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

See you on the water, my friend!

Text Only
Tight Lines
  • Rick Goines tightlines.jpg Rockfish tourney nearing

    It must be spring because it is sign-up time for the John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo on the Tar — April 26 is the big tournament day.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blounts Creek environment threatened

    It took a year, but Wifey and I finally met Bob Daw at Blounts Creek. An avid angler, Bob writes an interesting weekly blog about Blounts Creek fishing.

    December 6, 2013

  • Lionfish.jpg Invasion of lionfish could impact local anglers

    Are lionfish quickly becoming a nuisance and threatening our native North Carolina reef fish populations?  Those experts in the marine sciences give an emphatic yes.  The nagging question begging an answer is what to do about it.
    Known in the scientific community as Pterois volitans, lionfish are typically one-pound, foot-long, reef bottom feeders with venomous spines that have no natural predators, and are starting to overpopulate, damaging the ecological balance of the reefs off our North Carolina coast.

    September 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • Rick-Goines.jpg National hunting, fishing day Saturday September 28

    North Carolina joins the nation Sept. 28 to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.  Your NC Wildlife Resources Commission has family oriented activities scheduled statewide to help you welcome this enjoyable occasion. For more information about the event, call 919-707-0010 or go to  Visiting that NCWRC website regularly is always a good idea to stay on top of current, solid outdoor info and intel.
    Fall fishing is hard to beat in Eastern North Carolina.  I would stack up our fall Eastern NC fishing action, freshwater and saltwater, against fishing anywhere.

    September 9, 2013 1 Photo

  • Battle Park is a cornucopia of nature

    Fifty-seven acre Battle Park, in the heart of Rocky Mount, is named after the Battle
    family of Tarboro, founders of Rocky Mount Mills. Water-powered, the mill dam was hewn of the rocks of the Great Falls, past the westernmost point of Edgecombe County.

    June 7, 2013

  • Take a kid fishing this summer

    As you put the final touches on your summer vacation plans, consider a fishing outing for the youngsters.  They might not remember or appreciate that expensive beach cottage rental, or that high-dollar meal at that trendy waterfront restaurant, but I would bet a pretty penny they will recall every detail of a fun-filled family fishing experience.
    Just about anywhere you chose to go this summer will offer fishing

    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.
    The shad hole on East River Road in Tarboro was a little disappointing this year. Untimely flood waters might have limited our regular peak run. Fish were caught and we had some good days, but not the action we have experienced in past years.

    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!
    After suffering through 2-3 days of a rain induced swollen, unfishable Tar River at Battle Park in Rocky Mount, it was jackpot time on Sunday. Without a doubt, I had my best white shad fishing day ever, fishing from sunrise to early evening. Action was good all day, with a little lull for about 2-hours in the heat of the afternoon.
    I am proud to report to you that I enjoyed a 50-fish day. I caught a personal best 46 white shad, 3 hickory shad, and foul-hooked a very angry, upset 3-foot gar.  I thought I had two large white shad, or maybe a big rockfish, so I was a little surprised to see Mr. Gar.  It was like reeling in an uncooperative 2x4 piece of lumber.

    May 17, 2013

  • NCWRC enforcement officers doing a great job

    North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission has two enforcement officers assigned to each county. That’s 200 dedicated, educated, and highly trained individuals protecting our North Carolina environment and natural resources. To become an enforcement officer applicant, one must participate in a highly competitive selection process. A typical candidate is required to pass extensive background and psychological screening. Also included is a vigorous 19-week training academy that is patterned after a military boot camp, with an emphasis on physical fitness.

    May 10, 2013

  • Tight Lines declares Ginger Perry of Nashville the shad queen

    One of my favorite places to bank fish is the boat ramp at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. I have met a lot of interesting people there. Three or four times this season, I have watched this amazing lady, Ginger Perry, fishing with her friend, Big Kelly, for white shad. Simply put, she is one good angler! She casts and retrieves like a pro, and always catches her fair share of fish. Maybe a few more than her fair share! This lady can flat-out fish!

    April 19, 2013

AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Twitter Updates
Must Read