Casting on the Coosa…with Marty Dixon


A close call, flipping the grass and gone in 30 seconds

It was an eventful week of fishing over the past seven days. Weather changes and boaters were major factors. We had two larger tournaments this past weekend, so it was take-a-number-and-wait-to-fish in most places during the day. Adding to that the Coosa River was full of boaters.
I did witness one of the tournament anglers almost flipping his boat over on Saturday. He had hit a series of waves from a couple of pleasure boaters going at full speed and almost lost it. He managed to get control of the boat and continued on. The moral of the story is that all of us, fishermen and pleasure boaters alike, need to be aware of each other while enjoying our waters. I myself was turning into a cove at idle speed when a ski boat came between me and where I was going without ever slowing down. Granted, boats don’t have blinkers, but my boat was turned going into the cove. So, everyone needs to pay attention, especially since this is Memorial Day weekend and the lake will be full through Monday. Let’s show each other some respect and manners on the lake this holiday weekend.
Fishing for me this week was a mixed bag, catching few fish one way then another. The majority of the better fish appear to be being caught flipping the grass. I did catch several on my favorite frog lure.
During the Tuesday evening tournament, I missed an opportunity when a bigger fish than I had in the livewell became unbuttoned. One of my former students at Ragland High, Derick Smith (who is serving in the U.S. Army), was my partner this past week. We landed around seven pounds of fish, and the upgrade could have helped us get close to the money. But we did not weigh in. Instead, we took it to the house to shoot the bull and eat a bite. Still, we enjoyed the evening, and it is always good to see my former students and basketball players and find out how they are doing. Derick happens to be stationed in Anniston, so we stay in touch and fish from time to time. Derick is a quality net man.
The bass bite should continue to improve as the weather stabilizes with an early summer pattern. The grass seems to be the key; you just have to find the right stretches of it to do any good. Smaller fish have been caught on some of the points. I could use a report from upriver if anyone would care to pass that along that information.
My fishing days were shortened this past week with the weather and babysitting, but I enjoyed the days that I was able to get out there. Right now, I’m still doing way more casting and driving than catching. Quite frankly, I’m not sure if I could get a bite in the bass pro aquarium. I did, however, catch a few more than two weeks ago, even with the rain-shortened fishing time. On the bright side, I didn’t fall in the water or lose a rod, which is a positive thing considering the way things have been in Bergen Town.
Speaking of which, I’m reminded of fishing alone in a tournament last year. In a 30-second span, I had a 5-pound fish steal my rod as I tried to grab it. As the fish slipped out of my wet hands, I broke my $100 Duckett rod with my knee. So in that short span I lost big fish and a rod and reel while breaking another. Compared to that fiasco, it has been a good week.
Remember to get out and wet a hook Be safe on the water this Memorial Day weekend and remember why we observe this holiday.
The 35-boat Tuesday evening tournaments results were: Lynn and Sticks, first place, 9.83 pounds and big fish of 4.7-pounds; Terry Tucker, second place with 8.6 pounds; Jeff Cannon, third place with 8.25 pounds.
The 27-boat Wednesday evening tournaments re-sults were: Jeff Cannon, first place with 9.73 pounds and big fish of 5.18 pounds; Phillip and Billy, second place with 8.06 pounds; and Lynn Johnson, third place with 7.03 pounds.
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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