The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 9, 2012

March shadness is here for all the fishermen

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Basketball fans all over the world look forward to March Madness.  Shad aficionados, that's enthusiast for you dudes and dudettes who skipped vocabulary class to go fishing, have the same warm and fuzzy feelings for March Shadness.  Giving credit where credit is due, Norfleet Temple coined that phrase last year.  Fleet is the son of retired Doctor Peter Temple, an accomplished musician, avid fisherman, and all-around nice guy.  Peter has recently hit a rough patch with his health, and our thoughts and prayers are with him.  Get well soon, Peter, and join your shad buddies back on the Tar River.  We miss you!

Wayne Harrell fusses at me when I give him too much ink, because family and friends tease him about being mentioned frequently in Tight Lines;  but, when you're good, you are good.  Wayne is a skilled, serious fisherman that favors the Largemouth Bass, but he is no slouch slinging shad rigs either.

Wayne has been shad fishing on the Tar River all his life.  Wayne tells an interesting shad-fishing story on himself, so I'm sure it's OK to share this with Tight Lines readers.   In Wayne's own words:

"It was March, 1965 and I was going to buy Peggy a ring and ask her to marry me.  Bill Dean called me, and wanted to go shad fishing.  I told him I had to go get Peggy a ring.  Bill said, "No way. I have a Wholesale Catalog, we can order it from the boat."   

So off we went; fished just across from boat ramp, and  I picked out the ring.  I put the order in the mail box on way home, and never missed a beat! That was 47-years ago. You can't afford to miss a shad day, since the season only lasts about 90 days."

Now that is the story of a dedicated shad fisherman. 

Hotspot of the Week - The Tar River has been hot as a $2 pistol this week, producing White and Hickory Shad.  Twice now this season, I have sat out in the pouring rain, and caught fish.  Shad tend to favor inclement weather.

Rumor has it that the Roanoke River at Weldon is also posting good numbers of shad.  My brother, Charles, is driving down from Maryland to meet me this weekend in Weldon to try our luck with those RR shad.  I should have a firsthand report for you next week, unless I am still there catching shad.

Rick's Soapbox - Don't forget this Saturday, March 10th: It's the first TASS Flea Market/Yard Sale, 7 am - 10 am, at Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center parking lot.  Fishing and boating items will be displayed for sale.  You do not need to be a TASS member to participate.

Shad Hole Shout Out - Say howdy-do, to Roy F. Lee, Jr.  The shadsters call him Frankie.  He is a 46-year old Edgecombe County born and bred man that has been fishing the Tar River for 35 years.  Frankie is a production manager for ECA, and has 2 daughters.

Small in size, Frankie stands big and tall, with a shad rod in his hand.  Quiet and unassuming, you would not know Frankie was catching fish if you weren’t watching him.  There is not a lot of fanfare and noise, but the man knows how to catch a shad, and he always catches his fair share.

Care to share? Tell us about your fishing success, and share your pictures with us at

See you on the water, my friend!