The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

January 28, 2012

Virginia State Record Rockfish Caught

TARBORO — Cary Wolfe, a Prince William County, Virginia angler might have caught one for the

record books last week. Fishing on the Bada Bing in the Cape Henry, VA area, Wolfe connected on a 74-pound rockfish. The 56-year old X-ray technician, who is an avid hunter and freshwater angler, fought the big striper for 15 thrilling, exciting minutes.

They call the Kentucky Derby the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. My guess is that Cary Wolfe might beg to differ with that assessment.

If certified, and it appears he did everything correctly, his fish would be a new Virginia state record besting by one pound, a 73-pound fish caught 4 years ago. Both the 73-and 74-pounders were caught in the same general vicinity, and at the same time of year.

I’m not Sherlock Holmes, but it sounds like it’s no mystery that those big rockfish are hanging out in Old Virginny this time of year.

Thanks, FEW, (favorite ex-wife) Carol Johnson Miller, for the heads-up on the Virginia rockfish story. Life’s right cheery when your ex-wife is looking out for you, and sending interesting, informative fishing intel. She is the mother of my children, a sweet and special lady, and a good friend, I’m proud to say.

One of our faithful Tight Lines readers, Dennis Knight, posed a question to me. He

wants to catch some winter crappie, but doesn’t know where to go. He pointed out that most decent crappie producing ponds are on private property. Can anyone point my man Dennis in the right direction? Anybody ever heard of a pay-as-you-go crappie pond in Eastern NC? Hey, we might be on to something here. I would pay a few bucks to drop my line in a well-stocked crappie pond. How about you?

Last week I mentioned my Havelock friend, Jerry Jackson, was enjoying some good success catching sailfish on his beautiful boat, Ava D, out of West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Boated” was a poor choice of words for me to use describing his catch. “Boated”

implies caught, kept, and killed. Nay-Nay! Catch & release or live release would have been a more accurate description. JJ is having a large time down there hooking those sailfish on live bait. The real question is whether his pretty wife, Denise, will be able to convince him to come back home to Havelock this winter, and leave all that beautiful Florida sunshine and good fishing? I’m betting on Denise.

Tight Lines reminds you about the February Saltwater Fishing Schools being offered in Wilmington and Morehead City by Fisherman’s Post, Carolina’s Saltwater Newspaper.

The reasonable school tuition might make a nice, unique Valentine’s Day gift. Since the Wilmington school is Feb. 11th, an early V-Day gift would be appropriate. Learn more at Click on “Fishing Schools.”

Tar River First Shad Contest: Be the first to present a 2012 Tar River Hickory Shad at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, Main Street, Tarboro, and receive a nice prize package valued at over $300. Sponsors; Jimmy D Custom Made Shad Rigs, Harrell’s Custom Rods & Repair, The Daily Southerner, Greenville Marine & Sport Center Tackle Shop, 33 Grill and Oyster Bar, Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, Marrow-Pitt ACE Home Center, and Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman (TASS) made this contest happen. Give them a big toothy grin, and a thank you. Better yet, give them your business. They deserve it.

Rick’s Soapbox: Recently, I used this forum to fuss about North Korea’s new “great

leader,” Kim Jung-un. I received quite a few positive reactions to my soapbox rant. So, let’s call this one, “Bad Haircut, Part II.”

I have a suggestion. Let’s invite Kim Jung-un, and his entourage of political lackeys

and Generals to visit the USA. We can take his young, impressionable, ample body on a VIP tour of America. Consider it a practical dose of reality orientation, if you will. We can include military bases, air shows, and perhaps even a little sneak peak at our nuclear arsenal. Walk him through a few factories, and war materials industrial plants. Let them see and feel the military might and power of America. He also needs to see a full service grocery store and a fast-food restaurant, so he can experience and appreciate our form of capitalism and consumerism at its very best. His people stand in line for hours hoping to snag a loaf of bread, a cup of rice, and a can of beanie-weenies. I know that’s sarcastic and pitiful, but unfortunately very true. Those poor people are starving.

Then, after his indoctrination, we can send his dusty little overfed, inexperienced

hindquarters back north of the 38th Parallel with the knowledge that the USA still wields a big stick in world politics, and if you mess with America, you are most certainly cruise’n for a bruise’n, to put it in plain down-home country speak.

I will never be an apologist for the military might and strength of America. I believe

in it wholeheartedly. A strong America stays a free America. Past, present, and

future generations have and will pay the expensive dues and tariff on that exclusive membership. Teddy Roosevelt was spot on when he said, “America should always walk softly, but carry a big stick.” Right on, T.R!

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!

