The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

February 3, 2012

First 2012 hickory shad caught

TARBORO — Henry C. Knight, III, caught the winner in the 2nd Annual Tar River First Shad Contest, in Tarboro this past Sunday morning about 9 a.m. Henry Knight? Are you kidding me?

Henry winning this season’s Tar River First Shad Contest is about like Albert Einstein being a contestant on Jeopardy, and asking Alex Trebeck, in his best old-world German accent, “Alex, I vood like you should give me da physics category for $2000.” It’s a done deal, my friend. Take the money to the bank.

“Will Henry catch the season’s first Hickory Shad?” is right up there with some of those obvious rhetorical questions like, “Is the Pope Catholic?” and “Does a bear do his business in the woods?”

Of course Henry caught the first Hickory Shad. Knowing Henry, he will probably catch the last one this season, too. Simply put, catching Hickory Shad is what Henry does, andprobably does it better than anyone else on the Tar River.

Born and raised in Edgecombe County, Henry is in his early thirties, and is a graduate of North Edgecombe High School, and N.C. State University. Shad fishing doesn’t pay real well, so Henry makes his living as a mechanical engineer.

Jimmy Braswell and Wayne Harrell were fishing alongside Henry on Sunday. In case you are counting, those three dudes possess over a hundred years of Tar River shad fishing experience and expertise. Hardly seems fair to the shad, does it?

Henry was using 1/16 oz. orange shad dart when that winning first 2012 Hickory Shad decided to commit suicide. His total creel for the day was 2 Hickory Shad, and one

White Shad. A good start to what looks like is shaping up to be a great 2012 shad season on the Tar River.

Henry is easy to spot and watch. His usual perch is the protruding storm-water outfall pipe on River Road just upstream of the new Main Street Bridge. Ask anybody out there, and they will point out Henry’s Pipe at the Shad Hole for you.

It’s worth a visit just to watch Henry work his magic. Henry’s smooth, well-coordinated, fluid casts and s-l-o-w methodical retrieve are poetry in motion. That attention-to-detail mechanical engineer attitude translates nicely in to his shad fishing, too.

Henry is enjoying this year’s prize package, valued a bit more than $300, for being the first to catch and take a Hickory Shad to Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store. He was really surprised to learn that no one else had turned one in, when he went there after working all day on Monday.

Thank you, sponsors: Jimmy D Custom Shad Rigs, Harrell’s Custom Rods & Repairs,

The Daily Southerner, Greenville Marine & Sport Center Tackle Shop, 33 Grill & Oyster

Bar, Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center, and Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman (TASS). Sponsors make it happen, always. Give them your support. They deserve it.

Congratulations, Henry! In the spirit of fairness, next year we are going to ask Henry to wear a blindfold when shad season begins. Even blindfolded, I wouldn’t bet against

Henry. The man is one fine, pure-T Hickory Shad angler. Robbie Webb says it best: “Henry Knight has a PhD in Hickory Shad.” Indeed he does!

I respect and admire Henry Knight, the man, and Henry Knight the expert Hickory Shad fisherman. I’ve decided that when I grow up, I want to be just like him.

Hotspot of the Week – This Carolina Angler has been enjoying some early season success catching a few White Shad on the Tar River in Rocky Mount. My Jimmy D Custom Shad Rigs are doing the trick for me, as always. I like what I call a green-on-green on green rig. It’s a green jig head, green jig, and green trailing spoon. It always catches fish for me. Jimmy D Custom Shad Rigs are available in Tarboro at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, and Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center. For my money, you can’t buy a better shad rig.

Rick’s Soapbox – Save the dates! Tuesday, February 21, is the annual TASS membership meeting at 33 Grill & Oyster Bar, Highway 33 in Tarboro. It’s a good night to join TASS, pay your dues, which covers the whole family, and sign-up for the 2012 11th Annual TASS Shad Tournament. The shad tournament will run Saturday March 17 to Saturday March 24. Did I mention that the Parrisher family feeds us good, too? Good friends, good fishing folks, and good food. What a winning combo!

Care to share? Tell us about your fishing success. Better yet, send us a picture with all the details. We love to hear from you at CarolinaAngler@Gmail.com.

See you on the water, my friend!

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