Fishing—and Eating—CT Shad

Photo courtesy/Wikipedia

CTPost.com’s Charles Walsh reports on his attempts to consume shad, which continue to return to the Connecticut River each spring.

For a number of years, my friend George and I have had a friendly but spirited debate about shad.

George says shad, the official state fish of Connecticut since 2003, is one of the best-eating fish in the sea, or at least in the Connecticut River. George has eaten shad on several occasions, including during visits to the famous Shad Festival in Essex, where they cook the fish the old-fashioned way by nailing butterflied filets to big hickory planks that face a large open fire.

I have eaten shad exactly once. It was quite a long time ago at a local restaurant that I cannot remember the name of. At the time, I thought the fish, which was topped by some kind of cream sauce, to be somewhat “fishy” tasting. Worse, I kept finding tiny hair-like bones in my portion.

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