The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

January 12, 2012

The Shad Are on the Way, so be ready

TARBORO — The fishing community in Tarboro starts to think “shad” this time of year.  As you read this, the shad are hovering off the Atlantic coast making plans to chug up the freshwater coastal rivers to spawn.  How they remember which river to traverse beats the stuffing out of me, but they do an exact repeat performance every year, same river, same location for all of their existence on God’s green earth.  And to think, I can’t remember where I left my car keys an hour ago.

I imagine they are doing a lot of flirting, trash-talking, and date setting.  Sammy Shad takes his biological responsibilities seriously, and Sally Shad knows her role well.  Their ancestors have been performing this ritual since the beginning of time, so they have had plenty of time to get it right.  A conversation between them might go something like this:

Sammy Shad - “Hey pretty girl, what’s happening?”

Sally Shad - “Got to be you, handsome.”

Sammy Shad - “Meet me in the Tar River in Tarboro under the Highway 33 bridge, if you’re feeling frisky.”

Sally Shad - “You’ve got a date stud-muffin.  Oh yeah, watch out for that guy named Henry Knight fishing a double dart-rig standing on a drainage pipe on the north bank.

Sammy Shad - “Got it, Sugar!  Watch out for Henry Knight, the Tar River shad slayer.”

Even the shad know that Henry Knight is a top notch Tar River Hickory Shad fisherman.  As Robbie Webb once astutely observed, “Henry Knight has a Ph.D. in Hickory Shad.”

We are putting together our 2012 First Shad Contest.  We are going to reward the fisherperson that catches the first 2012 Tar River Hickory Shad.  A nice prize package is currently being developed.   Have a prize you would like to donate for a little advertising and promotional exposure?  Let us know asap!  Details about the 2012 First Shad Contest next week in Tight Lines.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has a great early Valentine’s Day gift idea for the ladies in you life. Enroll them in the “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman” program. (Wifey says she would like this, too.)

 Give a V-Day gift card that covers registration for the weekend workshop on April 13-15, 2012, at the Eastern 4-H Conference Center in Columbia, N.C. The workshop includes expert instruction in activities ranging from fishing and target shooting to outdoor cooking and bird watching.

 Cost is $225 per person and will cover her choice of four outdoor skill sessions, all program materials and use of equipment, plus meals and lodging.  Amenities at the Eastern 4-H Conference Center include climate-controlled living quarters, private showers and dining hall. The 250-acre facility boasts a spectacular view of Albemarle Sound and access to nearby woodlands, meadows, pocosin forests, wetlands and tributaries.

“It’s a beautiful setting — perfect for learning these outdoor skills,” said BB Gillen, the Wildlife Commission’s outdoor skills coordinator. “The boardwalks, nature trails and boat docks provide easy access to the surrounding natural areas.”

For more information, contact Gillen at 919-218-3638, or online at”

It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure this one out, boys.  If the little lady becomes more outdoor oriented (read that FISHING CRAZY), you might have a new fishing buddy on your hands raring to go.  

Rick’s Soapbox - Have you checked out this new leader in North Korea?  I don’t speak Korean, but I think Kim Jung-un must mean bad haircut in that language.  All his family money and influence, and he can’t find or afford a decent barber?  

The guy must be a military genius though, because at 27-years old, he is already a 4-star General, and with NO previous military experience.   Wow!  What a guy!  Instead of his costly military parades and official ceremonies, his people would probably prefer a loaf of Wonder Bread and a few cans of Vienna sausages.  Those people are starving, but the Supreme Leader doesn’t look like he has missed many meals lately.  Any leader that can’t figure out a way to feed his own people is not much of a leader in my book.   I guess my rant has ruined any “vacation plans” I had for N.K.

Care to share?  Send us your fishing success stories and pictures at

See you on the water, my friend!

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Tight Lines
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    December 6, 2013

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    September 12, 2013 1 Photo

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  • Battle Park is a cornucopia of nature

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    June 7, 2013

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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.
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    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!
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    May 17, 2013

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    May 10, 2013

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    April 19, 2013

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