Casting on the Coosa: Grief from The Chief and homage to The King


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

It has been a mixed bag of fishing this past week – go out one day and catch a couple of decent sized fish and do the same thing the next day and get nothing. I was unable to fish any this past weekend since we kept the Hurricane Anna all weekend.
I did get out Thursday and managed to land a couple of decent fish flipping around in the grass out on the river. Me and The Hurricane managed to catch a few small crappie in the boat house. She was patient and had to hug each fish before we let it go.
We also worked in a few boat rides in Pop’s boat over the weekend and ran into the King of Neely Henry, Terry Tucker, who informed us that the fishing was still tough for him.
My wife and I got out on the river Monday evening for a short trip and, while she read her book, I managed to catch a few smaller fish by flipping a worm around in the grass. Even in the evening, the heat has been brutal. We fished around the house and then drove around to cool off some.
On Tuesday evening, my brother Butch and I fished the evening tournament out of Coosa Landing. As usual, we managed only two fish. You can catch some of the action on the youtube channel bass junky.
We caught both fish in the first 30 minutes of the tournament while flipping some brush and proceeded to go biteless over the next three hours. I don’t have to worry about catching the coronavirus, because right now I can’t catch anything. We fished a variety of cover, from brush to grass. I did manage to break off and hang up numerous times, so I had that going for me. On the plus side, I didn’t burn much gas running all over the river.
Butch couldn’t make the Wednesday evening tournament, so I fished for both of us. I actually managed to run into a few fish and finished second. Only by the grace of God did I run into some fish willing to bite while rolling a spinnerbait. It was cloudy when we blasted off, so I threw that around for a few minutes and a couple of nice fish were foolish enough to bite. After an initial flurry, I went without a bite for a good while as I flipped around the grass. Once again, I didn’t burn off a gallon of gas.
I finally ran down toward the house and managed to land another keeper (spotted bass) while throwing a new crankbait. I’m not sure if the fish bit or accidentally ran into the lure, but it got a mouthful of hooks and came into the boat with a little coaxing.
I hope to get back out on the water some more this week and weekend. If I can manage to get up early enough, I need to do some morning fishing. The problem I have in the mornings as I get older is that I can’t stand to be around myself that early, much less anyone else, at least until I land a fish in the boat.
On the brighter side of things, I didn’t manage to tear up too many things, only a few break offs. I even managed to unhang a $12 crankbait twice, so I’m on fire at the moment. A month ago, I would have lost the crankbait and broken the rod.
In Tuesday’s tournament, first place went to Jamon and Will with 6.95 pounds and big fish of 3.74l pounds; second place went to Jones and Pockets with 6.20 pounds; and third place went to Fred and Sonny with 5.92 pounds.
In Wednesday’s tournament, Johnny Watson and Jacob Brown took first place with 8.55 pounds and big fish 0f 4.04 pounds and second place went to Marty and Butch Dixon with 6.78 pounds.
Next week’s tournament will go to the fall season hours of 5 to 8 p.m.
Note: I had a good bull session with Jim (Chief) Bridenbaugh after Wednesday’s tournament.
Chief is an interesting guy who does a lot with the Tuesday and Wednesday tournaments, as well as fishing on Neely Henry in general. I also took some grief from Terry Tucker because I somehow got to weigh in this week.
Both of these guys are staples on the river and are good people and good fishermen. Terry usually holds court before each tournament in the parking lot or in the store. A big thanks goes out to The Chief for all he does to put on these tournaments, in particular for heading last out so he can start the other boats and heading in early in for the weigh-in. Just to show some gratitude, I think we need to let him have a five-minute head start at one of our tournaments. At the very least, any of you guys that fish on Tuesday or Wednesday need to give The Chief a big thank you the next time you see him.
Until next week, tight lines and good luck out on the river!
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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