Author Archives: Brandy Hastings

July 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Water Level: 490.38 You can always see the current water level here. Surface Temperature: 90Clarity: Clear Hey everyone! June was an awesome striper catching month-as you see in a small example in the picture. Live bait was working well in June. Trolling in June was putting stripers in the box also. Well, here it is July!!! Where has the spring gone??? Don’t get too disappointed, because here on Lake Martin you can still catch a big trophy in July. Just 2 years ago in July, we boated a 45 pounder and a 25 pounder- same day, same boat. I’m not…

Where to Watch Fireworks at Lake Martin on 4th of July Weekend

At Lake Martin, we love going big on all holidays. I do mean every single holiday….. sometimes we even make up our own (ever heard of Plug Day?) We love celebrating, and Independence Day Weekend is definitely no exception. We love God, our Country, and………Fireworks! We have two nights in a row of explosive fun, and you will want to check out both. Aside from the actual fireworks displays, there is so much more happening during 4th of July Weekend. We will give you the deets on all of it, but let’s start with where to watch fireworks on 4th…

The Best Lakeside Pizza on Lake Martin-Chuckwalla’s Pizza at Chuck’s Marina

When you’re out for a day on Lake Martin, you are sure to hear about Chuck’s Marina.  Sure-it is a stop along the way to fuel up the boat, but it’s also one of our favorite places to fuel up ourselves too-as they are home to some of the best pizza and wings you will find on the lake.  There’s so much more to this special spot though.  We will fill you in on some of the interesting info about this hotspot on Lake Martin, but make sure you put this on your list to visit while you are here. …

June 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temperature: 82.5Water Level: 490.37 (You can always find the current water level here.)Clarity: Clear to Very Clear Well as you already know, spring has wound down and temperatures have been rising- but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your fishing gear because here on Lake Martin, for the most part, fishing is good in June. For catching stripers we will be slowly working our way down to the southern end of the lake to some of the deeper areas- searching for a little cooler water temperatures. The bite will be getting earlier and earlier and almost non…

Make Memories This Father’s Day With These Two Unique Experiences

Father’s Day is coming up and let’s face it-guys can be so hard to buy for.  However, your dad is a special guy and has been there for you your whole life.  He deserves to be shown how appreciated he is.  This year, I encourage you to be creative, and give him something he will really remember.  I realize it can be very tempting to pick up an Amazon gift card as you are checking out at the grocery store.  I’m totally guilty of that myself.  One thing we have definitely learned over the last couple of years is that…

Do You Need A Boating License In Alabama?

So you’ve booked the trip, and feel like everything is prepared.  You have found a place to stay, and even rented a boat to have waiting on you once you arrive at the lake.  Now, you get to sit back and just dream of those lake days with the sun shining on your face, the thrill of the watersports that await you, and of course, catching a beautiful Lake Martin sunset while out on the open water.  Everything seems perfect-and trust me, it is.  This is going to be the most epic vacation ever!  However-there is one more thing on…

May 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Lake Level: 490.2 Surface Temp: 71 -72 degreesWater Clarity: Mostly clear to very light stain Looking back the last 30 days for me and my team of guides at Alex City Guide Service, the month of April was awesome on big trophy catches. We caught numerous 20- 30 plus pound stripers including a 32 pounder, two 36 pounders, a 40 plus, and two 45 pounders. Of course I’m talking about stripers- that’s all we target. We also caught numerous 22” or longer stripers per daily trips. Now getting to May- I’ve been saying all spring that I think most of…

Spotting Bald Eagles At Lake Martin

Photos by:  John Denney  Everyone loves Lake Martin for their own reasons.  Most will tell you how awesome it is to be out on the water, whether on a boat, Sea Doo, or kayak.  We have almost 900 miles of shoreline, and there is plenty to see and do on the lake.  However, with all of the stops at the local lakeside bars and restaurants, hanging out with the music cranked up at Chimney Rock, and the focus on watersports and fishing, it can be easy to overlook one of my personal favorite things to do on the lake……. taking…

Planning a Family Reunion at Lake Martin

The last couple of years have taught us many things.  One of the main things I have taken away from the pandemic is to treasure the time I have with my loved ones.  I have realized that my family and friends are what truly matters, and if anything, that should be priority over everything else in life.  Our relationships with those we care about are priceless, and have to be nourished.  We have to find ways to enjoy our tribe, have unforgettable experiences, great bonding time, and create opportunities to make awesome memories.  Back in the old days, a family…

