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The word for winter fishing is S-L-O-W

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Steve Creech caught this stripper last week. We went for trout but had no luck because there was too much rain water down east.

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BY RICK GOINES
Tight Lines

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Now that winter has begun, we want to share our Winter Fishing Tip – The buzz word for winter fishing is S-L-O-W.

Colder the water, less active are the fish. Our scaly friends are somewhat hunkered down, trying to survive in food-scarce cold winter weather. Experts advise you to work your lures painfully slow to get fish attention and response in winter conditions. Conserving energy, they rarely chase baits in frigid air and water temps. This advice holds true for just about any species you seek in chilly waters, freshwater or saltwater.

Eastern North Carolina is blessed with many excellent natural resources. Outdoorsmen regale in the abundance of fish and game. I have fished and hunted in other places, but none better than the woods and waterways of North Carolina. Determined North Carolina fishermen and hunters can usually find something productive to pursue 12 months a year. That is one of the truly beautiful advantages of being an outdoorsman in North Carolina. If you are willing to travel a little sometimes and deal occasionally with dicey weather conditions, you can find some excellent, exciting outdoor action in North Carolina year-round.

The outdoor community is fortunate to have Carolina Outdoor Expo to kick off our 2019 outdoor season. The venue will be the beautiful, convenient Greenville Convention Center at 303 SW Greenville Blvd. Nice facility!

The 2019 Carolina Outdoor Expo promises to be one of the largest gatherings of fishing and hunting guides ever assembled under one roof in North Carolina. Add over a hundred premier outdoor sales vendors displaying the latest in quality fishing and hunting products and services, and you have the makings of a very special event Eastern North Carolina outdoorsmen can be proud of and certainly don't want to miss.

Ever get frustrated trying to "talk" fishing and hunting or make an important purchase (read that expensive!) decision in a retail store dealing with someone much less knowledgeable about the outdoors than yourself? A visit to Expo will solve that problem, featuring numerous outdoor vendors that not only talk your talk, but they walk your walk, too. In today's speak, it is said they have sort of been there, done that. They know, they understand, and they appreciate your outdoor recreation wants and needs. Want good, solid, sound outdoor advice and information? Talk to an expert. Simple as that.

If you are an active outdoorsman or one just enjoy the news, videos and excitement of fishing and hunting, read that "armchair outdoorsman," this 2019 Carolina Outdoor Expo is definitely for you. What's not to like about a Convention Center full of like-minded people that respect and enjoy the great outdoors and all the natural beauty and bounty of game and fish it offers?

Organizers promise that this event will be a special educational outing for all outdoor enthusiasts. Expertise sharing seminars will be an exciting feature of the Expo but just a part of this exciting weekend. Seminars will be headlined by a who's who list of top professional outdoor guides, offering over 20 different seminars on saltwater and freshwater fishing.

The seminars are all included in the price of admission. This is your opportunity to get firsthand information from people on the frontline and cutting edge of the fishing and outdoor community. Most seminars will have a question and answer period at the end of each session. Q & A with outdoor experts is a big plus on anybody's learning curve.

The seminar presenters' roll call reads like a list of who's who in the hunting and fishing world. We have met them all personally, are familiar with their names and accomplishments, and respect the fact that all these qualified, skilled outdoorsmen have some good pertinent knowledge, experience, and information to share with Expo attendees.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, and that entitles you to admission all weekend long. Children 10 and under are free.

Expo hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 19 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 20.

I am as excited as a rich kid on Christmas Eve about this Expo. I encourage you to attend and support this very worthwhile event. Something for everyone, and eastern North Carolina family entertainment presented at its very best.

Still need more information? Go to www.carolinaoutdoorexpo.com

See you at Carolina Outdoor Expo!

Shad Contest — As you read this, Sally and Sammy hickory shad are chugging up the Tar River with amorous intentions looking for the shad version of a no-tell motel for an anticipated tryst. One of them may be heading for fame as the acclaimed first shad in the 2019 ninth annual Tight Lines Tar River First Hickory Shad Contest.

Water and air temperatures have not favored shad aficionados so far this winter, but I am sure that will not stop some hearty die-hard souls from braving the elements and trying to catch that first shad. A nifty prize package awaits the lucky angler who brings the first caught hickory shad to Roberson & Dupree Shoe Store in Tarboro. Contest boundaries are upstream of N.C. 42 bridge at Old Sparta up to the Falls of the Tar River at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. Obviously, an honor system is in place.

Shad on, fellow shadsters!

Rick's Soapbox — Good tip from an avid Tight Lines reader and contributor. Fishing situations give us regular little cuts, scratches and minor wounds out there on the water. Band-Aids come in right handy. Good to have some in your tackle box or stored in your boat. An even better idea would be to stick a few in your wallet. Your billfold goes with you everywhere you go and would provide instant, convenient band-aids when and if needed.

Winter Fishing Success? Good for you! Give us all the cold details at carolinaangler@gmail.com. Large file full-size, high resolution fishy pix make us do the boog-a-loo. Bundle up, stay warm, and be careful out there. Winter weather on the water can be tricky, dangerous, and unforgiving. Fish smart, be safe and live to fish another day, please.

See you on the water, my friend.

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