Casting on the Coosa: Handy Hank and nut jobs in the rain


By Marty Dixon/Staff correspondent

It was an interesting week and weekend on the water with Memorial Day and the rain that followed. Memorial Day weekend saw the entire lake full of boats and jet skis. The lake did not have much room on it after lunch each day. Plenty of people were out pleasure boating, which made fishing a tough adventure. With all the boat traffic, you had to be able to ride the waves if you were fishing. I made a quick trip out but with all the boats and jet skis on the water quickly decided to come back in. I did not want to fight for a spot to fish or ride the waves.
It certainly looked like everyone was enjoying themselves while out on the water. I did manage to sneak in a little bit of early morning fishing one day before the boaters hit the water. I saw a couple of friends out fishing, talked with Adam and Jamie for a minute and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the morning, so it was a good trip.
As a general rule, I hate mornings even when fishing. That is, until I catch a fish. I then kind of recover. Otherwise, I am giant jerk until about 8 a.m. Everyone that knows me very well knows all too well about this, so that is why I usually fish alone early on unless it is an all-day tournament.
I fished with Hank Hallmark last Tuesday evening. In all honesty, I did all the fishing and Hank did all the catching. We fished through the rain and caught a few fish, just not enough to do any good for the tournament. I was a good net man, but Hank’s boat flipped with everything he caught. I will say that I was the only one smart enough to bring a rain suit. About the only thing I accomplished was to continue my Bergentown mentality of nothing good happening to me while fishing. Although I endured a tough night, Hank kept us in the ballgame and started to put together some sort of pattern.
I fished with my brother Butch on Wednesday through a ton of rain. We were forced to hide in the boat house for a while and contemplated whether to keep at it. We fished close to home and it once more looked like it we were headed to Bergentown. I accidently got a bite, which I promptly missed, but it still was plus in all the rain. I then accidently got the hook in fish and put it in the boat. Butch soon caught another, so we decided to stick it out and fish.
I then proceeded to miss seven fish in a row before finally catching one. I had a miserable time dealing with the weather but all in all it was a good trip. No one fell in the water but we were both were soaked to the bone. I’m not sure what kind of nut job fishes in that kind of mess, but I am one of them.
The bass appear to be starting to bite a little better, as evident by the weights during this week’s tournaments. The report that I received from upriver was that the bites got better with the increase of the water current. Down here on my part of the lake, everyone appears to be doing the same thing – fishing the grass in the evenings with a variety of lures, from flipping to frogs. The shad spawn has been going on early in the mornings, and some good fish have been taken on top water around areas where the spawns are taking place.
Let’s be careful traveling on the water, as we’ve had several reports of boats hitting floating logs. I did hear a good suggestion from Chief this week concerning this matter. If our marine police and game wardens would keep some type of fluorescent marker, they could attach to these floating logs so that boaters could see them in the water. These things are definitely a hazard to all boaters and jet skis. Many times, you cannot see them until it is too late. It’s not like a boat has brakes.
Tuesday night tournament results: first place was Colby and Austin with 9.23 pounds, second place was Steven and Robert with 8.86 pounds with a big fish of 4.88 pounds and third place was Tyler and Kade with 8.33 pounds.
Wednesday night tournament results: first place went to Hunter and Hunter with 11.13 pounds with a big fish of 5.27 pounds, second place was Taylor and Kade with 19.53 pounds and third place was Marty and Butch with 8.90 pounds.
Keep a hook wet and stay safe on the lake.
P.S.: I got the Coosa Cutoff put on me one time this week. Hank was loud enough to let the offending party know that we were not happy.
Marty Dixon is a 1982 Sardis High School graduate and retired high school teacher 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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