Big turnout for shad tourney
By Ethan Smith
Published in News on March 20, 2016 1:45 AM
Brandon Walston, left, puts 12.9 pounds of creel he caught back in a cooler Saturday during the 15th annual Shad Fishing Tournament weigh-in at EZ Bait and Tackle.
Michael Smith holds a white shad while he waits for it to be weighed Saturday at EZ Bait and Tackle. Smith's 3.9-pound fish placed tied for first with a fish caught by Jimmy Teachey in the 15th annual Shad Fishing Tournament.
The 2016 Shad Fishing Tournament, put on by EZ Bait and Tackle and Goldsboro Parks and Recreation, saw its largest crowd yet this Saturday, as 140 participants registered to have a go at a salt water fish running through fresh waters.
Shad, which come in two varieties -- Hickory and White -- swim in from the Atlantic Ocean, dart upstream in the spring, mate and spawn, and return to the ocean. This leaves a small window of time where the fish can be caught each year.
This year's contestants competed in several categories, battling for first, second or third in the heaviest American White Shad and Hickory Shad categories, as well as the heaviest Creel category. Youngsters 12 years old and younger battled it out for who caught the smallest shad, with the winner taking home $50 and a rod and reel combo.
The adult contests saw third place take home $150, second place take home $250 and first place take home $450.
For Michael Smith, it was his third year competing in the competition.
It was also his third year winning.
Smith won 1st place for his three pound, nine ounce American White Shad, tying with Jimmy Teachey.
He said he put in around 7:15 a.m.
"We went up towards Seven Springs, up there by Cliffs of the Neuse," Smith said.
And while he selected a bait of spoons and white grubs, he doesn't get too cocky about his ability to win each year.
"It's luck," Smith said. "It's all luck. You put in and you wait for them to come to you."
In the category of White Shad, contestants were only allowed to have one American White Shad in their cooler at the weigh-in -- or else they were automatically disqualified.
Contestants in the Creel category selected their 10 biggest fish to weigh all-together to vie for first place in the Creel competition.
For Hickory Shad, contestants threw down their heaviest and biggest fish in an attempt to secure the win.
David Hinson used a green shad dart bait to take home this year's 1st place prize for the Hickory Shad category.
He said he put in directly behind Whiskey Dick's Saloon, less than a mile from where weigh-ins were held at EZ Bait and Tackle.
His winning catch of the day came at the very beginning, shortly after he first put in at 7:30 a.m.
"It was kind of slow," Hinson said. "This one is the only one I caught all day, and I caught it about 10 minutes after we started."
Saturday's winners are as follows:
* 1st place, Brandon Walston, 12.9 pounds.
* 2nd place, Jeff Teachey, 12.5 pounds.
* 3rd place, Cody McClain, 9.3 pounds.
Largest American White Shad:
* 1st place, tie between Michael Smith and Jimmy Teachey, both with a catch of 3.9 pounds.
* No 2nd place.
* 3rd place, John Reiner, 3.6 pounds.
Largest Hickory Shad:
* 1st place, David Hinson, 2.7 pounds.
* 2nd place, Chad Thompson, 2.0 pounds.
* 3rd place, Hunter Thompson, 1.9 pounds.
* Kyler Short, 1.1 pounds.