Casting on the Coosa: white elephants, lost crankbaits and a suit of steak


By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent

It has been a few weeks since my last set of ramblings. I managed to spend time with the grandkids, celebrate Christmas and ring in a new year.
First things first. Let’s address the white elephant in the room. The rendering plant issue is getting all kinds of publicity over the past few weeks. As a fisherman and someone that lives on the lake, I’m not convinced that this plant is something we need. We do need some new industry in the area, especially with the loss of Goodyear, but I feel that in this case, the negatives far out way the positives.
For instance, the odor that goes along with this type of plant and the wastewater that the water department has decided that it can clean and put back into the ecosystem. It’s been my experience with many of these type plants that it is cheaper to pay a fine to ADEM than fix any problems that arise. If one of those problems gets into our lake, however, it cannot be undone. That’s my take on this particular situation; take it for what it is worth. Keep in mind that my opinion and a dollar might buy you a cup of Jack’s coffee.
Leading off what little of a fishing report that I’ve put together, I’m stinking it up so far this winter. My last few trips resulted in three lost crankbaits and zero – I repeat, zero – bites. I have not exactly hit the river wide open and fished all day, but I’ve made a few short trips. Brother Butch caught a cou-ple of fish the other day, which were the first fish I’d seen in a couple of weeks. If anyone is catching anything on the river, I’d appreciate a message or e-mail with what’s going on so I can include it for the next article.
I fished last Sunday for a bit, throwing out 12 different rods trying to get a bite. According to one of the reports I saw on Facebook, someone is catching some numbers by throwing rattle traps and square bills. Perhaps they did, but I have not been involved. Even Eric “The Hammer” Hubbard has been deer hunting instead of being out on the water fishing. By no means am I quitting; I’ve just got to find a few elusive fish. Fishing during this time of year is as much being in the right place at the right time than any other season. With the water temperature in the 40s, fish only eat every two to three days. The water temperature has been around the 45-degree mark for several days. Maybe I can catch a break soon and find a few fish, although I’m not sure if I could get a bite right now if I wore a steak suit in a room of Rottweilers.
My days off water have not been completely unproductive. I’ve managed to work on some of my tackle by replacing some hooks. I also got rid of some stuff that just took up space and made some modifications on a few jigs. One thing I always do this time of year is rearrange all of my tackle and try to get more organized. I stink at doing that, but it does help with motivation and get a few things fixed.
If you are looking for something to do this time of year to spark your motivation, I suggest tearing into your tackle and getting more organized. I attempt to do this every year, and by April my boat still looks like a fishing flea market on the deck. Lures are scattered all over the place and far too many rods are lying about. On the bright side, this is always good way to find things you forgot you had.
Since I fish from a tin rig, getting rid of some weight is also important. This year I’m trying to compartmentalize better so that I can remove things piece at a time that is not in season. One product that seems to be a bonus so far this year are the KVD worm bags. The larger ones hold 16 to 29 packs of plastic so that you can use several bags to break your plastics down.
Something else I hate to do that I’ve done better on this year is breaking down my reels. I cleaned and oiled every one of them, and I hope this will help them to be smoother as well as extend their lives.
That’s about all I have for now. Hopefully I can locate a bite somewhere and pass on some relevant information. Remember to be safe on the water this time of year. I’ve posted several tournaments and tournament trails on the Neely Henry Bass Fishing site on Facebook. We now have over 2,200 members, so check it out for some entertainment and relevant fishing information.
For now, signing off from the river. 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 may be contacted at and the Neely Henry Bass Fishing page on Facebook.

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