Ever met a hickory shad worth a thousand dollar prize package? You will, if you win the 2013 Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest. Rules? The unique and interesting thing about this contest is that there are few rules and regulations. It’s open to everybody, no entry fee or registration needed.
Just be the first person to present a freshly caught, by hook & line, please, Tar River hickory shad on or after Saturday, Jan. 19 at Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store, 418 Main Street, in downtown historic Tarboro during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and you walk away with a prize package worth over $1000 in goods and services. Hard to believe, I know, but true!
Unofficial boundaries, for sake of argument, will be the Tar River from Highway 17 Bridge in little Washington to the falls dam at Rocky Mount.
Only one prize package is being offered, so if you catch an early season hickory shad out there on the Tar River, hot-foot it over to Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store to claim your super-cool prize package pronto. I suggest you run, don’t walk. In the unlikely scenario that more than one person shows up at the shoe store at the same time, to avoid violence and fisticuffs, the heaviest fish will be declared the winner.
It’s hard to explain to someone outside of Eastern North Carolina how important and exciting it is to Tar River basin area people when word gets out that the first hickory shad of the season has been caught. Even non-fishing people get enthusiastic about the hickory shad making their first seasonal appearance in the Tar River. I guess you could call it an ongoing tradition, or a rite of passage. Believe me, with cell phones buzzing, the fishing community will know about that first fish, who caught it and where, in about 12-minutes flat.
Sponsor response has been fantastic for our 3rd annual Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest. It just keeps getting bigger and better every year. The jewel in the crown this year is a six to seven hour fishing outing, donated by Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service. Wow! Richard, with Tarboro roots, grew up catching shad on the Tar River, so he understands and appreciates the local enthusiasm for the first Tar River hickory shad caught.
Prizes for the winner of the contest include the following from these sponsors.
Tar-Pam Guide Service – 6-7 hour fishing trip, County Surise Grill & BBQ – gift certificate, Harrell's Custom Rod & Reel – 30-inch trophy, Harrell's Custom Rod & Reel, gift certificate, TASS – annual membership, TASS – shad tournament fee, TASS – goody bag, The Daily Southerner – 12-month subscription, Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store – gift certificate, Jimmy-D Custom Shad Rigs – card of six rigs, Thorne Drugs – gift certificate, Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center – gift certificate, Greenville Marine Tackle Shop – gift certificate, Capri Pizza & Subs – dinner for two, Classic Diner – steak dinner for two, Pet Tenders – in-home pet sitting, Everlean's Cafe' – gift certificate
Rick’s Soapbox: Kirk Goines and his bride, Nannie, didn’t raise a fool. I will accompany the contest winner on the 6-7 hour guided fishing outing with Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service. Tight Lines will do a feature article on the outing, participants, and Pam-Tar Guide Service. Hey! It’s my job. I’m large and in charge, and it’s my responsibility as a fishing writer to go and studiously, observe, cover, and actively participate in this newsworthy event. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. As our Marine friends would say, “UH RAH!”
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!