Category Archives: All Posts

Lake Martin’s Most Famous Landmark- Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock is easily one of the most iconic landmarks at Lake Martin, Alabama. Located near the Ridge Marina, it is easily recognized by its colorful graffiti and usually a large gathering of boats. On any given summer day, you can hear music cranked up and see the boats connected and enjoying the Alabama sunshine! Chimney Rock is a staple to the Lake Martin community – and here is everything you need to know to go out and enjoy it! Chimney Rock vs. Acapulco Rock To set the record straight, what many refer to now as Chimney Rock is actually…

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…

The Magical Thing That Happens on the Tallapoosa River Between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Spring is in the air and everything is coming to full bloom at Lake Martin! But something particularly magical happens between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day every year. The famous “Cahaba Lily” begins to make its long-awaited appearance, with its spider-like petals stretching out and putting on a spectacular show for all to see. To add to their unique beauty, these lilies are also incredibly rare, attracting people from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of them on display. Luckily, right here in our backyard is the Tallapoosa River – one of very few homes to these majestic…

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…

Staying at a Cabin on Lake Martin

In a world of hotels and Airbnb’s, there is no shortage of unique places to stay when visiting Lake Martin. However, there is just something charming about sleeping in a cabin while visiting the lake. Here are a couple of unforgettable cabin options for rent on Lake Martin, Alabama. Cabins at Wind Creek State Park  Wind Creek State Park is a beautiful, 1,440 acre land that stretches across the shorelines of Lake Martin, Alabama. Here guests can lay out on the private sandy beach, climb the historic silo, or enjoy endless activities such as ziplining, horseback riding, archery, putt putt,…

One of the South’s Most Unique Churches-Church in the Pines

Church in the Pines is perhaps one of the most unique and iconic structures on Lake Martin. Built on the shorelines of the lake waters, this non-denominational church draws attention from visitors all across the country. It is not unusual to see all 800+ seats filled during the warm weather months, or guests pulling up by boat to catch a Sunday service. With its distinct, open-air structure and dramatic backdrop of the Kowaliga Bridge, it’s really no wonder why Church in the Pines is a treasured icon at Lake Martin. The Story Behind Church in the Pines Originally built in…

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…

Wedding Venues in the Lake Martin Area

Your wedding day is one of the most important events of your life! And many will say picking out your venue is the first step to successfully start planning your big day. Here is your ultimate, all-in-one guide to some of the best wedding venues at Lake Martin, AL! The Stables at Russell Crossroads Location: Russell Crossroads-Alexander City, AL  Holds: 250-300 Attendees Price: $$ Paint your wedding inspiration on the pastoral canvas of the rustic and charming yet refined and inspired backdrop of the scenic Stables. The Stables offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception sites. The Stables venue…

Getting Ready for Boating Season

Photo Credit: @lakemartingoods Plug Day has come and gone, and Lake Martin is on it’s way to Summer Pool levels! With the lake filling back up and warmer weather on its way, many of us can’t wait to hit the water for the first time this season. But is your boat prepared? After a long winter in storage, there are a few things you will need to check before your first outing. Here is our short, 10-point checklist to get you and your boat Summer ready! 1) Plug Your Boat In celebration of Plug Day, our first checklist item is…

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…

Top 10 Places To Propose at Lake Martin

Lake Martin is a haven of special memories for many of us. It’s a place where folks come to unwind, create family bonding moments, and tell dock-side stories that last a lifetime. It’s a timeless destination- and no wonder why it would be a perfect choice for your engagement. When thinking of your dream place to propose, it is easy to get stumped on creative ideas. After all, it’s a story you two will share for years to come. And everyone will want to know, “how did you do it?” And I am excited to say, I am writing this…

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…

The Lake Martin Polar Plunge

Ahhh… the Polar Plunge. A classic and entertaining event where hundreds to possibly thousands of people across the globe strip down into their bare nothings and race into a freezing cold body of water. It’s thrilling, it’s daunting… and it’s for a good cause! Though I have always suspected the Polar Plunge was a decently newer event created by my generation, I couldn’t be more wrong. The concept has actually been around since the early 1900s, with the first one taking place in Boston, MA, in 1904. It has swept the world in popularity, with plunges in countries such as…

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…

4 Fun Things About The Alexander City Sportplex

Alexander City is home to some of the best local shopping, family entertainment, and events in the Lake Martin community. It is also home to the most diverse Sportplex in the region. Of course, when I hear the word “Sportplex,” athletic activities automatically come to mind. And even though it is a paradise for sports lovers, there are so many different activities you can do in addition to just, well, sports. If you are looking to pick up a hobby or try something new, here is my list of four fun things that I encourage you to try (that you…

Ringing in the New Year at Lake Martin

Another wonderful year at Lake Martin is coming to an end and there is excitement as a new one is just around the corner. For everyone who is looking to ring in the new year at the lake, here are my suggestions for an unforgettable time this New Year’s Eve! For An Early Bird New Year’s Eve  I have spent many a New Year out celebrating well beyond midnight. But to be honest, some of my favorite ones were spent at home and laying comfortably in bed by the time the ball dropped! This option is for those who still…

