Author Archives: Brandy Hastings

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, visiting the goats of Goat Island, catching Friday on the Green at Russell Crossroads, chilling on the beach at Wind…

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

Photo credit: John Denney

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…

Tips For Your Visit To Goat Island on Lake Martin

Lake Martin is a special place where everyone loves spending time on the lake. And I do mean everyone-both those with two and four legs. You probably think I am talking about dogs-and trust me they love the lake too-but today I’m actually talking about goats. Yes, goats love our lake! There is even one special group of goats that like to spend their Summers on an island at Lake Martin. They get on a pontoon boat and make the trek to their island each Spring, and then go back to their home to spend the Winters with their parents,…

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…

Plug Day-Lake Martin’s Own Special Holiday

I remember my first trip to Alexander City last February.  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.  I’m not one to play it off and pretend I know what someone is talking about.  I couldn’t anyway-my facial expressions usually give that away.  So, as my new friends looked at my confused face, I just came on out and asked-OK, so what is Plug Day?  Do I get off of work for this…

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…