Ezell Cox is still living the fisherman dream. After many years on the area lakes, Cox is still one of the go-to guys for a successful striper and hybrid bass outing.
Cox had a love for the big fish back in the 80s and has been a successful guide since then. A former Marine, Cox has a passion about guiding people who want to try reeling in one of the giant fish. His positivity can be misunderstood as cocky to some but if he says customers will come back with a limit of fish, he or she likely will. He provides bold statements like, “We’ll be back by ten with a boat load of fish,” and his clients mostly are.
Cox uses modern day technologies with a bit of gut instinct to find fish for his clients as well as a few fellow fishermen who share information. Great equipment on the boat and a feel for what the fish will be doing not only today but tomorrow is how he keeps his boat on top of fish. This is a proven method for him over all those years.
When asked about how his first ever trip as a guide went he stated, “I wasn’t nervous or worried. I was confident that I could find the fish and I think it’s always better to be a positive person and believe I am going to catch fish whenever I go out.”
The only struggle he seems to have is catching the many bait fish needed for just a single morning of fishing. “Bait is getting harder and harder to catch especially during the summer months,” he said.
Countless numbers of stripers and hybrids have been reeled in and onto the deck of his many different boats over the years and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down much, unless he wants it to. He is currently making the transition from a full-time guide to teaching others about the fish that he loves so much to catch. The information he shares is priceless to others. His peers respect him for his knowledge so much they have named a small island in Cherokee Lake after him. He rises early, prepares for the day and then puts his clients and friends on the fish. Cox has a second mate, Cash, a small white dog the family purchased for $10 cash and he is as excited as most fishermen and women when the lines go tight.
Cox has the knowledge and support system that continues to provide thrills to local fishermen as well as those from out of state. He still enjoys what he does and is very good at it. When asking his daughter Ranee Petty about her dad’s love of guiding and fishing she said, “Dad doesn’t worry about money as much these days, he doesn’t get mad or upset at anything and he is just an easy going guy. He just wants to teach others, fish and spend time with his grand kids.”
He has slowed down on the professional guiding during the last few years but if a person sees him out at local boat ramps and ask nicely, a trip out with Captain Ezell just might be possible.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude