2016 Tar River Shad Contest

FishIBX to headline Shad Contest prize package

Iam proud to announce that the sixth Annual Tight Lines 2016 Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest will be partnering with Captain Mitchell Blake and FishIBX to headline our contest prize package. FishIBX, Inner Banks Charters, is donating a $400 half-day guided fishing outing that will accom- modate 2 lucky anglers. This exciting trip will be the cornerstone of this year’s prize package. I am thrilled to have FishIBX’s generous participation. It adds quality and substance to our annual contest and prize package.

Prize package is still building and it is very likely the total value this year will exceed $1,000! THAT is a nice reward for a single, any size hickory shad caught chugging up the Tar River in the advance scout- ing party.  Contributing prize package sponsors already on board are: Edgecombe-Martin EMC, Country Sunrise Grill & BBQ, Roberson& Dupree Shoe Store, Harrell’s Rod Repair Service, Tarboro Associa- tion of Saltwater Sports- man (TASS), Pet Tenders, LLC., Jimmy-D Custom.

A Shadster’s Christmas by Rick Goines

Tight Lines’ Rick Goines and Wifey, Linda, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a healthy, happy, fish catching New Year! Photo, by Wifey, taken
at “The Shad Hole” off newly paved River Road overlooking the Tar River in historic Tarboro.

‘Twas the winter before Shad Madness,
when all through the South Not a fish was yet stirring, not even a Bass’s big mouth.

The wet galoshes were hung
by the boat motor with care
In hopes that shad season soon would be there.

Fishermen were nestled all snug in their homes
With happy visions of Weldon – where the famous rockfish roams.

As you gather by the fire and give the hot coals a stoke
Here’s hoping you have visions of plentiful fishing on the great Roanoke.

And wifey in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a quick winter’s nap.

My Jimmy-D Shad rig was working its magic,
I knew at that moment this was against all logic.
More rapid than sailfish they swam and they swam;
It was all I could do not to holler “Shazam!”

And then, in an instant,
my fishing buddies had gath- ered;
They’d heard the good news and were completely enamored.

Shad? This early? Can it be true?
As we gleefully reeled them in… two by two.

Now I’m a right chubby and plump, jolly old elf,
And I laugh now to think what a fool I’d made of myself; But, it was a Christmas wish come true

For each and every TASS angler I knew.

When out on the Tar River there
arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the river banks I flew very fast, Still wearing my PJs and threw out a cast. When what to my wondering eyes did ap- pear,
But schools and schools of shad swimming, oh dear!

Raise your glass to a toast “Here’s to catching the most”

So, this holiday season, I ask you to reflect
On the blessings and good tidings we never expect.
May each of you have an epic day on the waters, Because frankly, to this old salty dog,

that’s all that matters.

So here’s the moral of this witty Holiday cheer: 2016 is gonna be a great fishing year!

We will take a closer
look at professional guide
Captain Mitchell Blake
and FishIBX in future articles. Want to catch some fish now? Last report I saw, Captain Mitch was catching some nice robust winter rockfish, including a 30-incher on a topwater bait, and some pretty speckled trout. You can call him
to make arrangements for an outing at 252-495-1803. Check out his informative and interesting website at www.fishibx.com. Gift idea! Have FishIBX compose a personalized gift certificate for that special angler on your shopping list. What a unique and appreciated Christmas gift THAT would be for your favorite hook-wetter.

I get so excited about this annual contest that I forget we have some readers that don’t know what in the world I am talking about, so please allow me to clue you in. Tight Lines Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest is unique because it has NO sign-up, NO registration and NO fees, and that should make your participation a NO-brainer. It is open to everyone. Rules are few.

Simply be the first person to present a freshly caught (within stated boundaries) Tar River hickory shad at Roberson & Du- pree Shoe Store, Monday thru Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at 418 North Main Street in Tarboro, and you will receive a substantial prize package that includes the aforementioned FishIBX half-day outing for 2, various merchandise, gift cards, and gift certificates. rick goines Shad Rigs, Marrow-Pitt Tight Ace Home Center, Nash Lines Rod & Reel, Moctezuma Mexican Cuisine, The Tarboro Weekly, Classic Diner, and Greenville Marine Outdoor Shop. The more the merrier, so more sponsors are welcome.

If you, or someone you know, has a business that could benefit from sponsorship involvement, which consists of making a prize package contribution in our contest, please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can include them in our current Tight Lines articles and promotional ma- terials. We request a minimum $25 value prize that could be merchan- dise, gift card, or gift certificate. Some choose to donate more. Your call. Sponsors will receive publicity in Tight Lines newspaper articles, and mentions on numerous con- test flyers distributed throughout the Tar River area.

Start date for our 2016 contest will be Saturday, January 9th. Warm temps, if they continue, possibly mean an early shad run this season. Accordingly, we have pushed our start date this year
up a week earlier. Boundaries for the Tar River contest extend from Old Sparta Bridge to the Falls of the Tar River at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. That is 48 miles of beautiful, meandering Tar River for YOU to capture the season’s first hickory shad.

Of course, an honor system is in effect in this contest concerning the location of the first hickory shad caught. Never had a problem in previous 5 contests, and don’t

anticipate one this year. Fisherman tend to exaggerate and confuse fish size and numbers caught sometimes, but most anglers

I know are honest, forthright individuals that try to abide by the rules.

Thad Winstead won last year’s contest with a early February “Hick” caught in frigid Tar River waters in the Old Sparta area. If memory serves me correctly, Thad caught that fish on a Jimmy-D Cus- tom Shad Rig. No great mystery there! Jimmy-D Custom Shad Rigs

catch fish, hands down, boys and girls.

Winstead is employed by the Tarboro Fire Department, and an avid outdoorsman. Thad’s biggest problem when he ventures into the great outdoors is deciding whether to hunt or fish, as he enjoys and excels at both ac- tivities. No doubt in my mind that Thad will be hard at it, working the river for an encore contest performance.
I don’t want to go and get all sappy on you, but I am a believer,

and encourage you to remem- ber the reason for the season. The good Lord above blesses us anglers with the abundant, pro- ductive, beautiful waters we fish and enjoy, and I am never more prayerful and appreciative than those days I am out and about wetting a hook. A very merry to you and yours!

Catching Fish? Atta boy! Clue us in on all the interesting details and fishy pix at carolinaangler@ gmail.com.

See you on the water, my friend!

Shad Contest