Nixon Leads on Neely Henry - Major League Fishing

Nixon Leads on Neely Henry

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Jason Nixon Photo by Rob Newell.
September 2, 2020 • Rob Newell • Toyota Series

Day one of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Neely Henry was about as grimy as can be, with only a handful of pros and co-anglers topping the 10-pound mark. In the lead on the pro side, Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Ala., took the lead with 10 pounds, 14 ounces. Out of 58 pros fishing, only 31 limits were weighed in and 9 pounds, 2 ounces is the top-10 cut after the first day. Nixon already has two Phoenix Bass Fishing League wins under his belt on Neely Henry, and the Alabama pro is well in the hunt for his biggest win yet on the Coosa River fishery.

Complete results

Stagnant water seems to be the culprit for the stagnant bite. Many pros said they saw very little water movement at both the top and bottom of Neely Henry today. Those industrious pros who went out of their way to secure tunnel hulls to run the rocky ravines of the lake’s tributary creeks all said the back ends of the creeks are chock full of mud from recent rains, yet not enough water is being pulled through the lake to “clear up” the back ends.

Nixon took the top spot on day one with a combo of four largemouths and one spotted bass.

Nixon found success in the main lake today fishing the kind of shallow willow grass he fishes on his home lake, Jordan Lake, which is just a few lakes down the Coosa River. 

“This lake sets up a lot like my home lake,” Nixon says. “In fact, I like to come up here and fish the BFLs. This lake has actually been pretty good to me over the years. I’ve won two BFLs here. But this is the toughest I’ve ever seen it. I caught six keepers all day and the closest amount of time between any two fish was an hour. I caught one fish on a moving bait and the rest all came flipping the grass.”

Like others, Nixon notes there is very little current in the lake and the only positive is that the lake is full, which is helping position the fish in the grass.

“On this lake, when the water is coming up, the fish are moving up and when the water is going down, the fish are moving out,” he says. “The water has been coming up and it’s staying flush up in that grass, which should help bring some more fish up. But if they pull the plug and that water starts dropping, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ve only got a few areas out on the main drag and I seined them pretty hard today. If that water drops, I might have to start from scratch tomorrow.”


Lavoyd Lemmond

2. Lavoyd Lemmond – Decatur, Ala. – 10-8 (5)

Fresh off a fifth-place finish at Wheeler Lake, Lavoyd Lemmond seems to shine when fishing is extra challenging. He has discovered a cure for the summertime fishing blues and he is making it work again. Today he found himself in second place at an even tougher Neely Henry Lake.

“I’m doing about like I did at Wheeler,” Lemmond says. “I’m going as far back in a creek as I can get, putting my head down and just fishing. I’m pitching a jig and a big worm to weeds and wood.”

Lavoyd’s weight today came in large part to a 4-pound, 5-ounce largemouth, which won the day’s big bass award. He also caught a 3-pound spotted bass. 

“The big one hit a jig in a treetop at about 12:30,” he says. “When I got that one in the boat I breathed a huge sigh of relief because I knew as tough as the bite was, my day was made.”


Derick Hicks

3. Derek Hicks – Rocky Face, Ga. – 10 – 7 (5)

Derek Hicks towed his tunnel boat to Neely Henry to practice and after a couple days of fruitless returns, he towed it all the way back to Georgia and brought back his regular fiberglass bass boat for the tournament.

“I tried the tunnel hull deal here and it just didn’t work for me,” he says. “In some places the water was too low and in other places it was too muddy. Once I knew it wouldn’t do me any good, I decided to take it back and get my big boat and just fish in the main river. They’re not generating enough water to make that tunnel hull work for me.”

From his position in third place, Hicks’ decision looks to be a good one.

“I’ve got about a mile and a half stretch up the river that seems to be pretty productive,” he says. “I caught 12 keepers today and my co-angler did pretty well too. So, I’m going back for another dose tomorrow.”


Cal Lane

4. Cal Lane – Guntersville, Ala. – 9-12 (5) 

Cal Lane, son of former Bassmaster Classic winner Chris Lane, went on a junk-fishing tear down Neely Henry today and ended up in the fourth-place spot.

“Running, gunning and fishing what looks good to me is what I love to do and this lake seems to set up perfect for it,” Lane says. “We had perfect weather for that kind of junk fishing this morning – clouds, a little light rain and some wind – so I chased the wind down the lake with a topwater.”

“I was just fishing whatever looked good,” he continues. “Some of the places I fished today I’ve never seen before. I’d catch one on a stretch, crank up, run down the lake and find another stretch that looked right and fish it. By the end of the day, I ended up with five keepers and lost a great big one.”


Top 10 pros

1. Jason Nixon – Wetumpka, Ala. – 10-14 (5) 

2. Lavoyd Lemmond – Decatur, Ala. – 10-8 (5) 

3. Derek Hicks – Rocky Face, Ga. – 10-7 (5) 

4. Cal Lane – Guntersville, Ala. – 9-12 (5) 

5. Jeff Cannon – Douglasville, Ga. – 9-11 (5)

6. Terry Tucker – Gadsden, Ala. – 9-9 (5) 

7. Hunter Hayes – Gadsden, Ala. – 9-7 (5)

8. Adam Brown – Rainbow City, Ala. – 9-4 (5) 

8. Johnny McCombs – Morris, Ala. – 9-4 (5)

10. Lynn Johnson – Attalla, Ala. – 9-3 (5) 

Complete results


Chilcott leads co-anglers

Joseph Chilcott of Crestview, Fla., heads up the co-anglers on Neely Henry Lake with a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce.

Chilcott got a unique fishing experience today, getting to ride along with local pro Adam Brown of Rainbow City, Ala., in Brown’s custom-crafted tunnel hull boat. The pair got to do some shoal jumping in the tunnel hull and Chilcott was the beneficiary of some untapped fishing waters.

Complete results