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Willard - Wipers Pattern on Shad?

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Willard - Wipers Pattern on Shad?
Hi Willard Fishing Folks -
I have a question about when Wipers start to pattern on the real shad for the year? As has been suggested, there comes a time in the spring at which wipers not longer hit the larger crank baits because they are starting to pattern on the real shad which are much smaller at that time of year. Does this patterning start happening in mid-June or late-June or July? Is it when the shad reach 1" long or 1.5" or 2" long? Is it when they start heading to openness? What triggers the patterning and when does it really start happening? thx.
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Re: [Optimizer] Willard - Wipers Pattern on Shad? In reply to
Predators in Willard to not have little calendars...or cellphone apps that prompt them to start munching shadlets. But they are opportunists and will start the annual glut as soon as they notice the new food source showing up in size and numbers.

The timing is largely determined by the spring weather. Shad may start spawning as early as April when water temps are warm enough. And the spawn extends clear into June some years. The first shad to hatch will grow quickly to an inch or longer and that seems to be about when the predators start patterning on them. Most years that will happen sometime in June...with more and more edible size shad showing up as later spawns enter the food chain.

As far as shad migrating to the "openness", there really is no mass movement. Those with sonars find them all over the lake when the clouds of young shad are thickest in the lake. You can find dense schools of them out in the middle, close to the dikes and even up into the marinas and the inlet channel. These bitty bites move constantly in search of the zooplankton and other invertebrates upon which they feed.

When the shad are plentiful the predators don't have to roam around the lake as much while looking for food. And all they have to do when hungry is swim through a cloud of shad fry and swallow a few times. So they are usually well fed and not as prone to attack a single large lure cruising by at mach 3. However, they can be caught by lures in sizes small enough to resemble the prevailing size shad...or with some kind of reaction bait. Wipers, especially, are like cats. Sometimes they can't resist pouncing on a moving object that triggers a munch reflex.

By late August or early September, there are a lot of 3" shad available. That is when the wipers herd them into schools near the surface and do the boil thing. When this happens it is wild. Watch for the birds and get there as quickly as possible. Sometimes a boil only lasts a short time. Many times your fun will be ruined by some doofus running a boat right into the middle of the ruckus and putting the fish down. That's when you want a 50 caliber deck gun.

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Re: [TubeDude] Willard - Wipers Pattern on Shad? In reply to
Thanks for the info. I guess I don't need to ask my second question which was "what is the cell number for me to text. Happy