TASS Rockfish Rodeo tradition continues
BY RICK GOINES
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Well, the tradition of a rockfish tournament during the last weekend of April has continued, but it was significantly different.
The Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman modified the tournament, changing from the Tar River to the Roanoke River, where the striper season remained open through April 30, with the same size and creel limits, while none may be possessed in the Tar River.
Registration closed last Friday afternoon at the TASS headquarters, Roberson and Dupree Shoe Store. Earlier in the week, the usual frenzy to register first, was just gone!
Usually the JCRR has at least forty-five boats registered, and sign up order determined your start time. This year, however, only seven boats registered. Not a typo, only seven.
The modified rules allowed boat captains to launch anywhere on the Roanoke, from Williamston to Weldon.
Most did not elect to go to Weldon. With nearly 300 vehicles and trailers there, it could have hindered a successful outing with a winning fish, by getting out of there on time. Downstream sites were less crowded.
Why, you may ask, did the John Cherry Rockfish Rodeo on the Tar River have to change? You may recall that the Rockfish or striper season on the Neuse and Tar Rivers were closed on March 28, 2019.
Many fishermen still don’t understand why it had to close, or bother to understand the marine biology science about how it would help fish populations. Simply, they’re just understanding you can’t fish for Rockfish now. They’re not happy about it.
Others are learning to adjust for the good of the fishery. For those anglers who understand it, here’s a round of applause!
How were winners determined? With a two fish per person limit, the combined weight of the top fish was the deciding factor. An award for largest single fish was rawarded. The prize money was raised through the entry and registration fees.
Tournament director, Jim Dupree, wrote, “Congrats to the guys listed below for placing in the rock fish tournament today. Thanks for all those that participated. Next up: Tar River Catfish Tournament in memory of Johnny Bailey. (May 18, 2019).”