Sometimes in fishing, experience, skill and know-how can be trumped by luck, enthusiasm and being in the right place at the right time.
Last weekend on the Tar River at Old Sparta was a prime example.
My best friend and I have been catching hickory shad along this stretch of river for the past 35 years.
Last Saturday, we had horrible luck on the river.
We caught three shad all day but watched a young man on a boat next to us catch one fish right after another.
It was a cold start to the morning, with the northwest wind plowing straight down the river.
There were a lot of fishermen trying their luck but very few fish being hooked.
As the morning wore on, the wind died down, and the fish began to move upstream.
We tried several places but wound up in a familiar hole where the clear waters of Town Creek spill into the stained Tar River.
We fell in line with several other boats, we watched the shad being caught, but we could not buy a strike.
In the boat downstream from us was a young man who sat on the middle seat.
He was fishing with a bright blue rod, and our old eyes wished we could have seen the color of bait he was using.
Their boat was perfectly positioned in a hole where the shad evidently milled around and around and refused to head upriver.
We were only 40 feet away from their boat and watched them catch at least 25 shad to our very few.
The young fellow caught two at a time on several occasions. We watched him hold up large roe hickory shad for a fine picture on the river.
I have a feeling this young man is going to grow up to be a really good fisherman.
Heck, he already is.
He whipped our tails, just like Duke spanked my Tar Heels that same night.
A special event called “J.A.K.E.S. Take Aim” will be sponsored by the Tar River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation on Saturday at Rose Hill Farms.
This is a well organized skeet shoot for children ages 10-17. Strict adult supervision will be provided, and shooting hours are from noon until 3 p.m.
A devotion will start the event, and a hot dog lunch will be provided before rounds begin.
All current J.A.K.E.S. members shoot for free.
There will be a $10 charge for all non-members. Participants will be shooting at flying clay targets.
Make sure to bring your favorite shotgun.
All targets and shells will be furnished by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
This is a no-competition event.
We want the children to gain experience with hunting skills and just enjoy being outdoors.
Several shooting stations are set up and each shooter has 25 rounds of ammunition.
We have space for roughly 100 shooters, but so far, only about 40 have registered. There is still room for a well-coached skeet shooting experience for the youngsters.
For more information, call Jim Vickers at 813-4253.