Larry Nixon, better known in the bass fishing world as “The General”, has been fishing since he was a young fella. Larry, an Arkansas native, spent weekends fishing and camping at Greers Ferry. When he was sixteen, the owner of a store at the lake needed a fishing guide and put Larry in a boat. The owner believed Nixon probably knew more about the lake than anyone else. This job started Larry’s guiding career. Larry Nixon said he fished his first big tournament in 1966/67 on Greers Ferry. Fishing from a Ranger boat powered with a 35 horse power engine, Larry finished in 4th place.
In 1972, Larry moved to Toledo Bend and guided for about five years. In 1977, Larry fished his first B.A.S.S. event, winning his first Bassmaster Classic in 1983 on the Ohio River. Larry toted home a check for $40,000.00 for his efforts. Classic winning payouts have greatly increased from 1983 to the $300,000.00 that Casey Ashley just took home. Larry has had a very successful bass fishing career with twenty-five Bassmaster Classic appearances; nine of which he finished in the Top 10. Mr. Nixon has also fished in 14 FLW Cup events, won 10 fully rigged bass boats, and best of all, he isn’t finished yet!
I asked Larry, how he became “The General”. According to Larry, it happened a long time ago. He was fishing a tournament on Wheeler Lake and had been fishing way up the lake; his efforts thus far had him in 10th place. On the last day of the tournament, everyone headed to the same spot to fish. However, the wind started blowing from the southeast. Larry said, “I stopped the boat half way to the place I had been fishing. When my cameraman asked me what I was doing, I told him I couldn’t catch fish up ‘there’ with these windy conditions.” Larry continued his story saying he turned and ran back to the dam. Larry finished the story saying, “I came in for the final weigh in and won the tournament. Charlie Evans told everyone he knew what I had done.” Larry inquisitively asked “What?” Charlie answered, “You changed location in the middle of a run.” Larry told him, “Yes, because I knew I could not catch fish there, so I went where I could catch them.” Charlie Evans replied, “Only a General could do that.” Larry has been “The General” ever since and seems to enjoy the commanding nickname.
We all have a happy place; mine involves a beach with a hammock, boat drinks, no cell phones, and the sound of Jimmy Buffett music in the background. Larry Nixon’s happy place would probably be Toledo Bend throwing a plastic worm and a Dobyns Rod in-hand. Dobyns Rod Company is The General’s rod sponsor on the bass fishing trails. I asked Larry why he aligned himself with Dobyns Rod. Larry replied “Dobyns Rods are simply the best; they are sensitive, dependable (I haven’t broken a rod in 3 years), light, and they look good. I also like the feel of the rods; the handle length is perfect for me.” Our conversation then turned to worm fishing in the great state of Texas where everything, including their bass, is big!
I asked Larry to tell me about Texas worm fishing, what rod he used in which cover, and what pound test line he uses when he was fishing with specific rods. Larry explained, “In heavy cover I use the Dobyns Champion Extreme DX746c. If I want to do long open water casts, I’ll use 15lb test or more. If I am in lighter cover, I’ll use the Dobyns Champion Extreme DX705c with 12-14 pound test.”
I asked Larry what his rod of choice was; he said, “The Dobyns Champion Extreme DX746c is my favorite. Whether I am pitching, flipping, swimming a frog or Carolina rigging, I use that Champion Extreme DX746c.”
I am finding it very fascinating to ask anglers if they could go back in time, what fishing advice they would give their younger self. The General was no exception. Larry explained, “I would tell my younger self to live on the water, learn everything I could. Eat, sleep, and breathe fishing.”
If you have ever spent any time with Larry Nixon, you’ll quickly learn, near the end of August, he puts his fishing rods down and picks up his gun to hunt deer and ducks. I asked if hunting could be tournament style, would he hunt or fish. Larry elaborated, “I would keep it like it is. I fish from February through August and hunt September through January; it’s the perfect setup.”
We talked about his 2015 sponsors; Ranger, Evinrude, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Maxey Ford, Solar Bat Sunglasses, Lowrance and Dobyns Rod Company. Larry concluded our sponsor discussion with, “I have been with Evinrude for 38 years and don’t plan to move, and I love my Ranger 521, it’s big, solid, and strong.”
Be sure to check out Larry’s 2015 sponsors and their websites to learn more about their products. Larry is geared up and ready to fish for 2015. If you don’t already follow Larry, you can keep track of him on Facebook, twitter, and of course FLW Outdoors!
Good luck this season!