Casting on the Coosa: Dodging with The Hammer and backlashing with Brother Butch


By  Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

It has been a busy week out on the lake since last week’s column. We had good weather and a clearing river, so some good stringers were caught. Even I boated a 5-pounder, proof that a blind squirrel finds an acorn every so often. We had a few tournaments over the past week and one heavyweight stringer brought in. The week before the Gadsden City Tournament, I fished around from Southside north, catching a few here and there, with a majority being shallow bed fish.
Let’s get to the tournament results for the weekend of some guys that can really put them in the boat. The big winners in last Saturday’s Gadsden City Tournament were Kade Kitchens and Joe Kirk with a large bag of 21.56 pounds. Second place went to Kris and Kyle Colley with 17.99 pounds. Third place went to Chris Peters and Gavin Ainslie with 17.70 pounds. Eric “The Hammer” Hubbard and I finished in the middle of the pack with around 11 pounds. Eric was saddled with an albatross as a part-ner, because once again I dodged when I should have dipped.
But enough of my loser mentality. I was able to sit down (so to speak) with Kade, one of our local young guns that is always a threat, a true Neely Hen-ry sledgehammer. Kade fin-ished fourth in Sunday’s Five Alive Tournament, noting that he left seven or eight pounds out there. Congratulations to all the big winners in the two tour-naments. I asked Kade what the key was to his win. His response? Staying up past 1:30 a.m. and wearing his lucky shirt.
What Kade actually did was capitalize on an early topwater bite. He got a good limit at his first stop, so that let him just go fishing the rest of the day. The early bite was key, with two nice fish early on. According to Kade, it was one of those days when everything lined up and went right for him and his partner.
There was one exception, however. Kade’s partner Joe was fishing in the back of the boat when Kade set the hook into one of their biggest fish. Joe dropped everything to help boat it and was so preoccupied with netting Kade’s fish that his rod dropped into the lake. After Joe retrieved the net, Kade greeted him with a five-plus pounder to the chest. After gathered himself, Joe realized the absence to his fishing rod, but they got the rod back after a few minutes of digging around. After their first limit, Kade and Joe were able to upgrade three fish by hunting bedding fish.
Five Alive had a good turn out and was well run. I fished with Brother Butch. We let the wheels run off early and never recovered. I should have slept in and let him fish without the albatross in the boat, because I ended up weighing in just for the points. The big winners were Joe Croft and Jake Akin with 17.73 pounds. Second place went to Greg Diggs and Adam Brown with 15.95 pounds and third place went to Steven White and Dakota Bellew with 15.46 pounds. Most of the top finishers were fishing in shallow waters.
On a side note, Butch accomplished a first by backlashing a reel beyond use while sitting in the boat retying a bait. That was a new one for our team. As I mentioned earlier, we spun out early and never re-covered. I jumped a three-pounder off and could not get back going. We weighed in early and limped on home in a foul temper.
Tuesday night only fur-ther injured my feelings. I fished my first weekly tour-nament one of the year, just to get out and mix it up. The usual gang was there. I got see The Chief and caught up a little bit. I also spoke Terry “The Coosa King” Tucker for a few minutes. That was a pleasure.
Terry was shopping and holding court with some of the guys. I did my usual in missing more than I caught. I fished until the end of the tournament and drove on home. There was no use in furthering my disgusting display of fishing by weighing in. Steven and Robert were the big dogs of the night with 12.70 pounds, with and a chunk that being their 6.56l-pound big fish. Second place went to Jeff Cannon and Terry Tucker with 11.55 pounds, while third was the Double J duo of Joe and Joe with 9.74 pounds.
I’m running out of both space and patience, so I will let you go for this week. Hit the river and enjoy what we have that is so readily available to us. Chunk and wind all you can. Here’s to sunny days and tight lines!
P.S. I would be remiss to not mention that Hurricane Anna and I did catch a few fish in the boat house. She managed to hook one alone and reeled it in. She also got to walk around and show off her catch before releasing the fish to go back home. Of course, Anna told each fish goodbye and that she would see them later. I hope she is a better fisherman than her Pops.
Marty Dixon is a 1982 Sardis High School grad-uate 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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