The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 30, 2012

Thank you, fellow shadsters, for a great year

Rick Goines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — Shad season started early this year, so it only stands to reason that it would end early, too, and indeed it has.  We had about seven good weeks of a fantastic shad bite in the Tar River at Tarboro this year, starting the last week in January.

I think it was Sunday, Jan. 29 that Henry Knight caught the season’s first shad, and received a nice prize package to boot for his effort.  February was shad city a go-go just about every day.  Some days better than others, but it seemed like we caught fish every day in the month of February.

On a personal note, I want to thank my shad hole buddies for all their help and assistance this season.  I don’t have the physical tools these days to do some of the things necessary to be a complete fisherman.  Everyone is so kind and helpful, and go out of their way to assist me, and make my fishing experience pleasant, and successful.   If I start naming names I will probably leave somebody important out, so just allow me to extend a big thank you to all of you.  You guys are a special breed, and I appreciate each and every one of you.

The big story for me this shad season was the dominance of the white shad everywhere.  Honestly, I think I caught more white than hickory this year, and that has never happened in the 11 years I have been pursuing shad in Tarboro.  In fact, I think I caught more white this year than all the previous years combined.  It was that good!  I understand the Roanoke River crowd at Weldon was also pleasantly surprised at their excellent white shad bite, too.

Hotspot of the Week –  The Roanoke River at Weldon is where the shad are right now.  I had an excellent day Wednesday.  The river is almost at flood stage, and hard fishing, but the rewards are great if you locate them.  It was my third stop before I found fish.  I fished all day and caught 56 hickorys and nine white.  A few of the big “hicks” would have been money fish in last week’s TASS Shad Tournament.  

Report of a world record 7-pound crappie caught in Kerr Lake has reached my inbox.  Seven Pounds?  That’s a big’un!  I will verify, and clue you in next week.

Shad Hole Shout-Out - Joey Lassister is our man of the hour this week.  Joey, 53,  hails from Bethel, and has been fishing since he was a pup of 9 years old.

Joey loves to bottom fish, and usually the shad rig slingers and the bottom guys don’t get along because bottom fisherman limit the space shad fishermen need to operate in.  However, a good mutual understanding and respect exists between Joey and the shad chasers.  We give each other room to do our thing.  As a matter of fact, the shad hole crowd supplies Joey with bait.  Those bottom feeders just love chunks of fresh White Shad.

Errors and Omissions – I hate to admit it, but I committed several boo-boo’s in my shad tournament results article on Monday.  The total number of tournament participants was 80, and the cash and prize payout was over $3,000.

I also failed to thank and recognize Pizza Inn of Tarboro, and Caroline’s Creations in my sponsor salute.

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!