The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

March 1, 2013

Anglers kindness and generosity never fail to amaze me

TARBORO — The “Shad Hole” on River Road in Tarboro functions not only as a great place to fish, but also a good place to meet and greet like-minded fishing enthusiasts. An informal group usually congregates at the “Shad Hole” nightly during shad season to wet a hook, or simply to exchange pleasantries. These “Shad Hole” friends come in different ages, and walks of life. These are salt-of-the-earth type guys. If it ever comes down to “Us” versus ‘Them,’ I want these guys in my foxhole watching my back.

Saturday I was fishing at the “Shad Hole” trying to stay between the raindrops. That afternoon, Wifey stopped by, and told me we had some young friends that were having financial difficulties and they would welcome any fish I would like to procure. I shared that information with David Chappell who was fishing next to me on the pipe. He caught a shad, and gave it to me. I added two more later that afternoon. Linda gave the fish to the deserving family, and they were very appreciative.

It’s Monday afternoon, and David Chappell is on my back porch with a cooler housing a very large Rockfish, and asked me to please get that nice fish to the family in need. Wait, it gets better. He also hands me a bag with a jug of cooking oil, and a 2-pound sack of House Autry corn meal mix to round out that fish supper. Wow! How thoughtful and generous. Just another example of the fine folk I call my “Shad Hole” buddies. You da man, David Chappell!

Hotspot of the Week - As I write this in mid-week, we are once again faced with flood conditions in the Tar River. It seems like just about the time the river calms down, and we start to catch a few fish, the rains come and wash away fishing opportunities for a few more days. Such is the life of an anxious shad fisherman in coastal NC.

Without a doubt, the Tar River at Tarboro is my primary shad fishery this time of year. However, when the Tar is suffering from too much moisture, it’s time to get a little creative. Tar River feeder creeks can sometimes fill-in-the-blanks while waiting for the Tar to level off. Fishing Creek and Swift Creek are two which fill that void nicely.

Jamie Laughter joined me earlier this week for a jaunt to Swift Creek off Logsboro

Road. Jamie is an accomplished young fisherman that proved his mettle, once again by out-fishing us old dudes. He caught one White Shad under the bridge, and ventured up the creek bank about 40 yards and found some Hickory Shad. Jamie said they were “Bang’n” everything he threw at ‘em. Terrain was a little rough for my gimpy hindquarters, so I left those pursuits to the young and the strong.

Another option to consider is the Roanoke River. Sometimes it is fishable when the Tar River is not. Access points are many, but I tend to favor Weldon, Scotland Neck, and Williamston. I might give Weldon a shot later this week, and let you know my results.

Rick’s Soapbox – Interested in catching more fish more often in 2013? Fisherman’s Post presents “Hands On” Saltwater Fishing School, Saturday March 9th, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Overton’s in Greenville. More info is available at (910) 452-6378, or by E-mail online at Tight Lines highly recommends this worthwhile school.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fishing adventure stories, fishy snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!

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Tight Lines
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