03/16/14 — Their fish stories

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Their fish stories

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on March 16, 2014 1:50 AM

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George Wohlgemuth reels in a shad near Waynesborough Park during Saturday's Shad Fishing Tournament sponsored by EZ Bait and Tackle and the Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department. Fishermen across the county competed for the biggest catch.

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Scott Mooring casts off from the back of a boat near Waynesboro Park during Saturday's Shad Fishing Tournament.

Anglers lined the shores of the Neuse and Little rivers Saturday hoping to catch the biggest fish -- and a prize.

There were plenty of categories to qualify for at the 2014 Shad Tournament, which is sponsored by EZ Bait & Tackle, as competitors scrambled to find the best spot and to haul in a fish.

Last year's winner, Scott Mooring, didn't take the top prize again this year, but landed in third in the Heaviest Creel competition for the 10 heaviest fish caught.

But his boatmates -- best friend Scott Riggs and brother Mike Whitley -- took first- and second-places in the other two categories.

Riggs tied for first place in the Hickory Shad competition, with a 1.9-pound shad.

Riggs tied with Steve Marriner and George Wohlgemuth. The three split the prize money for all three places.

In the largest White Shad competition, Darrel Bailey took first place with a monster four-pound shad, followed by Johny Hill and Whitley, who reeled in 3.1-pound catches.

The winning creel came in at 15.6 pounds and was caught by Josh Woodard, Alan Heath took second with a 15-pound creel while Mooring took third with his 13.4-pound catch.

"That's just awesome man," Mooring said. "That guys from our boat took places in all three categories. It was tough for everybody this year."

Riggs was in the tournament for his first time this year but said he will be back.

"I'm hooked," he said.

Riggs has shad fished for about five years, but entered the tournament this year for the first time after Mooring asked him to come along.

He said it's good to place, especially above Mooring.

Brothers, Cameron and Nicholas Heath tied for fourth place, or smallest creel caught, at a half-pound each. Both took home fishing poles and $50 to split.

High water spelled trouble Saturday, making getting to fishing spots difficult without a boat, knocking many bank fishermen out of the competition.

The tournament ran from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the anglers gathered back at EZ Bait & Tackle to weigh their catches.

This year, 82 fisherman participated in the tournament.