Casting on the Coosa: A friendly carp and a custom straitjacket


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

I’ve not much to report on fishing this past week since I‘ve been unable to get out on the river. The boat is still in the shop for repairs. In addition, I managed to tear up my pontoon, as it will not crank.

In order to eat fish this past week, I had to visit Capeside Fish Company in Rainbow City for dinner. The fish taco was excellent, but I’m not sure the staff appreciated my hooking said taco up to my fishing rod and fighting it onto the table.

My plans are to fish on Friday, even if I have to put my dang canoe in the water to do so. The way my luck has been going with boats and fishing, I’ll get nary a bite and sink the canoe in the process. I swear that I can kill a good fish bite by showing up and tearing up a boat merely by thinking of getting on board. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I go into withdrawals when I can’t fish at my leisure. I did get to fish some, but it was for crappie at night in the boat house (FYI: I did manage to catch a few of those).

In my defense, I have accomplished a few things while the boat has been in dry dock. I pressure washed the porch, relined rods, moved tackle and watched lures bob in water all week from my dock. More importantly, I trained the carp that hang around my dock to come out when I walk out on it. One particular carp has been nosing around my pier for the past three years. I know that for a fact because it has a funny looking lip from being caught. I should give him a name since he has been with me so long.

It appears that a few fish are being taken deep on a Carolina rig, but judging where I’ve observed that the vast majority appear to be coming from the grass. Another factor has been the willow fly hatch on various parts of the lake. I spoke to a former high school principal who will remain nameless who caught several fish just off the river flipping a red shad worm. I think a lot of it is hit or miss. If you hit the right patch of grass, you can catch one or two before moving on to the next patch.

With any luck, this time next week I will have been on the water several times. If not, my shirt will probably be a custom fit job with the sleeves wrapped around and tied in the back.

A reminder that we have back-to-back BFL tournaments on the lake this weekend. These tournaments usually have a minimum of 100 boats. Both tournaments are out of Coosa Landing. I assume there will also be a few club tournaments as well. Look for the river to be crowded for most of Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday tournament results: first place went to Austin and Colby with 10.19 pounds with a big fish of 6.28 pounds; second place went to Lynn Johnson with 8.67 pounds and third place went to Joe and Fred with 8.51 pounds.

Wednesday tournament results: first place went to David and Renee with 10.62 pounds; second place went to Dallas and Hunter with 9.52 pounds and third place went to Terry “The Legend” Tucker with 8.69 pounds. Sonny and Walter landed the big fish, which weighed in at 5.2 pounds.

Someone please wet a hook for me, as I cannot do so myself right now. If you would, please send any fishing reports you may have to my contact information listed below.

Be safe on the water this weekend and please be aware of the other boaters and fisherman up and down the river. If someone gets arrested for fishing in the Bass Pro Tank, it won’t be me!

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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