Twaite shad in Holland
The twaite shad is sometimes nicknamed the ‘tarpon of Europe’, and that should come as no surprise: this strange looking fish from the herring family is famous for its air acrobatics. A twaite shad will make many jumps out of the water when you reel it in, which gives this otherwise relatively easy-to-catch fish a nice facet.
Even though the twaite shad can be found all along the Dutch coastline, the estuary of the Nieuwe Waterweg is the absolute hotspot. There are dozens of kilometres of great twaite shad fishing spots (Pier of Hoek van Holland, Peninsula of Rozenburg, the Stenen Glooiing Maasvlakte) where you can notice the presence of large shoals of hunting twaite shad from afar, on account of all the splashing. It isn’t unusual to catch dozens of these fish a day (45-50 cm on average).
Keep it simple when it comes to the techniques you’re using: a light spinning rod with a 10 gram spoon lure or a small pilker is all you need. However, try the period of June through September – the twaite shad is a real summer fish. Also, don’t forget your waders and beware of the bow waves of ships passing by. Preferably don’t go out fishing on your own and release all fish you catch: here the twaite shad is a protected species.