Casting on the Coosa: A bad case of the Bergen Town Blues


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent
I’ve been out on the water a good bit over the past week and have a couple of tournaments to report on. Let’s get that out of the way first.
Saturday, March 13, was the second of four 5 Alive bass tournaments on Neely Henry Lake this spring so I’d like to give a shout-out to our tournament winners. Ma-brey and Mabrey took first place with 17.33 pounds, McKnight and Estes took second with 16.86 pounds and Kade Kitchens took third with 16.18 pounds and big fish of 5.48 pounds. We had a total of 52 boats participate.
While on the subject of Kade, I’d like to announce that he has been given an official upgrade in status to Hammer. As many of you know, Kade is a fishing buddy of mine. He’s also a former standout wrestler at Southside, so be careful of the belly to back suplex when he’s in the vicinity.
We finished so far back in the tournament that we could not see the winners without a ladder. My day was a struggle, bobbing when I should have been weaving and weaving when I should have been bobbing, with the river delivering the knockout blow in the third round. I will say that it was a great day to be on the river, the one positive for the day for me.
The Tuesday/Wednesday tournaments kicked off on Tuesday night with 11 boats participating. Kade and Tyler took first place with 10.09 pounds and Sonny and Walter finished second with 6.9 pounds, with Jacob weighing in a 5.52-pound toad for big fish. This season there is a one-time registration fee of $20 per person to fish this evening trail. The cost to fish is $30 per boat maximum of two per boat per event. It is a three-fish tournament with a 14-inch size limit.
As for my angling prowess, I got out some on Sunday, but very little fishing was done. I had to get out with my wife Texann in the boat for a while and we just looked around for a while. I did run across several bedding fish, so we do have some coming shallow. I’m not sure how the weather on Wednesday night/Thursday morning affected the fish. The bottom dropped out of the water before it got here in anticipation of the rain. I’m sure that and the resulting mud will put off the fish a little bit for a day or so.
Last Monday afternoon I landed a 4.5-pound bass. Where was that fish on Saturday? Tuesday was more Bergen town, as I lost a good fish by the boat. Wednesday was a no-go due to the weather after lunch. I do think the morning bite was on, as one of my buddies enjoyed a good morning before he got wet and came in.
I hope to be leaving Bergen Town soon and get to the troll village, where things are happy with tight lines and big fish. It has been so long since I’ve been there that I might not recognize anyone. I have no plans to give in and quit, however. I may change boats if I can find the right one; if not, I’ll continue to use The Stump Jumper.
Don’t give in; stay on the hunt for the Big Green Machine! Until next time, go rip some lips!

Marty Dixon is a 1982 Sardis High School graduate and retired high school educator and coach. He was head coach of the Gadsden State women’s basketball team from 2015 to 2019. He and his wife Texann live in Gadsden. He can be contacted at and the Neely Henry Bass Fishing page on Facebook.

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