The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 18, 2013

Boundaries set for 2013 Tar River first hickory shad contest

Tight Lines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — This Saturday, January 19th is the first official day of the 2013 Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest. We’ve got all of the i’s dotted and t’s crossed for this third annual contest.

All that’s left is to reiterate some fair and equitable Tar River fishing boundaries. Since this is basically an Edgecombe County Tar River contest, the eligibility boundaries begin at the NC Wildlife ramp at Old Sparta, at Highway 42 Bridge, up river to the falls of the Tar River at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. Wifey is the directions, map-reader, and mileage expert at our house, and her guesstimate is that we will be working with around 35 miles of the beautiful, fishable Tar River. That last stretch of the Tar River in Battle Park is actually in Nash County, but who really cares. Hopefully and certainly not the hickory shad.

Somewhere out in the Pamlico Sound is a hickory shad named Horatio, whose internal instincts are telling him to chug up the Pamlico River past the US-17 Bridge in Little Washington, where the water immediately becomes the Tar River. Horatio, or “H” to his friends and swim mates, will meander past Tranters Creek, Grimesland, and the Town Commons in Greenville on his very important trek upriver. “H” isn’t really aware of his importance, or why he is biologically driven to seek these familiar waters for the time-honored tradition of natural spawning, but his cute little 1-pound scaly body could be worth a $1000 plus prize package to some lucky Tar River angler all the same.

The contest is simple, easy, open to everyone, and free. Be the first to present a freshly caught, on hook & line please, hickory shad at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, 418 Main Street, in downtown, historic Tarboro between 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and you win.

That’s a prize package worth over a thousand George Washingtons, and all you have to do is pony-up the first hickory shad caught on/after Saturday,' January 19th. Wow! That’s easy-peasy, and not too sleazy!

The prize package consists of various prizes and gift certificates from our generous sponsors. A complete list is available on the 2013 Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest event Facebook. The grand prize is a 6 to 7-hour guided fishing trip with Captain Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service. Yours truly will accompany the winner on this exciting outing to comprise a Tight Lines article about this fun and interesting experience. I might even wet a hook out there with you. Hey, it’s my job, and somebody has to do it! What a guy, huh?

Rick’s Soapbox – I am right proud to tell you that I will be writing some future fishing articles for Coastal Angler Magazine. My “John R. Bass, Fly Fisherman Extraordinaire” article is currently featured in several of the Coastal Angler Magazine franchise publications. Conceivably, Coastal Angler readers could be reading about the amazing John Bass all over the good old US of A. Thank you, John Bass for your cooperation, and for being such an interesting subject.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!