April 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temperature: 62-64Lake Level: 489.58 (As of April 5-You can always keep up with the current lake level here.) Clarity: Slightly stained Lake Martin fishing in April has always been awesome. My parents always said that when the dogwoods are blooming, then the crappie were biting- and year after year that same saying holds true, and especially for the trophy striped bass here. April may be one of my favorite months here on our lake. Last year some of our biggest stripers came in March, but this year is different and I predict most of our 40+ pounders will be…

How To Catch The Million Dollar Bass That is Swimming in Lake Martin

If I were to tell you that one fish could change your life…. would you believe me? What if I told you that fish was worth a cool million dollars? The first time I heard it, I thought that was great for the pros and I thought it would be exciting to hear about one of them catching it. Then, I realized that this little game of chance isn’t just for the pros. Of course, one of the pro anglers in their beautiful bass boats and immaculate tackle collection could be the one to catch it. However, a grandma and…

March 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Lake Level:  484.72 feet (Please note that the lake level started increasing on February 18, as it makes it’s way toward Summer Pool, which is 491 feet.  484.72 feet is the lake level as of March 3, but you can always check the current lake level here.) Surface Temp: 48 on lake, 43 up riverClarity: Very stained on north end and partially stained in Kowaliga areaIt was a really good February for quantity and the occasional 15-20 lb. stripers, but in March, we  will be on the 20-40 lb. class. March will definitely kick off trophy class stripers here on our…

5 Free Things To Do At Lake Martin During Spring Break

Take a Hike and Get Started on the Lake Martin Hiking Challenge It is such a beautiful time to be outside enjoying the trails, and we have a variety of them for you to try. They are all unique, and have varying levels of difficulty. Hike just for fun, or start the Lake Martin Hiking Challenge-it is free to participate! If you hike a portion of all of the trails, you will earn a free patch and certificate. Get information on all of the trails, and the downloadable hiking log here. Visit Horseshoe Bend National Military Park This was not…

Plug Day-Lake Martin’s Own Special Holiday

I remember my first trip to Alexander City a couple of years ago.  I was talking to the locals and I kept hearing about the upcoming Plug Day.  Everyone seemed so excited about it.  I personally had never observed this occasion before, but was intrigued to learn more.

How To Get Started Birding

Photo Credit: C & G Goss So you like to be out in nature, taking in the fresh air, smelling the flowers, and feeling the sun on your skin? You enjoy the peaceful serenity of it, and maybe it is your exercise outlet also. You may be a hiker, runner, boater, kayaker, or an explorer who just likes to get out and see what treasures you can find in the beautiful outdoors. However, what if I told you there is another awesome hobby you can enjoy simultaneously? If I told you that hobby was birding, I would probably get two…

February 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Lake Level:  480 (You can always check the current lake level here.)  Clarity: Lightly stained to clearSurface Temp: 52 degreesAs you see in picture of Brian Mancuso from Atlanta, we are already catching some trophy fish.  This is one you would expect to be a springtime fish. The winter water temps have so far been warmer than normal, so we are catching very nice stripers both deep (downlining) and shallow (by pulling boards). The stripers are still feeding on smaller than normal bait fish, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon- probably not until March.  In February there will be…

Celebrating National Plan For Vacation Day

With Christmas and New Year’s behind us, I bet you thought you were finished with the holidays for awhile.  However, one of my favorite annual holidays is coming up, and I wanted to make sure you were aware of it too.  Tuesday, January 25th is National Plan for Vacation Day!  This is a special day started by the U. S. Travel Association several years ago where we are encouraged to plan our time off.  We work hard, and we deserve that vacation time.  Let’s face it though, as we get further into the year, and busy with work, school, and…

Why We Love Winter At Lake Martin (And Why This Winter Is Extra Special)

Photo Credit:  Harold Banks   If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve heard the phrase, “Winter is Coming.” Well, winter is here, and at Lake Martin, that is a good thing! It has brought with it a playground full of fun for us self-proclaimed adventurers and explorers. It’s no secret that we in Lake Martin live for those summer days on the lake. We love feeling that warm sun on our skin, and whether we are wakeboarding, skiing, boating, catching Friday on the Green at Russell Crossroads, chilling on the beach at Wind Creek State Park, or just hanging out…

