The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 27, 2012

Rock fishing is 'well done' at Weldon

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Last weekend was my 18th annual Goines Rock-A-Rama in Halifax County. Family and friends converged on Weldon for a long weekend of exciting rockfish action. The only way I can do it justice is to give you a session-by-session action report.

Thursday evening – Joined by my brother, Charles Goines, my son, Rich Goines of

Tampa and extraordinary angler-friend Adam Brosius of Ft. Lauderdale, we went fishing for a few evening hours, drifting mostly between Little River and the Big Rock, with Michael Shearin, Jr., on the 24-foot pontoon boat. We caught enough to whet our appetites, and get us fired up for the big fishing weekend yet to come.

Friday morning – Same crew as Thursday night, was up bright and early to meet George Beckwith of DownEast Guide Service. It was George who had introduced me to Weldon rockfish action almost 20 years ago. Motoring downriver, we left most other boats behind. As we started drifting, the rockfish were gobbling up those live shad minnows.

Our crew had our 10-fish limit in no time. Well known and respected on the Roanoke River, it didn’t take Capt. Beckwith long to gain attention of other boaters out there. If imitation is the finest form of flattery, George Beckwith is one very flattered guy when he is fishing on the Roanoke River at Weldon.

Friday afternoon – Justin Haddock, of Haddock Guide Service, was our host. Rich

dropped off, thus we added Bryan Gentry to our crew. Again, we were downriver at

Halifax, but this time we were bottom fishing. Being resourceful, Justin skinned and

filleted the dead shad minnows; the stripers ate them like candy. We caught some big, healthy fish in the 4 to 6-pound range.

Saturday – Our crew grew as we boarded one of Mike Shearin’s roomy pontoon boats, with his son Michael at the helm. Rich was back on board with his daughters, Hali and Morgan of New Bern. Bryan Gentry’s sons, Matthew and Cody, rounded out our rockfish team. We drifted down river near Halifax, and easily caught our limit. I was proud of my granddaughters, who handled themselves well and caught fish. Matthew loves to throw a fluke, and met his usual success.

Sunday – Severe weather dry-docked us. Richard Andrews, Jr., of Tar-Pam Guide

Service, was very professional and flexible with our cancellation. Some guides would have insisted we go out there, rain or no rain, just to make a buck. Richard was more concerned with our safety and fishing enjoyment. I respect that, and will make sure he gets some of my future business because of that good attitude.

It was a wonderful weekend of fishing and pleasant memories for everyone.

Reminder! Monday is the last keeper day for these Tar and Roanoke River rockfish.

Plenty of fish can still be caught in May, but it’s all catch and release. The fly-guys and top water throwers love that May action. I’ve seen spawning fish fight each other to get at that single-hook Zara Spook dancing through the water. If you catch a big one, get a quick picture before you gently ease that precious striped beauty back in the water.

Rick’s Soapbox – If you see this before 8 p.m. Friday, you might still have

time to register for the 2012 John Cherry rockfish Rodeo On The Tar. You

can sign-up at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, Main Street, Tarboro until 5:30

p.m. Friday. After that, you have a short window of opportunity to register until

8 p.m. Friday at the tournament Captain’s meeting, East River Road waterfront

at the boat landing. Sign-up is open until all 41 slots have been filled. If

interested, don’t get shut out. Act now!

Good news on the weather front. Recent rains have brought the water level up

in the Tar River, and that means excellent conditions for Saturday’s tournament.

Catching fish? Tell us about it. Better yet, send us a picture with all the details. We

love to hear from you at

See you on the water, my friend!