February 15, 2017 — That ding, ding, ding, off in the distance is a clanging bell, chiming in the start of the spring fishing season.
To some, that sound rings in the wakening of the redfish up in the marshes. To others, it means early season blowfish and sea mullet from the surf and piers. For the big tackle anglers, it ushers in their first trips to Gulf Stream and the Big Rock for yellowfin tuna, and for us light (tackle) at heart, the visions of streaking hickory shad at our other “Big Rock” on the Roanoke River, on all but the lightest of tackle.
With the so-far mild winter, with near- or above-normal water temperatures, the shad season is off to an early start. Reports are coming from the Neuse, even up to Kinston and beyond, and its spawnable brackish creeks, like the Tar River.
There are already reports of good of catches of American (white) shad, weighing up to four-pounds, and some hickory shad also being landed. Hopefully the Roanoke River will be close behind this year. Of course, water temperatures are the key.