January 2022-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Water Level:  482 (You can always check the current lake level here.) Surface Temp:  60 Clarity:  Clear to lightly stained December was awesome striper fishing.  We were catching them every single day- and lots of them!  Yep it’s cold, but that just turns Lake Martin Stripers on!! The colder it is, the better the bite. Our best day ever so far (quantity wise) was 3 Januarys ago.  I had 5 clients on my boat and they boated 92 in 5 hrs. (And no, we did not keep all of them.)  This month I don’t see any reason we can’t do…

5 Must Do’s When Day Hiking Solo

Peacefulness.  Clarity.  Creativeness.   Appreciation for the world around me.  Those are just a few of the things I feel when I experience nature in solitude.  Don’t get me wrong-I love enjoying the great outdoors with my friends and family, and having those experiences with them.  But just like in our everyday lives, we need that balance of companionship and alone time-and we need that in our time in nature as well.  If you hike a trail with others, and go back and hike that same trail alone, and you will notice that you will have a completely different experience-and both…

December 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Water Level:  482 (as of 12/3/21)  (As the lake level continues to decrease through December, you can always check the current level here.) Surface Temp: 68 Clarity:  Clear With December now on us, we look back for a moment on how great the bite in November was. November never fails to produce large stringers of Lake Martin stripers . Moving forward to the December fishing report, the bite will just continue to be awesome. The striper will be schooled together in huge numbers throughout the lake. I have already been seeing sea gulls gathering here on the lake, which has…

10 Free Things To Do Around Lake Martin This Christmas Season

It would be such an understatement to just say we love Christmas around here.  Although we have a tendency to go all out on most holidays, Christmas is definitely one of our favorites!  You’ve seen the Hallmark movies with the adorable little Christmas towns-well, that’s us!  Fun activities abound around Lake Martin at Christmas time, and many of them are completely free.  Our goal is to help make your holidays even more special, and below is our list of 10 free things that you can do around Lake Martin this Christmas.   1. A Walk Through The Trees At Pennington Park…

The 2021 Lake Martin Christmas Shopping Guide

Lake Martin is known for our great outdoors, but did you know that we have some really wonderful Christmas shopping in our area too? We have picked out a little something for everyone here-even that person that is so hard to buy for! Check out some of our own local picks for fabulous Christmas gift ideas! Local Art Make sure to plan accordingly for the day after Thanksgiving and check out some of the best Christmas shopping at the Holiday Bazaar at Russell Crossroads. You’ll find everything from jewelry, soaps, paintings, pottery, woodwork, lotions, furniture, and much more! We hear…

Wine Tasting at Whippoorwill Vineyards

There’s just so many cool things to do in the Lake Martin area.  I mean, it is an outdoor lover’s paradise.  Boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, it can all be found here in our area-and if you know anything at all about our lake, it’s islands, and almost 900 miles of shoreline-that should come as no surprise to you.  But one thing that may come as a surprise to you is the award-winning wine that comes from our area.  Who would have thought it, right?  But- it’s true-and whether you are an experienced sommelier or casual wine drinker-wine tasting is something…

November 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temperature: 71 (as of 11/1/21) Water Clarity: Very Clear Water Level: 487.8 feet (as of 11/1/21) The water level continues to drop to winter pool levels, but you can always check the current water level here. With water temps cooling down and water levels on a downward trend, Lake Martin is the place to be for all types of fish. November is awesome here for crappie, bass, and no doubt for stripers . The stripers will be settled in for the winter and not be as hard to stay on top of. There are several good things about November,…

My Strategy On How To Complete Two Hiking Challenges At One Time

Why Participate In A Hiking Challenge  They say the best exercise you can get is the one that you stick with, and for me it is hiking.  There are plenty of people who love the gym, and if that is what is right for you, do it!  Everyone needs physical activity to stay healthy.  For me though, I get no enjoyment or motivation by being on a treadmill in a gym on a literal road to nowhere- and looking at the back of someone’s head on the row in front of me, who is also on that same road that…

