The Occoquan River Shad Run

The end of winter and the arrival of spring means many things to many people, but to Virginia’s tidal river anglers it means primarily one thing, and one thing alone: The shad are coming! The shad are coming!

Yes, America’s “founding fish” is coming soon to a Virginia tidal river near you.

Anyone who follows the annual shad run in the Old Dominion is aware of the famous fishing opportunities on the James River near Richmond and the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg. But what about the Occoquan River, a tidal tributary of the Potomac River?

Located north of the James and the Rappahannock rivers, the Occoquan River provides another—albeit lesser known—destination for spring shad fishing.  You’ve almost certainly driven over it if you’ve crossed the Occoquan Bridge on I-95.

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