This has been debated since before the dinosaurs were extinct......my .02 is there isn't a market because the price would be fluctuating meaning the person investing the time in catching them would expect more for them when he/she invested more time to catch them and during those same times demand is likely down and the people that realize the true value(all the effort that went into catching them) caught their own and the people who don't realize the value won't be a buyer(they just won't fish that day/week).
Furthermore, the only way you could sway any diehards would be consistency of the product....if they can't get them 100% of the time they want them then they will continue catching their own. The commitment and the effort ends up not being worth the reward.
One way to find out.....go give it a try.
Well, if nothing else, I will have a continuous supply for my own use. I just drove 2.5 hours round trip to a place that advertises "fresh shad" only to find shad barely larger than a large minnow, sitting out in bags (relatively cold), not on ice, discolored, in bags full of brown juices. While the pictures on their FB page show coolers full of large freshly caught shad on ice. They had obviously been there for days. That is not by any stretch of the imagination, "FRESH". If I do this, mine will be live, and the ones that die, will immediately be put on ice, and tossed after 24 hrs. I may even take a few bags and vacuum seal and freeze them, just in case anybody would want any frozen. Although, I can't imagine anyone would WANT to use frozen shad. But, I'll keep a few bags as an option.
I definitely won't have an issue, constantly having hundreds of live shad swimming around, just waiting to be inhaled by a catfish. But, if people want live or fresh shad, I'd certainly sell it to them.