Casting on the Coosa: Riding the struggle bus and an eyeful of lemon juice

July 2, 2020 chris
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By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent
It has been a couple of weeks since I last checked in, and I was not able to fish too much during the week before last. I did get to fish in the Gadsden Super Tournament. or at least I attempted to fish. I managed to fish for 12 hours without boating a bass. If not for my partner/brother, we would not have had anything in the live well all day. With any help whatsoever, we might have made the top 10. During the past month, I’ve been basically useless while fishing in the boat.
The tournament started with a bang for us at 4 a.m. with my boat not starting. We scrambled to switch a battery from my brother’s boat to mine, which did absolutely no good at all. When troubleshooting a problem, I rely upon my old teaching method of KISS (keep it simple, stupid).
Much like a boat battery, I don’t function well at 4 a.m. Apparently, I jumped to wrong conclusion. If you own a boat, you’ve already figured out what the problem was – I had accidentally hit the kill switch. If I had not already paid the tournament fee, I would have called it a day and gone back to bed.
The day went downhill from there. I missed five catching fish early on and failed to get a bite the rest of the day.  I also managed to hang up, brake off and backlash repeatedly. It was not one of my best days out on the river, to say the least. I’m glad that I did not sink the boat and was fortunate that no preachers were nearby to hear the obscenities uttered.
If it’s any consolation, most everyone I’ve spoken to has also been riding the struggle bus while trying to catch fish. In most of the local tournaments, it was a select few who found fish. The majority of fishermen joined me on the struggle bus. There were some solid stringers brought to the scales in the past two or three bigger tournaments, but by and large, the majority of fishermen are fighting the same battle to catch any quality fish.
I have not received any reports from the guys catching fish, but I have observed a lot of fisherman, either from my boat or my porch at the house. Most everyone is doing the same things in fishing the river grass. It may be that you just have to find the right section of grass on a given day or cover a lot of water while fishing as much grass as possible. I’ve not figured it out. If I had, I’d be writing about all the fish I’ve been catching.
It appears that I’m a permanent resident in Bergantown when it comes to just about everything. In fact, I might have to visit Capeside Fish Company just to locate a fish.
I fished this past Tuesday night with Hunter “Sticks” Fordham. We managed to land two keepers in the live well before a lightning storm hit the area. We got soaked trying to get back to the boathouse. We did catch several short fish while flipping and our keepers came in 30-second flurry on frogs. We caught back-to-back keepers, and I actually thought that we might have stumbled onto something. That was when the storm hit, of course, so my luck continued. Perhaps one day someone will lose his or her voodoo doll of me so I will again be able to locate and catch fish on a regular basis. That “Facebook memories” thing that pops up makes things worse by showing pictures of the fish I’ve caught at this time the last two years. It’s like spraying lemon juice in your eye.
This is the Fourth of July weekend, so the lake will be full of all types of people. Please pay close attention and give each other room to move on the river. Let’s show some manners and decorum by not running up on each other. If someone is fishing near the riverbank or in a cove, don’t drive right up next to their boat; give them some room.
I’m sure that there will be several people that partake of a few too many adult beverages, so be aware so that we don’t have any wrecks or trouble.
Tuesday tournament results: first place went to Nate and Jake with 9.6 pounds with a big fish of 4.21 pounds. Second place went to Lynn Johnson and “Sticks” Fordham with 8.44 pounds. Third place went to Sonny and Walter with 7.75 pounds. Wednesday tournament results: first place went to Dustin and Colby with 9.41 pounds with a big fish of 4.54 pounds. Second place went to Jeff Canon with 8.79 pounds. Third place went to Terry Tucker with 8.13 pounds.
Until next week, Happy Fourth of July! Be safe and wet a hook!