The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 7, 2012

Bottoms comes out on top in the TASS trout tournament

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Greg Bottoms won the recent TASS Toys For Tots Speckled Trout Tournament with an impressive citation-size 5.58-pound, 25.5-inch Speckled Trout. My claim to fame is that I netted the winning fish for Greg. Talk about nervous? I knew if I had done anything to cause Greg to lose that fish, that I would have gotten a ride back home to Tarboro, from Pamlico County, in the open-aired, breezy bed of his truck; and I would probably need to leave town, with no forwarding address.

All’s well that ends well, and as another fishing friend, Bobby Mason, likes to say, “I got certified in net” that day. Bobby usually says that when you spend most of the day fishing with him, and netting his fish, which are what most people do that fish with Bobby.

Recently Johnny Dupree played matchmaker, and brought Greg and me together for some speckled trout fishing outings. We fished hard together four or five times during the 2-week tournament. We brought our “A-game,” and didn’t leave any stone unturned. Of course, it paid off handsomely for Greg.

Meet Greg Bottoms: Born and raised in Edgecombe County, he is a graduate of North Edgecombe High School. Greg is 51-years young, married to wife, Kay, for 30-years, and he dotes on daughters Jessica (24), and Jordan (12). Greg is a driver for Rocky Mount-based MBM Corporation, a food processor and manufacturer. He works a unique schedule that allows him three weekdays off, to pursue his fishing passion.

Like most anglers, Greg recalls that his first-ever caught fish was a bass, caught in Ellis pond. Speckled trout is his favorite fish to catch, and his favorite place to catch them is wherever they are biting. Asked what fishing trip is on his bucket list, Greg says, “Fishing in Alaska for Salmon.”

My personal opinion and observation is that Greg is a hard-working family guy, and an all around nice person. What you see is what you get with Greg Bottoms. Nothing is ever put-on or phony-baloney about him. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and the good Lord knows, I try to limit his suffering while out fishing with him on his boat.

My physical and fishing skills are somewhat limited these days, but Greg goes out of his way to assist me and make every fishing experience as enjoyable and productive as possible. My hearing impairment sort of limits my communication out on the water, but that doesn’t seem to concern or bother Greg. I feel a little bit guilty not being able to chat-it-up out there as fishermen are known to do, but again it does not seem to be much of an issue with Greg. For obvious reasons, I love fishing with this man, and hope this is just the beginning of a long, successful fishing friendship.

Rick’s Soapbox: Apparently it is a very slow year for toy donations, so the Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots people were extremely pleased with the TASS trout tournament’s 45 donated toys. Uh Rah!

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fishy snaps, tall tales, and unbelievable lies at

See you on the water, my friend!