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Tight Lines
  • Rick Goines tightlines.jpg Rockfish tourney nearing

    It must be spring because it is sign-up time for the John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo on the Tar — April 26 is the big tournament day.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blounts Creek environment threatened

    It took a year, but Wifey and I finally met Bob Daw at Blounts Creek. An avid angler, Bob writes an interesting weekly blog about Blounts Creek fishing.

    December 6, 2013

  • Lionfish.jpg Invasion of lionfish could impact local anglers

    Are lionfish quickly becoming a nuisance and threatening our native North Carolina reef fish populations?  Those experts in the marine sciences give an emphatic yes.  The nagging question begging an answer is what to do about it.
    Known in the scientific community as Pterois volitans, lionfish are typically one-pound, foot-long, reef bottom feeders with venomous spines that have no natural predators, and are starting to overpopulate, damaging the ecological balance of the reefs off our North Carolina coast.

    September 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • Rick-Goines.jpg National hunting, fishing day Saturday September 28

    North Carolina joins the nation Sept. 28 to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.  Your NC Wildlife Resources Commission has family oriented activities scheduled statewide to help you welcome this enjoyable occasion. For more information about the event, call 919-707-0010 or go to  Visiting that NCWRC website regularly is always a good idea to stay on top of current, solid outdoor info and intel.
    Fall fishing is hard to beat in Eastern North Carolina.  I would stack up our fall Eastern NC fishing action, freshwater and saltwater, against fishing anywhere.

    September 9, 2013 1 Photo

  • Battle Park is a cornucopia of nature

    Fifty-seven acre Battle Park, in the heart of Rocky Mount, is named after the Battle
    family of Tarboro, founders of Rocky Mount Mills. Water-powered, the mill dam was hewn of the rocks of the Great Falls, past the westernmost point of Edgecombe County.

    June 7, 2013

  • Take a kid fishing this summer

    As you put the final touches on your summer vacation plans, consider a fishing outing for the youngsters.  They might not remember or appreciate that expensive beach cottage rental, or that high-dollar meal at that trendy waterfront restaurant, but I would bet a pretty penny they will recall every detail of a fun-filled family fishing experience.
    Just about anywhere you chose to go this summer will offer fishing

    May 31, 2013

  • Shad Season in Review

    All things considered, 2013 was a good shad season, thoroughly enjoyed the fishing activity and usual camaraderie among shad fishing friends. Shad fishing to me is about so much more than just catching fish.  It’s a total package of enjoyment as it captivates and dominates my life February through May.
    Wayne Harrell kicked off the season winning the first shad contest catching his hickory shad on a cold 19-degree Saturday morning, February 2.
    The shad hole on East River Road in Tarboro was a little disappointing this year. Untimely flood waters might have limited our regular peak run. Fish were caught and we had some good days, but not the action we have experienced in past years.

    May 24, 2013

  • Banner Day at Battle Park

    Sunday was Mother’s Day.  I am not a mother, but I played one in a school play years ago, so I figured that entitled me to go fishing on Mother’s Day. Need an excuse or rationalization to go fishing? Check with me, I’ve got plenty!
    After suffering through 2-3 days of a rain induced swollen, unfishable Tar River at Battle Park in Rocky Mount, it was jackpot time on Sunday. Without a doubt, I had my best white shad fishing day ever, fishing from sunrise to early evening. Action was good all day, with a little lull for about 2-hours in the heat of the afternoon.
    I am proud to report to you that I enjoyed a 50-fish day. I caught a personal best 46 white shad, 3 hickory shad, and foul-hooked a very angry, upset 3-foot gar.  I thought I had two large white shad, or maybe a big rockfish, so I was a little surprised to see Mr. Gar.  It was like reeling in an uncooperative 2x4 piece of lumber.

    May 17, 2013

  • NCWRC enforcement officers doing a great job

    North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission has two enforcement officers assigned to each county. That’s 200 dedicated, educated, and highly trained individuals protecting our North Carolina environment and natural resources. To become an enforcement officer applicant, one must participate in a highly competitive selection process. A typical candidate is required to pass extensive background and psychological screening. Also included is a vigorous 19-week training academy that is patterned after a military boot camp, with an emphasis on physical fitness.

    May 10, 2013

  • Tight Lines declares Ginger Perry of Nashville the shad queen

    One of my favorite places to bank fish is the boat ramp at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. I have met a lot of interesting people there. Three or four times this season, I have watched this amazing lady, Ginger Perry, fishing with her friend, Big Kelly, for white shad. Simply put, she is one good angler! She casts and retrieves like a pro, and always catches her fair share of fish. Maybe a few more than her fair share! This lady can flat-out fish!

    April 19, 2013

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