The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

June 7, 2013

Battle Park is a cornucopia of nature

By RICK GOINES
Tight Lines

TARBORO — 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.

Having spent more than a few mornings watching the sun rise at Battle Park, it has been exciting and thrilling to see wild turkey, ducks, bald eagles, egrets, muskrat, beavers and snakes out looking for their morning breakfast. Of course the usual backyard critters are there in force, too: squirrels, rabbits, and a variety of birds.  Some pay me no mind.  

Having been there so often, they must think I am a tree or a fat bush.

Shad are the fish of choice to pursue on the Tar River at Battle Park, but a variety of fish have been caught there on those trusty shad rigs. Of course, white shad and hickory shad lead the parade, but bass, crappie, catfish, rockfish and bream have also devoured those shad baits occasionally. I even snagged a 3-foot gar much to my and the gar’s surprise.  

The Tar River is a good productive fishery and that stretch at Battle Park is one of my favorite parts of the river.

Rick’s Soapbox – Like a fat man gravitating to an all-you-can-eat buffet, I can’t resist pursuing those late season white shad at Battle Park. It’s the first week in June and the fish and I have no business being there, but we are both out there doing our thing.  

I’m still catching a few and loving it. I tell Wifey I am going to visit my girlfriend,

Shadeisha, in Battle Park.  At my age, even a mistress with scales is exciting.

See you on the water, my friend!