The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 21, 2012

Great time to consider joining TASS

Tight Lines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — Any time is a good time to join Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman (TASS), but since the club is making local front page headline news lately, now would be a great time to jump on board.  In case you missed it, TASS has proposed funding and putting a fishing platform on the Tar River a stones throw from the Main Street / Hwy 33 Bridge.

 That would put it just up river, in the vicinity of my beloved “Shad Hole.”  Wow!  What a fantastic idea!  Save my wide body and my trusty blue chair a space on the platform, please!  I wonder if I will be able to get pizza delivery there?  How about my mail?

 Jimmy Dupree has quarterbacked this project from the get-go.  The Town of Tarboro, led by Mayor Donald Morris and the Town Council, has given unanimous approval.  Town Manager, Alan Thornton, and Director of Public Works, Troy Lewis, are supportive and giving a big thumbs-up on the project.  NCWRC is also interested in helping this worthwhile endeavor, and have offered to donate a free gangplank walkway.  The next step is to submit the plans, and get the final stamp of approval from the Army Corps of Engineers.

 This kind of project takes some good organization and planning to make it happen, and it is quite obvious that the TASS brass and Jimmy Dupree have done their homework.  Plans are to have everything in place during the 2013 shad season, which should start up in late January.  Eureka!  It sounds like a late Christmas present to me.

 Let’s get back to signing YOU up in the TASS club.  Let me clear up one misnomer right away.  Even though “Saltwater” is in the name, TASS is also about freshwater fishing in a big way, too.  The annual March Shad Tournament, April’s John Cherry Rockfish Tournament, and Pell’s Pond Party are proof in the pudding.

 The stated purpose of TASS is to provide an organization for people in Edgecombe County, or those who have ties to the county, with a common interest and love of fishing.  Public and community service quickly became its goal.  Through funds raised from various projects, TASS has donated picnic tables to the river front park, established a scholarship at Edgecombe Community College, and promoted fishing fun for young and old.  Soon, we can add putting a fishing platform on the Tar River to that list of worthy accomplishments.

 I am fond of calling the TASS dues the best entertainment bargain in Eastern NC.  One small annual fee and the whole family can enjoy all the benefits of TASS membership.  Learn more about TASS at www.tassclub.com, or stop by Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store (TASS Central) at 418 Main Street in historic Tarboro, and say “Hey folks, tell me about TASS!”

 Rick’s Soapbox -  Hopefully, I can put together another “First Shad” prize package this year.  It will be our 3rd annual.  Henry Knight won last year’s prize package valued at over $300.  Henry winning the first shad contest is about like Babe Ruth winning a home run derby.  I kidded last year that we might need to consider making him wear a blindfold, or tying one arm behind his back for future shad contests.  Even then, I wouldn’t bet against the man.  Henry is one shad catching dude out there on the Tar River.  I enjoy fishing at the “Shad Hole” on River Road with him, and watching a master at work.  Robbie Webb summed it up best when he said, “Henry Knight has a PhD in Hickory Shad.”

 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!