Learning the art of boning a shad is one of the toughest things in all of cooking. Very few chefs know how, and only a few fishmongers on America's East Coast still carry on what is a nearly 400-year-old tradition.
Each shad "fillet" has four rows of curved bones in it. Each row must be cut out in exactly the correct angle or you will lose most of the meat on the side.
I can do it, but I typically mess up 8-10 fish before I remember the proper angle. There is an easier way: Shad fingers.
This is a hybrid fillet. You only cut away one thick edge of the side, leaving most of the rest to poach and pick for fish cakes or shad salad (The technique for that is linked below). Here's how you do it: