps range from 52° up north to 58° in Trenton.

Getting some good reports from the Conowingo. They are usually ahead of us by one to two weeks. More fish to come. Fish those spoons 1-2 ft. off the bottom and Dipsy divers 30-40 ft. behind the boat.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/17/10
A typical Saturday morning. Water was 57F and running at 2.15, up from Friday. We got 1 buck and 2 roe. We also returned 1 bass, 1 catfish, and a river chub.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14/10
First, catch-up from last night. Kept 5 bucks and 1 roe. Returned 1. Also had 7 small-mouth bass, 3 catfish, 2 suckers, 2 gizzard shad and 2 quilback. The water temp was 58F and the river was at 2.08'.

Tonight we made two hauls. The water temp was 60F and the river was at 1.97'. In the first haul we kept 2 bucks and returned 3. There were also 6 small-mouth bass, 2 catfish, 1 quilback, 2 large-mouth bass and 1 trout (brook I think). We needed more fish for customers so we made a second haul. In that on we kept 3 bucks and 1 roe and returned 7. There was also 4 small-mouth bass, 1 sucker, 1 gizzard and 2 quilback.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14/10, Part 2
Another great night to be on the river, but less shad. We only kept 5 bucks and 1 roe and returned 1. There were a few other fish (details will come later, I left the sheet at the island). River was at 2.08 and just slightly rising (this can cause the shad to hold back, we'll see what happens tonight). We are still at 200 yards of net. If the water goes down another foot or so we'll be hauling in on the side. Hope for better numbers tonight.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14/10, Part 1
What a great night (4/13) to be on the river fishing!

Even though it was gray all day the shad were there waiting for us. The water was 53F running at 2.36'. We went to 200 yards. We kept 17 roe and one buck. We returned 47 shad, 1 smallmouth bass, 1 sucker, 1 carp, and 1 quilback. That would be 65 shad for the night. I will need to go further back into my records for a haul like that. I'll have the details tomorrow but that should put us ahead of last year's total and we've just been fishing for a week. And we got a late start. we'll be out again tomorrow. If you know anyone that wants fish, send them our way.

If you would like to receive Lewis Fishery updates directly send the e-mail address and contact info to

Shad Hotline Report, 4/13/10
Good to great reports of catches from Trenton to Port Jervis, NY. Catches range from 15 to 50+ fish per day.

Fish spoons on down riggers 1-2 ft. off the bottom. And try those dipsy divers 30-40 ft. out the back of the boat in 10 ft. of water.

All colors working equally well. Fish will move back to channels as water continues to recede.

Check the Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association new website for more information at

Delaware River Report, 4/9/10
Warm water temperature 61 degrees Fahrenheit - the Delaware River American shad bite is on!

Catches of 20+ fish are common up through the Delaware Water Gap. Most of the shad are bucks, with a few roes mixed in.

The Lewis Fishery in Lambertville, NJ netted 9 roe & 22 bucks last evening, a very good haul for this early in the season.

Pennsylvania Fish Commission biologists, in an effort to estimate the magnitude of the spawning run, electrofish a stretch of the river near Raubsville, PA. This week they averaged 39 American shad per hour, a very high number.

All of the above point to the strongest spawning run in years & great shad fishing!

Chris Gatley ( Report, 4/6/10
Information on shad fishing in the Delaware and the use of shad darts in slow water near structure as a key tactic.

2009 Reports
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2004 Reports
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2002 Reports
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Last Updated: June 1, 2010