The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 9, 2012

Toys For Tots 2012 fall speckled trout tourney nearing

Rick Goines

TARBORO — The TASS Toys For Tots 2012 Fall Speckled Trout Tournament is Nov. 17 to Dec. 1.  That gives you two full weeks to sneak out to all your favorite speckled trout “honey hole,” and hook that big gator trout that has been jumping off your line and spitting the bait back in your face.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Entry fee is $25 per person, and each participant is required to donate an unopened toy to Toys For Tots.  You do not have to be a TASS member to fish in this tournament, but only TASS members are eligible for bonus money.  Registration and daily weigh-in will be at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store at 418 Main Street in downtown Tarboro.  Deadline for registration is 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.

Fishing in the tournament is limited to North Carolina coastal and inland waters only and weigh-in hours at the shoe store are from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  The final weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Awards will follow the final weigh-in and the public is invited.  Come enjoy pizza compliments of Pizza Inn of Tarboro, bring a toy and join the fun!

First to fifth place will share a $1,400 guaranteed pay out, and $500 in TASS member bonus money.

Jimmy Braswell was last year’s winner with a 4.95-pound spec, so I think it’s safe to say that a 5-pounder is a good benchmark for success in this year’s tournament.

Sponsors are the lifeblood of every successful tournament, so we’ll ask you to thank and support Opticom Communications, Inc. of Garner, Ribeyes/Jersey Mikes of Tarboro, and Allen Roberson Plumbing of Elm City.

Current TASS President, David Mears, is chairman of this event, and your information source at 883-4416.

Can’t fish the tournament?  Sorry, but your friends at TASS still want to encourage you to come by and donate a toy.  I don’t know about you, but it hurts my heart to think some youngster might wake up Christmas morning with no present or gift to greet them.  I can’t think of an uglier scenario.  Perish the thought!  

Hotspot of the Week: I went out fishing last week with Greg Bottoms of Tarboro.  We put in at Lee’s Landing in Pamlico County, and fished Broad Creek with popular MirrOlures MR-17’s.  We were targeting speckled trout, and caught four nice keepers.  We also connected on 15 rockfish.  Greg, who is an excellent angler, added two pretty largemouth bass to our catch.  We kept the trout, and released everything else.  It was a beautiful day, custom-made for fall fishing, and I was grateful to be part of it.  I am never more prayerful and thankful to be alive than when I am out fishing, and communing with nature.  

Rick’s Soapbox: One of the shortcomings of preparing an article early in the week for Friday publication is that important things happen during the week that might change the complexion of current events.  Of course, I mention this because that is exactly what happened to me.

 I devoted most of my column last week to advising my readers of the impact Hurricane Sandy was likely going to have on local fishing.  The ink wasn’t dry on Friday’s paper when NCWRC put out a news release advising anglers that Hurricane Sandy had very little negative effect on local fishing.

Don’t I feel stupid?  However, I am very relieved and happy that I got it wrong this time, and that ultimately we dodged a bullet with that potentially devastating storm.

Care to share?  Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!