The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 29, 2013

Bottoms Up! Greg Bottoms Wins TASS Shad Tournament

Tight Lines

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