Casting on the Coosa: A Gray area and on the Money


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

I’ve been on the water several times over the past week. They were short trips, but any fishing trip is good fishing trip. I managed to make a few more fishing bu-ddies. I caught several fish on Thursday around rip rap while throwing a medium crankbait. I decided to run up north near Goat Island. While I was there, a guy idled up and we struck up a conversation. We spent more time talking than fishing. His name is Rod Gray and is a retired teacher and coach like me.
When he drew close en-ough in his boat, I told him my name, because that is one of the few things I can still remember on a daily basis. We talked about fishing as well as people we know. It’s always nice to meet some of the good guys out on the water. Ray said he recognized me from the photo associated with this column, and I immediately apologized for the quality my writing. So since I’ve been recognized this one time, I’ve promoted myself to local icon status.
Friday’s fishing was a quick trip close by, since we had to keep Finley for the day. I did run into Honest Eric Hubbard, who will be henceforth referred to in this column as Mike Slocumb since he is the Alabama Hammer. Eric was onto some fish while cranking some rock and points. I did not catch much, but since my trip did not start on a good note, I did not expect to. After I had fixed a jig and got it dropped just right it into the water, I was forced to cut the line and watch five dollars sink to the bottom of the river. If you’d like to find a way to feel foolish, that’s as good a way as any.
Saturday was a no go for me on the lake, but Mitch “Big Money” Morgan put the screws to a number of unsuspecting fish. He caught so many nice ones that he experienced shoulder trouble on the way back to the dock. Tim Heard managed to send me a picture of a five-pounder he caught in shallow water on Saturday, but I’m not counting it since he caught it at Weiss Lake. Eric (excuse me, The Alabama Hammer) was on them on Sunday, again throwing that crankbait.
Monday and Tuesday’s fishing was slow, as there were only a few small fish around the rocks. Brother Butch got out on the water early with Jonathon Nix, one of his former football players at West End High School and now head football coach at Pleasant Valley. They somehow ran into some good crappie. They caught a decent number, including a 2.1 and a 2.75 pounder. Jonathan’s been catching good numbers and size over the last three weeks, so I plan on talking with him sometime this week about what he is doing to enjoy such success. I will hear what he has to say and provide a crappie report in next week’s column.
I went to fish on Tuesday, but I ran into and ended up talking with another fisherman, Daniel Moss, far longer than I fished. I apologized to Daniel for inadvertently pulling the Coosa Cutoff on him, but he assured me that did not cut him off. We discussed fishing and some other fishermen that we both knew while we floated down the river for nearly an hour. I proved once again that there are way more good guys out there on the water than bad ones. That’s one reason why I enjoy fishing. Some guys may be really secretive about what they use and where they go, but most are genuinely good people.
By the way, while fishing on Sunday with Butch for a quick trip, I actually hooked and caught a 10 pounder – rock, that is. I landed it without a net and released the rock to be caught again by some fortunate angler, because that’s the kind of icon I am. It was my first rock caught on a crankbait in my entire life. I’ve caught several lures and even a fishing rod and reel, but I’ve never landed a rock in open water.
On that note, I will suggest that everyone make a wake and go fishing.
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 may be contacted at and the Neely Henry Bass Fishing page on Facebook.

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