The date is the 16th and I am tasked with participating in a research study about a possible dam removal on a stream running through the heart of New Castle, DE. The job is to fish the stretch of water immediately below the dam and catch and record any American or Hickory Shad that on stuck on their upstream spawning migration from the ocean. The only problem is that it has been an unconventional spring. Cold air and a lot of rain have kept water levels high and the water temperature low. This has caused a delayed reaction on the migration and there aren't many shad to be had.
I eventually find this out after a few hours fishing in mist and drizzly weather before another weekend storm dumps several inches of rain on the area. I swing and dredge a deep run with several variations of shad patterns I tied up for the occasion. Several yellow perch, a chub, and a foul hooked sucker all come to hand. During one brief hookup I fought something ferocious that may well have been my first hickory but it threw the hook. Frustrated, I brought out the 8 weight and sinking line and swung large baitfish imitations looking for an errant striped bass following the migration. For my efforts, I catch a largemouth bass. All told, I witness one shad swimming upstream seemingly taunting me, before disappearing into the depths.