October 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temp 81 Water Level 490 (The water level will start to drop on 10/15, but you can always keep up with the current water level here) Clarity / Clear Lake Martin fall fishing can be amazing, and I see no reason why 2021 will be no different. This month on 10/15/21 the lake draw down begins, and by end of 2021, Lake Martin will be down 10 feet. This is exactly what it used to be pulled down to every year, but the last 5 years, they held it at 7 feet below full pool. I for one am…

How to Catch Catfish on Lake Martin

When I first moved to Lake Martin last fall, I heard so much about the bass fishing.  If you have ever even heard of Lake Martin in passing, you too have surely heard how well known it is for that.  The lake is home to largemouth, spotted, and striped bass, and anglers come from near and far to fish the waters here in hopes of catching the big one-both recreationally and competitively.  Upon my arrival, I was excited to see how many professional bass fishing tournaments come to Lake Martin for their competitive events.  It is easy to get caught…

The Most Unique Ice Cream Spots Around Lake Martin

Life is full of simple pleasures.  Sometimes the little things just bring so much happiness.  We all have those things that just instantly bring a smile to our face.  For myself, one of those things is ice cream.  I love it, and if my waistline would allow it, I would eat it every day.  Seriously-it is that important to me-especially on a hot Alabama day.  We are very lucky here that we have some really great places to eat in Alexander City and Dadeville.  Among those are a few awesome places that allow cool and unique ways to enjoy my…

Lake Martin To Remain At Full Summer Pool Level Until October 15th

Every February, we await our fate based on a groundhog.  The tradition says that if he sees his shadow when he comes out, winter will carry on for six more weeks.  However, if it is cloudy, and he doesn’t see his shadow, it means we will be getting an early spring.  While I don’t want to even try to predict the weather, I can say that in the Lake Martin area we have been seeing some pretty amazing days lately.  And although a critter won’t be popping out to tell us if we will have more time for summer fun,…

September 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temp 89* Water Level 491.00 Full Pool Clarity / Clear August was still producing stripers on live bait. Typical August trips- 4 out 5 trips produced good, then we would have a tough day 1 out of 5 days.  September will be a lot like August fishing.  My advice for September would be fish the lower end of the lake, fish early, and be prepared for tough fishing after 9 am. Even though you are going to see some striper marks up high on your electronics, the deeper marks more than likely are going to be your catchable fish….

August 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

  Surface Temp 83-84 Clarity – Clear Full pool Congrats to Barry Cameron from Cary, NC, who caught his personal best-30+ pounds while out with Captain David Hare on Lake Martin! Way to go, Barry! We are just scratching the surface for summer type fishing due to cooler than normal water temps so far. Normally we would be doing a lot of trolling and some live baiting, but with cooler than normal July weather, we actually did vice versa- and most days it paid off. Now for August if my clients think we’ve been going early morning in July, then…

Staying at a Bed and Breakfast in the Lake Martin Area

There are so many great places to stay in Alexander City and Dadeville.  From vacation rentals, hotels, cabins, and camping-there is definitely an option that is perfect for you based upon who you are travelling with, and the type of vacation you want to have. 

3 Things To Do At Lake Martin On A Rainy Day

The Lake Martin area is well known for its wonderful outdoor activities-probably most notably, the lake itself.  It is the only “Treasured Alabama Lake” and has almost 900 miles of shoreline and more than 40,000 acres of awesome views.  The lake and its parks, marinas, islands, and points of interest are something everyone has to experience in their life.  Outside of the amazing lake, we also have the equally amazing Tallapoosa River, which is well known for its kayaking.  The moving water of the Tallapoosa will quickly whisk you away to a fun few hours enjoying the scenery and the…

July 2021-Lake Martin Fishing Report

Surface Temp 81 Clarity / Clear Elevation / Full Pool 491.00 June produced some nice catches for us. Moving into July we should still be catching stripers two different ways- one which is my favorite- live baiting on huge schools, which is fun to do trolling with our Downriggers (Scotty Electric Pro Paks) with 10 lb. weights and a wide variety of artificial lures. I for one like to troll the deeper parts of the lake in search of that trophy bite. If you choose to try your luck trolling, concentrate where you know summer time stripers hang out and…

