Casting on the Coosa: Frightened serpents, fish lockjaw and Honest Eric


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

It was an eventful week and weekend of the Fourth of July. There was a lot of fishing but not much catching. The holiday weekend brought out anything with a motor that floats out on the river and lake, as well as fireworks. Other than early in the morning, fishing this past weekend was almost impossible with all the boat traffic. Everyone was zipping up and down, so if you tried to fish after 10 a.m., you were riding the wake waves.
Now to the escapades of the past week of attempting to fish, if you could call it that. I’m here to say that what I’d been doing is evidently all wrong. What I do seem to accomplish is finding new and inventive ways to mess everything up.
Just two examples: I managed to lose a fishing rod and reel, and I hit a boat wake and bounced a rod and reel into the lake. I suppose those incidents were just another way to stay in Bergantown. One thing for sure is that if you’d prefer the bass bite to die, by all means bring me aboard. We can talk about going fishing and then move on shore.
I did land a few junk fishing this past week. I caught one in the grass, one on the docks and one in a brush pile. Most of the fish I’ve caught of late have been below Minnesota Bend. Evidently all the fish near my house suffer from lockjaw when I hit the water.
I would be remiss in not mentioning a few events that occurred this past week to someone other than myself, the first being my brother Butch, who managed to pick up an unwanted passenger in his boat. While driving down the lake, Butch felt something on his ankle, only to raise up and see a 4-foot-long rat snake crawling on the bottom of his boat. I think both man and serpent were equally frightened. The snake had been in the boat for over a week but chose to reveal itself while Butch was going full speed. My brother admitted that he wanted to bail out but did not want to do so with the boat running. The situation resolved itself when said snake made it into the water, and Butch got a good photo out of the deal.
On a positive note, my friend Mitch had a cooler that contained his wallet and glasses blow out of his boat. He offered a reward if anyone could find said cooler. Would you believe that a few days later, a fisherman named Eric Hubbard found it. Eric would not take a penny for returning the cooler or its contents.
It just proves that there are still good people out there and that lots of them fish. We take care of each other. It is almost like a fraternity, except that no one shares where he or she catches a fish or how said fish was caught. A big thanks to Eric! Mitch and I need to visit the casino since we badly need some of that luck, especially while fishing.
Tuesday tournament results: Brian Smith took first place with 7.72 pounds and a big fish of 3.75 pounds. Second place went to Derek and Dennis with 7.34 pounds. Third place went to Hunter and Jimmy with 7.09 pounds.
Wednesday night tournament results: Jeff Cannon took first place with 8.81 pounds and big fish of 3.94 pounds. Second place went to Lucas and Michail with 8.01 pounds. Third place went to Keith and Johnny with 7.62 pounds.
Tight lines to all!
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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