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…

Geocaching in the Lake Martin Area

Lake Martin is home to a variety of outdoors activities including hiking, boating, camping… and even the wildly popular treasure hunt, “geocaching”.  Put on your tennis shoes and get out your thinking cap – this “secret” activity will have you hooked for hours of fun! What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a thrilling worldwide scavenger hunt filled with hiking, tracking, and following clues to find secret containers that are hidden all around you.  There is probably a geocache near you right now and you don’t even know it! “Geocaches” are containers that are hidden in plain sight.  They range not only…

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…

The Best View of Lake Martin-Smith Mountain Fire Tower

Smith Mountain Fire Tower is easily one of the most iconic attractions at Lake Martin!  Located in Dadeville, AL the tower itself is surrounded by history and epic views, making this one bucket list item you won’t want to miss. The History The presence of the Smith Mountain Fire Tower has been a part of the local history of Lake Martin since the lake’s conception. Smith Mountain itself is the highest point of elevation at Lake Martin. Long before the dam was built or the waters of Lake Martin itself existed, the surrounding area of land where the tower sits…

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,…

2021 Fall Festivities at Lake Martin

Fall is in the air at Lake Martin, Alabama, and we have your ultimate guide to all the must-do fall festivities around the lake! Water levels are dropping, leaves on trees are changing, and the spooky season is just around the corner. Last weekend was Wind Creek State Park’s annual Fall Festival. Guests enjoyed a pumpkin decorating contest, costume parade, trick or treating, and even a campsite decorating contest. It is always the third Saturday of October, and campsites sell out quickly. Reservations have to be made well in advance. There’s still more Fall fun to be had in our…

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…

One Alabama National Park That You Absolutely Have To Visit-Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is an iconic landmark in the state of Alabama.  Located approximately 20 minutes from both the city of Dadeville and the heart of Downtown Alexander City, this 2,040-acre land is home to one of the most influential battles in American history.  Not only was it the final battle of the Creek War, it also ultimately resulted in the United States government obtaining over 23 million acres of land through the signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814.  This land would later create a majority of the state of Alabama and portions of the…

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…

A Visit to The Largest Musclecar Museum in the World

Located near the heart of Downtown Alexander City is the largest muscle car museum in the world. Here, visitors can take a step back into the 1970’s and walk amongst some of the most iconic and rare American muscle cars ever made. The Museum Opening in 2010, the Wellborn Musclecar Museum is a place for preserving and promoting the American muscle car culture. It focuses particularly on muscle cars from the 1969 – 1971 era and is home to some of the rarest muscle cars in the world.   The museum is a bright and electrifying atmosphere, with black and…

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…

Things To Do In Downtown Alexander City

Alexander City is home to the Lake Martin community! And the downtown district is the heartbeat.  Filled with local shops, great food, and vibrant entertainment, just one visit and you will fall in love with this small town too! Downtown Alexander City History  As with many small towns in South Alabama, Alexander City is filled with rich history and urban legends, and the downtown district is no exception.  Following the historic battle of Horseshoe Bend and the eventual succession of territory from the Creek Indian nation, the county of Tallapoosa began to take form.  In 1837, the first permanent settler…

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….

Lakefront Dining on Lake Martin

There is no shortage of exceptional and creative dining options at Lake Martin, Alabama! Whether you are looking to hit the water or pull up a chair to endless waterfront views, we’ve got you covered with our guide to lakefront dining options.   Kowaliga Restaurant Located in the Kowaliga Bay near the Highway 63 Bridge, Kowaliga Restaurant is an iconic staple to Lake Martin.  Known for their delicious food and sweeping waterfront views, the restaurant also pays homage to the great Country music legend, Hank Williams. Legend has it that Hank Williams wrote his famous song about the heartbroken Indian,…

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. 

A Day on the Lake: Things to See and Do on Lake Martin

While visiting Lake Martin, Alabama, you may be amazed by the amount of scenic destinations, live entertainment, and incredible dining options the lake has to offer. To help ensure you have an unforgettable experience, here is our list of 10 things you need to see and do on the lake to make the memories of a lifetime! Kowaliga Restaurant Poor Ole’ Kaw-liga… Hank Williams fans, this one is for you!   Located in the Kowaliga Bay near the Highway 63 Bridge, the Kowaliga Restaurant is an iconic staple to Lake Martin.  Known for the delicious food and sweeping waterfront views,…

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…

Renting a Boat on Lake Martin

When it comes to hitting the water, there are countless ways to spend your day on Lake Martin.  But what if you don’t have access to a boat?  Bringing your own watercraft is not always an option, so here is a list of hassle-free places to rent one on the lake! Russell Marine (256) 257 – 8635Four Locations, Listed Below Russell Marine has four marinas located on Lake Martin, making it a convenient choice no matter where you are staying on the lake. They offer both pontoons and deck boats, both of which are serviced by their professional marine service…

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…