The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 24, 2012

Full calendar lies ahead for TASS

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman (TASS) welcomed 60 members to their recent annual membership meeting at 33 Grill & Oyster Bar in Tarboro.  TASS President, David Mears, and his Board of Directors were unanimously voted in for another 1-year term.  David is a good leader, and has always done an exemplary job for TASS.

Good seafood, and a room full of like-minded fisherpersons, telling lies and bragging about their latest catch.  What’s not to like?

TASS brass gave us a preview of some exciting upcoming activities.

First up is the 1st Annual Flea Market/Yard Sale.  It’s strictly fishing and boating items.  On Saturday, March 10, we want to see you at Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center’s parking lot, from 7-10 a.m.  You do not have to be a TASS member to buy or sell, but if you wish to sell, you do need to get a reservation for table space with John Dupree at 823-2754.  Table space, to sell your fishing and boating items, is free.

Next, on the fun calendar, is the 11th Annual Hickory Shad Tournament, March 17-24.  Entry fee is only $10, and there is more than $1,500 in guaranteed prize money payout.  Adult, lady, and junior divisions will compete, trying to hook a big Hickory Shad.  Don’t forget to ask about the White Shad Bonus.  Again, John Dupree is the man with the plan at the phone number listed above.  More details will be featured in next week’s Tight Lines.

It’s not too early to start planning your participation in the 2012 John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo On The Tar, Saturday, April 28.  Tournament chairman, Jimmy Dupree, Jr., has made a few small changes and adjustments in the tournament format to make it more pleasant and exciting for everyone, with a larger payout.

Some people are talkers, and some are doers.  The Dupree brothers are the doing kind.  They are the backbone of almost every TASS event.  They consistently give their time, money, and effort to TASS causes.  Every successful organization has workers that roll their sleeves up, and get the job done.  So it is with Jimmy and John Dupree.  Makes you wonder where they find time to sell shoes.  Good leaders hire good people, and the staff at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store are good at what they do, and free-up Jimmy and John so they can assist in the good works of TASS.

Hotspot of the Week – Got to be that shad activity on the Tar River.  It seems to get better daily.  I am seeing more White Shad action around Tarboro than ever in my 10 years of being a local shadster. I have banked 11 in the last five days.  Two of those were caught in the middle of Sunday afternoon’s torrential downpour.   Sitting there drenched in my trusty fishing chair, I kept looking around to make sure the men in the white coats weren’t coming to give me a free ride to Cherry Hospital, the regional psychiatric facility. 

This past Monday, I was fishing at the Shad Hole bright and early, when I got a nice hit.  I thought I had a big White Shad.  Nay-nay!  It sure wasn’t running and fighting like a shad either.  Yikes, stripes!  It was a rockfish.  I muscled it up over the rocks, jumped out of my chair excitedly, and was hustling to my Jeep to get my Rock-Ruler.  In all the excitement, I forgot I was 62 and half-handicapped, (some days the other half ain’t doing too well, either), when rather embarrassingly, I fell flat on my face.  Nothing was hurt but my pride, but boy-oh-boy, did I feel stupid.

I’m sure that poor rockfish was thinking, “Hey pal, kill me if you must, but no sense falling on me and crushing me with your ample (read that FAT) body, ya jerk.”   It measured 19-inches.  I eased him back in the water, told him to eat well, and come back to see me April 28, when Dempsey Dupree and I will partner-up to fish the John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo On The Tar.

Rick’s Soapbox – For several years now, I have been pestering the Town to put a portable potty across from the Shad Hole on River Road during shad and rockfish season.  We kind of put the frontal assault on Town Hall this year, and it finally got done.  Rotating quarterbacks on this successful project were Jimmy Dupree, Jr., and Robert Cherry.  I hope my petition, with numerous signatures, got their attention, and helped a little, too.  So, we got our portable potty at the Shad Hole, and all is well in the world of shadness.  I thank you, my urologist thanks you, and all those people that have to get in their cars to run home for a potty break (present company included), thank you.  I just love it when a plan comes together.

Catching fish?  Tell us about it.  Better yet, send us a picture with all the details.  We love to hear from you at

See you on the water, my friend!