Casting on the Coosa: I prefer my fish hardboiled


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

Another week has gone by, and the Coosa River is still recovering from the flooding. Upriver is still muddy and two feet high, while the lower end is muddy and four feet low. The City of Gadsden moved its fishing tournament to April 17. The 5 Alive Tournament has been moved to Sunday, April 18. I appreciate 5 Alive making the adjustment on short notice, because the city had to cancel with the river in such turmoil.
I personally did not like the tournament dates at all. I was scheduled to fish both with different partners. For me at least, this would have been an impossibility, since I have not mastered the ability to be at two places at one time. I do wish that the city would have at least consulted and gotten input from the local tournament that they planned to schedule on top of. The 5 Alive Tournament had been on the books since last year and is on the Neely Henry Tournament Trail. But, alas, they failed to do so, so people like myself were in scramble mode. The best I got was, “We can refund your money, and we’re sorry that you were scheduled with different partners.”
I do wish to extend thanks to 5 Alive for showing some compassion for folks like myself who were affected and moved their tournament. So, if you are looking for a tournament on Sunday, April 18, give them a try. Contact them on Facebook at 5 Alive Neely Henry. Mr. Stout is the tournament director and is easy to get in touch with.
I don’t have much of a fishing report this week, as I’m still stinking it up on the catching part of catch and release. I got out a few times with meager results. Brother Butch managed to hem up a few in shallow water. With the water like it currently is, shallow is about the only place to fish, unless you can fight the current. The water temperature is mid 60s, so it’s time for the spawn. A few others have caught a few fish while flipping shallow cover.
For me, the is a lot like the Easter egg hunt I enjoyed with my grandkids Anna, Finley and Zailyn last Sunday. The eggs had to be in plain sight with some adult help to find them. My fishing is that way; I need the fish in plain sight and someone to point them out to me. I can’t seem to find the prize egg; like the grandchildren, I keep getting the hardboiled leftovers from last year. I will say it was a blast watching them get out and run around in the yard and crawl on Pop’s sparkle boat.
With any luck, the river will start to stabilize over the next few days so the fish and fishermen can get into some sort of pattern. Take care if you are on the river, because the water around Minnesota Bend and the city water plant is churning like a washing machine. If you go below the bend over the next few days, it is like driving downhill because the water level is so low.
In Tuesday tournament results with 17 boats, Brandon Craft busted the scales at 13.23 pounds with a big fish of 4.76 pounds. Second place went to Sonny and Walter with 6.84 pounds, and third was Pockets and Greg with 6.05 pounds.
In Wednesday results with 20 boats, first place went to Brian Davenport with 11pounds, second place was Lynn and Sticks with 7.73 pounds and third was Sonny and Walter with 7.18 pounds.
Many thanks to Chief Bridenbaugh for forwarding the results. The Chief does an excellent job with the tournaments in sacrificing his time for the cause. I ran into him earlier in the week, and it is always a pleasure to shoot the breeze with him. We talked fishing, as always, along with a little family news.
Stay safe on the lake. It is still rolling current and mud. Until next week, tight lines and a low pollen count!
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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