The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

February 4, 2013

TASS membership meeting scheduled for February 12

ROCKY MOUNT — Tuesday, February 12th is the annual TASS (Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman) general membership meeting being held this year at 6:30 p.m. at the Leggett Ruritan Club on NC Highway 33. Dinner will be catered by The Filling Station, and TASS members can purchase plates for $5.

This meeting would be a great time for you to join TASS. If you and your family like to fish, this might be the best $25 you’ve spent lately. I call it the best entertainment bargain in Edgecombe County. Current members should come prepared to pay your annual dues, and if you so desire, you can sign-up that night for the 2013 shad tournament.

Being a devout “Shadster,” the Annual Hickory Shad Tournament is a special time of year for me. This is the 12th year, and major sponsor is Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center. Tournament dates are Saturday, March 16th to Saturday, March 23rd. That will be prime shad fishing time, and tournament Chairman, John Dupree, always does a top-notch job organizing and coordinating this exciting event.

Young Jim Dupree brought the winning hickory shad to the scales last year, and Junius House knocked down biggest white shad honors. It’s a fun tournament everybody can fish and enjoy. No boat needed. A ton of shad are caught by bank fisherman every year. Yours truly won the tournament back in 2009, and never placed my ample hindquarters in a boat. Notice how deftly and diplomatically I slipped that in there? Ego and vanity is a strange thing sometimes.

It never ceases to amaze me how kind, caring, and considerate my fellow fisherpersons are. I don’t have the physical tools to stand and cast for long periods of time. That’s why you can usually find me on the riverbank in my blue fat-boy chair. Last year, Jerry Dixon took his trusty shovel, and dug out a perfect space for my chair at the “Shad Hole” on River Road. No more rocking, rolling, slipping and sliding. Eureka!

Recently, I was apprehensive about placing my chair in its usual secure position because the current rain and mud made the area slippery and unsafe. Without me asking, Johnnie Creech grabbed a shovel out of his truck, removed the mud, and put fresh dry dirt down in my chair area so I was able to fish safely and comfortably. I hate that my physical condition dictates that I need the help, but on the other hand, I’m grateful and glad to get it. It makes my fishing experience so much more pleasant and productive. So, thank you, Jerry Dixon and Johnnie Creech, for your kindness, and shovel duty.

Rick’s Soapbox: This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. Great! It’s the ultimate game for football-loving fans. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a Super Bowl in Miami in the mid-70s. However, given my druthers, I will be out super-shad fishing all day Sunday, sunup to sundown. I would rather catch a fish or two any day than watch something on the tube. Yes, even the Super Bowl! I’ll probably watch the 2nd half though. Hey! That’s the half that counts.

I’m proud to report-in that I caught my first shad of the season Wednesday morning at the “Shad Hole” on River Road in Tarboro. It was an American Shad, what we call locally a white shad. I was throwing my green on green on green Custom Jimmy D Shad Rig. I was so excited to catch a fish that I’m not sure whether I caught it on the spoon or the jig. Bobby Mason netted it for me, and the fish threw the hook in the net, so he wasn’t sure either which hook it jumped on. I caught it, and I guess that’s what counts. My 2013 shad season has officially begun, and I’m happy as a hog in slop. I am preparing this week’s article Wednesday evening, and we do not have a winner yet in our 2013 Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest. So, have at it, my rig-slinging friends.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at CarolinaAngler@Gmail.com.

See you on the water, my friend!

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