Casting on the Coosa…with Marty Dixon


Let’s 86 the Coosa River Cutoff

I managed to get out on the river this week between working at Silver Lakes golf course and being a grandpa. As always, it is a privilege to be on Neely Henry Lake throwing a jig in shallow water and catching a few fish.
While I was out fishing, I was rudely reminded of something that bothers me and many other fishermen – being out fishing either just for fun or competing in a tournament and having someone pull in front of you while fishing an area. My brother and I termed the maneuver as the Coosa River Cutoff, which occurs when someone does not acknowledge you are fishing an area and pulls directly in front of you. Usually they do not make eye contact because they know they should not do this at all.
Most people are very courteous on the lake. Over the last few years, however, more and more people have displayed a lack of manners by executing the cutoff.
Really, guys, it is a big lake and there is plenty of room for everyone. There is no reason to pull up 30 yards in front of someone going the same direction, drop your trolling motor and start fishing. If someone is fishing along an area of shoreline, it is not acceptable to jump in front of them. It is true that no one person owns the lake, but please show some sort of manners. If someone tried something similar in a checkout line at a store, you probably would have a fight on your hands.
It just so happens this very thing happened to me this past week.
I was fishing a shallow shoreline when two guys in a nice bass boat drove around me, shut down their motor and began fishing. Not only did they wash out the area I was fishing in, they proceeded to fish in the area directly in front of me.
Before you cut in front of someone who is fishing on the lake, at least have the courtesy to make eye contact and ask if it is okay to move in front. We’re not talking 100 yards away; just close enough to throw a rock. It does not matter if you are in a tournament and they are not. It is just a case of having good manners when on the water. The Coosa River Cutoff needs to stop.
Now that I have that issue off my chest, we fished a tournament with 11 boats on Wednesday evening. First place went to Sonny and Walter with 10.01 pounds. Second place went to Jamin and Brian with 8.49 pounds. The biggest fish weighed 4.94 pounds. I did not do too well with only one keeper, but it was fun mixing it up with the guys. My brother and I could just not find out where the fish were. Apparently, the fish we found over the weekend packed up and moved out of town.
I look forward to seeing you on the Coosa; just don’t cut me off. Keep a hook in the water!
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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