Alewife...what are they, and how do you catch them?

Tenntrapper

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As the title says...I'm looking for more info on Alwife. I've heard they are good for striper bait. Having no idea what they are, other than being a fish, I'm needing advice on how to catch them. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

Smo

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I’ve never heard of them, but here’s what I found

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looks similar to a yellow tail shad …. Without the spot

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Chiflyguy

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We have them in the Great Lakes to feed the trout and salmon.
Used to see millions fishing the Chicago lakefront.
 

Tenntrapper

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They are mainly a saltwater fish that come up certain rivers to spawn. I don't think they are found in Tennessee. The small shad caught here for baitfish are basically the same thing.
I don't doubt this, but I keep reading that they are in Cherokee lake. Maybe it's something that someone has misidentified..but several fishing websites are talking about them.
 

Kebo

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They're in a few lakes like Watauga, South Holston, Cherokee, and Dale Hollow. Might be found elsewhere, too. Alewives are invasive and eat algae, but they also eat fish eggs and small fry. This can hurt gamefish populations, especially since they grow to a good size, generally reach good sized populations, and get too big for all but the biggest predators to eat. You don't want them in your fishing hole if they aren't there already so please don't transport them to areas where they don't currently exist. You'll come to regret it if you do.
 

WTM

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they are invasive and eat zooplankton not algae but will cause algae blooms because zooplankton eat bacterias and algae. zooplankton is what game fish fry eats until they get large enough to forage. i omagine some dumbarse striper guides brought them to east tennessee from the carolinas and release them.

i imagine youd have to use a throw net to catch them.

keep them over there , we already have enough problems with asian carp.
 

ewc

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They are in every reservoir in east and middle Tennessee. They are an invasive species that preys upon fish eggs and small fry (especially walleye).

How to catch them:

3/8” gill net.

I’ve picked hundreds of thousands out of them. I hate alewife with a passion.
 

Union Co. Boy

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Norris lake is full of them. I catch them at night under lights either with a cast net or on small sabiki rigs. They actually bite the sabiki rig and you can take them off and place them in your bait tank without damaging them. It's much cleaner than cast netting. They are dynamite for rockfish and walleye. Having said that, they have drastically changed our fishery here on Norris. I wish they had never been introduced, but since they are here to stay, I have adapted and take advantage of them.
 

sll

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Love them or hate them they make predator fish attain higher weights quicker and are the reason you are able to catch walleye on topwaters at night.
 

ewc

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Love them or hate them they make predator fish attain higher weights quicker and are the reason you are able to catch walleye on topwaters at night.
And they are the primary reason walleye populations have declined in Norris Reservoir.
 

mike243

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Was told this week from a guy up in Lafollette that a buddy of his has been going to Cherokee for years catching them to bring back to fish Norris , both of them are from Ohio, I also told him its not legal to do that I thought
 

larry ipock

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Norris lake is full of them. I catch them at night under lights either with a cast net or on small sabiki rigs. They actually bite the sabiki rig and you can take them off and place them in your bait tank without damaging them. It's much cleaner than cast netting. They are dynamite for rockfish and walleye. Having said that, they have drastically changed our fishery here on Norris. I wish they had never been introduced, but since they are here to stay, I have adapted and take advantage of them.


Agree with this 100 %! Its seems to me the nite fishing for smallmouth has went down for the last 10 years since they showed up. They are still there, just don't catch them on the usual methods. Never thought of the sabiki rig for the alewives. BTW, the alewives are in Lake Cumberland as well.
 

cathunter

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Back in the 80’s when Norris was one of the hottest lakes for striper fishing, the story that floated around back then was fishermen from the Carolinas were bringing alewife for bait with them. And this is how it possibly started.
 

mike243

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They started building Deerfield resort back in the early 80's and that's when the northern influence started at Norris lake, not sure when they were found in the lake.
 

Biggun4214

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I don't doubt this, but I keep reading that they are in Cherokee lake. Maybe it's something that someone has misidentified..but several fishing websites are talking about them.
Alewife we’re stocked in Watagua to boost the food source for walleye. Over the years they have migrated through the dams, down the Holston River. You can catch them on a rod and reel but probably easier to catch them below Cherokee with a cast net.
 

Biggun4214

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They are in every reservoir in east and middle Tennessee. They are an invasive species that preys upon fish eggs and small fry (especially walleye).

How to catch them:

3/8” gill net.

I’ve picked hundreds of thousands out of them. I hate alewife with a passion
 

Caudio18

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Norris lake is full of them. I catch them at night under lights either with a cast net or on small sabiki rigs. They actually bite the sabiki rig and you can take them off and place them in your bait tank without damaging them. It's much cleaner than cast netting. They are dynamite for rockfish and walleye. Having said that, they have drastically changed our fishery here on Norris. I wish they had never been introduced, but since they are here to stay, I have adapted and take advantage of them.

I have been catching them for most of the spring under the lights off the dock but now they seem to have migrated, any pointers for the warmer weather?
 

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