A Stay in the Hank Williams Cabin on Lake Martin

He’s the man, the myth, the legend.  He helped lay the foundation of country music as we know it today-and from the stories floating around, had a lot of fun doing it in the process……of course I’m talking about the one and only Hank Williams.  The History Did you know that not only was Hank one of the most talented musicians in history, but it turns out, he had pretty good taste in travel destinations too?  Hank and his girlfriend Bobbie Jett spent time at Lake Martin in the Summer of 1952-and spoiler alert, we do still have a chance…

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Russell Crossroads

  If you are planning a visit to Lake Martin, one thing that absolutely, positively has to be on your to-do list is Russell Crossroads, the unique town center of the Russell Lands community.  It is a really cool place located 3 miles north of Lake Martin’s Kowaliga Bridge on Highway 63.  You will know you have arrived when you see the clock tower next to the Town Green.  As you pull in, you will see the cobblestone streets and handcrafted street lamps.  There is no detail left out.  The best way I can describe it is that it is…

Boating Safety 101: Tips for a Safe Day of Boating on Lake Martin

As Summer gets closer, we look forward to being outside, feeling the sun on our skin, and enjoying our fun filled boat days.  But nothing ruins an awesome day on the lake quicker than an accident.  So, while boating safety may not be the most fun topic, it is the most important one.  Our exciting day is instantly ruined when we are faced with a problem out on the lake-and nobody wants that, right?  Instead of being reactive and dealing with a situation when it happens, it’s usually a better idea to be proactive to avoid issues in the first…

Lake Martin’s Message in a Bottle

One of the things that I am proudest of in our community is our desire and effort to keep it clean and pristine for our visitors and residents, while also protecting our environment.  I recently saw a picture online of a bird in England tangled up in a used face mask that had been thrown out.  Those kinds of things bother me, and it’s why I personally choose to do my part to not let it happen.  And let’s face it-trash on the roads or on the lake is just not cute.  Nobody wants to see that.  In my mind,…

The Million Dollar Fish in Lake Martin

So the million dollar question is……. What does a million dollar fish look like?  And the next question is obviously-where do I find that fish?  That million dollar fish looks just like any other bass-he/she may be a largemouth or spotted bass.  We don’t know.  What we do know is that the fish will be wearing a special fashion accessory that sets it apart. And to answer the second question-that fish is in Lake Martin!  I have no idea where on Lake Martin (if I did I would be shopping for the new boat I would be buying with my…

The Real Meaning Behind “Treasured Lake Martin”

There are so many adjectives people use to describe Lake Martin-beautiful Lake Martin, amazing Lake Martin, breathtaking Lake Martin, fun Lake Martin….. the list goes on and on.  You may have even heard the term “Treasured” Lake Martin thrown around and thought that was just a great descriptive word for our wonderful lake as well.  While we do treasure it dearly, there is a lot more to this term.  We know how special our lake is, but this one phrase-Treasured Lake Martin-is one of many examples of just how special we are.  You see, treasured is not just a nice…

Lake Martin Businesses Are Taking a Pledge to Keep You Safe When You Travel

2020 has been quite the year, to say the least.  We understand if you are not ready to travel yet, and we will be here ready to welcome you when you are.  However, if you are ready to get out and explore, we want to help you find ways to do that in the safest way possible.  Your health and safety is important to us, and we want you to be able to enjoy our great outdoors, attractions, restaurants, lodging, and everything else the Lake Martin area has to offer.  The Alabama Tourism Department has put together information to help…

Choosing a Place to Stay at Lake Martin

What does your ideal trip to Lake Martin look like?  Ask anyone, and the answers you get could be completely different.  For some, travelling with their close family members could equal perfection, while some prefer to bring the whole extended family along for the fun.  Others may choose to leave the family at home, and make it a Girls Trip or Guys Getaway.  Some may take an opportunity to have a romantic weekend with their special someone.  But still there are those that just want to have peaceful, quiet alone time, surrounded by the tranquility of nature.  There is no…

The Best Hiking Trails Around Lake Martin

Lake Martin is known for fun on the water, but did you know the area boasts some of the best hiking in Alabama as well? With the cooler weather, and the beautiful color palettes being displayed on the trees, now is a great time to hit the trails. Here are a few of our favorites! Russell Forest In this living forest, over 100 miles of trails weave through the lush pines and hardwoods that surround Lake Martin. Five trailheads serve as a starting point for multiple trails that can be used not only for hiking, but also for biking and…