Casting on the Coosa – Fairy wands, frog jigs and turkey calls


By Marty Dixon/Staff correspondent

I managed a few days out on the water this past week and got to fish for a few hours with my longtime friend Tony Stonicher and his son Benson. It was midday and hot, but we had a great time. Tony is retired teacher and current coach, having just taken the defensive coordinators job at Enterprise High School. He and I grew up together in Sardis. We went pond hopping until he got an old boat his grandfather had hand built. We used to drop that old wooden boat and 15 horsepower motor in the Coosa at the old Gadsden City boat ramp and fish Neely Henry back in the day. We didn’t always catch fish, but we almost always enjoyed some sort of adventure.
Unlike today with the number of boats on the water on a daily basis, you could fish back then without too much interruption from other boaters.
The last time we fished together. Tony managed to land a leg length catfish. This time, I managed a four-pound drum. At any rate, we managed a lot of laughs with a few fish mixed in. Old friends make for great times out on the water. I will say that Tony’s catches did not count, as he failed to lip them or officially boat them, so they were considered non-catches. So, as a point of order, I won for the day with my few catches. I have Benson as a witness that said fish were not officially boated. The next day, we all got together for nice dinner at Nola’s on Broad and caught up some more. By the way, if you need any turkey calls. Tony’s side business is making turkey calls. Look him up on the Facebook at Big T’s Turkey Calls on Facebook.
Brother Butch and I competed in the Wednesday evening tournament but could not put together the limit to weigh in, so we took it to the house at around 8:30 p.m. We got the majority of our bites on a frog and swim jig. I even had one come back and hit the frog a second time, but I was looking around, so all I did was shoot the frog at Butch. I think we could have done better if Butch had stuck a hook in his hand like he did our previous time out, but I failed to talk him into taking one for the team. We’re planning on participating in a local tournament on Lake Neely Henry this Saturday, so perhaps then.
The grass bite seems to be getting some better, and it looks like you have to hop around and hit the right stretch of grass on the river.
Winners for the Wednesday evening tournament were Tayler and Nathan in first place with 10.36 pounds, Dallas and Hunter in second with 9.14 pounds and Eli and Noah in third with 6.88lbs with a 5.76-pound behemoth as an anchor.
Winners for the Tuesday evening tournament were Dallas and Hunter in first place with 10.25 pounds, Eli and Trim in second with 9.71 pounds and Cason and Chad in third with 7.44 pounds. Congratulations to all. I hope Butch and I can experience some minor success this weekend.
From myself and the grandkids, tight lines with some cooler weather 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 can be contacted at and the Neely Henry Bass Fishing page on Facebook.

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