Casting on the Coosa: Jonathan’s jig and riding The Hammer’s coattails


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

We have had a variety of weather over the past week, so it’s has been a mixed bag of tricks catching fish. I’ll start with a crappie fishing report. Jonathan Nix, who is the head football coach up the road at Pleasant Valley High School, is an excellent crappie fisherman. He manages to stay on the fish while getting out once or twice a week.
Jonathon experienced several good days the last couple of weeks while catching multiple two-pound-plus fish. His best days have been when there was little or no current; when the current kicks up, the fishing drops off on his current pattern. This is a polar opposite to what the bass have been doing for most people I’ve spoken with. Jonathan is trolling at a minimum speed using his Panoptix to locate schools of bait fish and the bigger crappie feeding on them. He’s been running this pattern for a few weeks, and it has held up for him. Jonathan is using a two-minnow rig bumping along the bottom while using both of his depth finders to stay on top of the fish. Jonathon has some limited days open to fish guide if anyone is interested. He can be reached at Jonathan is good guy to fish with.
The bass fishing has been all over the place for me one, day fair and the next I stink. So, I’ll share information that I’ve stolen from several of my fishing buddies. Eric “The Alabama Hammer” has consistently been putting fish in the boat. Friday was an exceptional day for The Hammer. He two spotted bass in the four-pound range and seven more between two and three pounds. He’s been using a moving bait bite throwing crankbait along some rip rap banks.
I ran into Eric on the lake three or four days over the past week, including Thanksgiving Day. I think his bite was consistent until Sunday morning. I’m not sure how this cooling down will affect his success, but I’ve got to get him into the woods deer hunting. I might catch something he’s not already caught.
Brother Butch has been catching some large mouth throwing a spinner bait around the wood. He is covering a lot of water but getting some good bites. His fish have had pretty good size, just not as many. Butch has traveled all over the lake to get those fish. It’s been good bite for him; he’s just had to make a lot of stops.
My bite, or lack thereof, has been all over the place. Granted, I’ve only been fishing two hours at a time, but I’ve had no hard line pattern. I ‘ve ridden The Hammer’s coattails catching some fish on a crank bait around the same areas as him. He felt sorry for me one day and gave me one of his magic baits that he’s caught 90 percent of his fish on. Thanks for the bait, Eric.
On Thanksgiving I got out mid-morning for a few hours. I caught maybe two fish. I stayed close to home since I had to smoke a turkey breast for my son’s family. We did like most folks and kept our Thanksgiving small with just our son’s family. All of the girls came over and ate, and we went outside and played.
I spent most of rest of the week throwing a crankbait off and on, with mixed results. I caught a few pre-Iron Bowl fish before coming in and playing with the Finley while watching the football game.
I got out before the rain and cold weather hit on Sunday. I threw a crankbait for about an hour with only one fish, so I changed plans in mid-stream. I started throwing a half-ounce jig around rock and current breaks and had some success. I caught several spots bumping the rocks and dragging it along the bottom.
For some stupid reason, I decided not to dress warm enough, so I did not fish for as long as I had planned. The wind and dropping temperature sent me packing. I no longer have a high tolerance for the cold. I took it to the house on a positive note for a change, catching several fish on the jig and quitting on a high note.
The conditions on Monday and Tuesday were just too rough for this old man to fish. I’m hoping to get out Wednesday and see where the fish are located. If they’re smart, they’ll stay inside where it’s nice and warm.
Find time to get out on the lake when the weather permits.
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 may be contacted at and the Neely Henry Bass Fishing page on Facebook.

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