The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

March 29, 2013

Bottoms Up! Greg Bottoms Wins TASS Shad Tournament

TARBORO — To my knowledge, Greg Bottoms does not smoke or drink, but he does have another habit, and an enviable one at that.  Greg wins fishing tournaments.  He won the Fall Speckled Trout Tournament, and last week claimed top honors in the shad tournament.  Obviously, the man knows his way around a rod & reel.  Greg is a skilled angler, and a nice guy, deserving of that success.

The 12th Annual TASS Hickory Shad Tournament is history, and tournament chairman John Dupree did a fantastic job.  The nice folks at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store always step up-to-the-plate and do whatever’s necessary to insure successful TASS events.  Store manager, Mike Everette, and staff take care of business so the Dupree guys can help out with tournament doings.  I appreciate all they do, and you should, too.

Ninety-six (96) hail and hearty souls ventured out to the creeks and rivers in Eastern NC seeking hickory shad as they participated in the 12th Annual TASS Hickory Shad Tournament.  Several mornings were a little brisk, and what I call ice-in-the-eyelets kind of days, but most anglers soldiered on.  Everyone I talked to said they caught plenty of fish.  Timing for this tournament was perfect.  John Dupree must have a crystal ball in a back room at the shoe store.

Everyone was a winner that participated, but only fourteen lucky fisherpersons shared in over $3,000 in cash prizes.

In the adult division Greg Bottoms won first place with a 2.58 pound shad, while Charles Strickland finished in second just .02 ounces behind Bottoms.

In the women's division, Betty Jo Dupree won with a 1.98 pound shad and Lisa Winstead finished second with a 1.84 pound shad.

Caleb Anderson won the junior division with a 2.16 pound shad and J.T. Winstead caught a 2.08 pound shad.

Lee Cannady won the white shad bonus division with a 5.20 pound shad and Chad Denny finished second with a 4.46 pound shad.

Congratulations extended to the Thad Winstead family.  Three members: Thad, Lisa, and J.T. all made the final leader board.

On a personal note, I want to publicly apologize to Thad for crowding him and throwing over his head one afternoon at the Shad Hole.  It made him angry, and rightfully so.  I know better.  My lame excuse is that due to my physical disabilities, I am rather limited where I can set-up and fish at the shad hole.  However, that’s my problem, not Thad’s.  He was right to be upset, and I was wrong.

Hotspot of the Week - The hickory shad run in Weldon has been very productive.  I sat out in the freezing rain last Sunday and caught 37 cold Roanoke River hickory shad.

The Tar River at various locations in Rocky Mount is producing some nice white shad action.

Rick’s Soapbox – Next on the TASS tournament calendar is the 2013 John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo on The Tar set for Saturday, April 27.  Entry is limited to 40 boats.  Sign-up will be Saturday, April 6.  More details in future Tight Lines.

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


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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.
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    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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