Over the last couple of days, we’ve caught around 50 shad on each trip fishing the Tar River. The Tar River is different than the Roanoke. It has a much different feel. The scenery is spectacular, particularly after the trees leaf out. In my opinion, the Tar is the best out of the three (Neuse, Tar, Roanoke) to catch American Shad. It has tons of Hickories as well. This fishing is fun on spinning rods as well as fly rods. It’s much shallower and a bit more narrow and easier to drift and fish.
We like the drifting and fishing style of fishing on the Tar, as opposed to the more traditional method of finding a good spot, anchoring, and making the same cast over and over. Drift fishing the Tar is the closest thing to western North Carolina drift boat fishing we can do in the east, so if you are a fan of drifting with the current and seeing some river mileage along the way while experiencing some great fishing, this fishery is for you. Depending on when you come, you’ll catch the anadromous hickory and American shad and striped bass, and a variety of freshwater species such as largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and white perch…….on conventional spinning gear and lures and fly tackle.
Over the last several years, I’ve discovered the joys of drift boat fishing for trout, smallmouth (my personal favorite), and musky on the fast flowing rivers in Western North Carolina, Southwestern Virginia, and Northeast Tennessee. It’s been a dream for me for quite some time to offer these types of trips on some of our rivers in Eastern NC. Upon doing further research into our fisheries, I discovered that while it’s tough to replace the feel of being in a drift boat or raft with a guide in the middle oaring you down the river, it’s just too restrictive on our rivers. Drifting out of a skiff with a trolling motor is much more versatile and it gives us the ability to launch and return to the same ramp and fish separate reaches of river in one outing. I now have the setup to do just that, and we’ve been doing it the past couple of years with huge success during the late winter and spring shad and striper season. If you are a western NC drift boat fisherman, you will enjoy these types of trips on our eastern rivers.
Next openings for shad or striper fishing: Mar. 12, 14, 28, 30