As the title says it is that time of year!
The days are longer, warmer (allegedly), trees are blooming, and hickory and American shad are starting to be caught in North Carolina rivers.
While I have not been fortunate enough to hook into an American or hickory shad yet, I have put in considerable effort and it has given me the opportunity to be outside in the beautiful spring weather.
More importantly, where there are shad, river herring are sure to follow. Spawning alewife and blueback herring should begin making their runs up North Carolina rivers any day now (if they haven't already). This could be an interesting year for river herring as fish that were spawned in 2007, the year harvest moratoriums were enacted in NC, will now be age-4 which puts them right at the age when these species are starting to become sexually mature. Substantial numbers of age-4 river herring would be a strong indicator of the effectiveness of the moratorium.
Here are a few videos to get you amped up for the 2011 river herring run!