Inside the Wakefield Shad Planking

A generations-old spring cookout in Virginia

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    The Wakefield Sportsmen’s Club, in Wakefield, Virginia.

    Randy Harris

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    A freshly caught American shad.

    Randy Harris

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    Wetting a line in the James River.

    Randy Harris

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    The fire is lit before the six hours it takes to plank a shad.

    Randy Harris

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    The Wakefield Shad Planking’s roots reach back to the early 1930s, when a group of men gathered to cook shad on wooden planks along the James River.

    Randy Harris

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    Ernest Crockett with butterflied shad.

    Randy Harris

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    Crockett carries fish to the fire.

    Randy Harris

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    A row of planked shad during the smoking process.

    Randy Harris

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    Tending to the fire.

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    Prepping the shad.

    Randy Harris

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    Mopping a planked shad.

    Randy Harris

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    A planked shad.

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    Crowds gather beneath the trees.

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    A line forms at the Wakefield Shad Planking.

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    Lunch is served.

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    Attendees enjoy the food and fellowship.

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    The James River.

    Randy Harris

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