Menhaden vs Shad – What Makes Them Different?

menhaden vs shad
menhaden vs shad

Depending upon the type of fish you’re trying to catch, try to test out different products to find compatible equipment. You will have to go through a lot of brands and sizes to find the perfect fit for your local fishing conditions.

Seeking help from an expert can help speed up this process, so don’t be reluctant to reach out to local anglers and test out their units. That way, you won’t have to waste money on units that don’t perform well in your region.

With that said, quite a few users have asked about Menhaden vs Shad.

Both of these fish bring a variety of benefits to anglers and are used in different applications. So, let’s go through a few details to help you with a better perspective.

The information should help people in understanding how these varieties are different from each other.

It should also allow users to make a decision when selecting a fish for their diet. Keep in mind that both of these varieties have unique characteristics that might confuse people when deciding.

Your choice might also vary depending on your personal preferences and taste so remember that.

Comparing The Menhaden vs Shad

Types Of Fish Menhaden Fish Shad Fish
Calories Per 100 Grams 902 Calories 197 Calories
Total Fat Per 100 Grams 100 Grams 14 Grams
Cholesterol Per 100 Grams 521 Milligrams 75 Milligrams
Sodium Per 100 Grams 0 Milligrams 51 Milligrams
Protein Per 100 Grams 0 Milligrams 17 Grams


Menhaden is a small fish that can be compared to Shad in size and cylindrical shape. However, you will notice Menhaden is a bit fatter with oily skin.

On top of that, these fish bring an abundance of omega-three content to the users. So, you’ll find a huge demand for this fish in the market.

There are a variety of supplements and food products that are made with this fish which offer a ton of nutritional benefits.

In terms of nutrition, Menhaden is far superior to Shad, but you won’t find many users going for Menhaden recipes.


Some users have pointed out that the texture and flavor of this fish are not as good as Shad, and you’ll struggle to remove the fishy smell from the meat.

So, it is best to avoid this option if you don’t want your kitchen to smell like fish.

With that said, it is not that rare to see users confused between Menhaden and Shad. Both types are quite similar, and there are many varieties of these fish available on the market.

Luckily, you can use the oily skin and the fatter structure of the Menhaden to set it apart from your standard shad.

All in all, Menhaden is not that popular in cooking and is mainly used for food supplements and animal feed. It brings a higher amount of omega-three content when compared with the standard Shad.

So, if you’re looking for something with higher demand in the feed market, then going with Menhaden is a better option for you. Otherwise, you’ll be able to find plenty of buyers for Shad variants.

menhaden water

When it comes to eating fish like Menhaden for protein, you should note that this is not a good option.

The main reason behind this is that the variety only contains fat and there is no protein in it. This is why it is best that people looking for protein go with other options instead.

On the other hand, the fatty acids contained inside this variety are full of omega-3 oil and additional nutrients.

This can be great for people looking for a fish like this. Hence, depending on your preferences, the variety might or might not be a good option for you.

Keeping this information in mind should help you out when trying to select a fish for yourself.


As compared to Menhaden, Shad is quite popular for its health benefits and overall texture and taste. Its skin is not as oily as a Menhaden.

However, you will find a lot of similarities between the Gizzard Shad and Menhaden.

As compared to Menhaden, Shad is a bit longer in length and maintains a slimmer cylindrical structure to the users. So, you can get a bit of an idea about the type of fish you’re dealing with by looking at its shape.

The majority of anglers rely on this fish to manage bait for catching a catfish. If you’re also interested in catching Shad to use as live bait, then make sure to develop a sustainable set up to keep the shad alive.


It’s harder to keep this fish alive in the well, and you won’t struggle as much to catch the fish.

So, try to purchase some bubble makers and remove the filth from the water.

Other than that, you won’t have to deal with the fishy smell or a foul flavor with this fish. It brings the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors and serves you well with a strong sauce.

So, if you’re looking for something to add to your diet, then going with Shad is a better option for you.

All in all, American shad is one of the most common catfish baits that you can find in the market. It is also a part of many cooking recipes because of its mildly sweet flavor.

On the other hand, Menhaden is mainly for food supplements because of its high omega-three content and oily skin.

The taste of Menhaden can’t be compared with the American shad, and you will likely deal with the fishy smell while cooking Menhaden. So, it is best to go with Shad if you’re looking for effective live bait or white meat.


Aside from this, another thing that should be kept in mind is that some people might want to catch these fish on their own. When it comes to this, there are several things that can help users in increasing their chances to catch the variety.

The first step is to always select a location that has confirmed sightings of the fish. This can help people in ensuring that they can easily catch the fish while avoiding problems.

The time of day that you will be fishing also plays a huge role as this will determine the visibility as well as the number of anglers.

In most cases, it is better to fish during the early mornings as there are fewer fishermen roaming around. Additionally, the visibility is much better so people should be able to notice the varieties easily.

Finally, the equipment being used should also be durable enough to catch these fish without any issues.

The information provided above is usually enough for most people to catch different varieties without any problems. Though if you are still having trouble then make sure that you consider your requirements.

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