This week’s Alabama Bass Trail Bassmaster Team Championship profile is the South Division team of Marty Giddens and Josh Stracner. Giddens & Stracner finished their 2019 ABT Seasonb in an 8th place tie that qualified them for another trip to the Bassmaster Team Championship held on Lake Hartwell at Green Pond Landing out of Anderson, SC on December 11-14.
Josh and Marty have fished team tournaments together for 7 years. They decided in 2017 to start fishing the ABT South division and that year they qualified to fish the Team Championship on Kentucky Lake. That tournament didn’t go so well for them. In pre-practice they found a pattern that was producing fish but when the tournament rolled around that pattern faded. They didn’t know the lake well and didn’t have another pattern to fall back to.
The 2019 ABT season was a good one for them. They earned their first of three top ten finishes at the very first tournament on Lake Martin. Marty has a great deal of experience on the Lake and says it’s one of his favorite lakes on the trail even though he lives on Logan Martin. Those three top ten finishes this year helped them stay high in the points. Even with a 161st place finish at the Alabama River, they still were able to make the team championship. They said they made a bad decision during that tournament. Marty found some fish in a particular area, but due to heavy, overnight rains that caused the lake to flood and the water to rise 7 foot they thought they would not be able to get to the spot. In hindsight, they felt like they would have done a lot better if they had just gone there anyway. That decision just messed them up.
Both Josh and Marty have fished Hartwell a couple times and agree that Hartwell is the kind of fishing they like to do. Josh fished an ABA championship there and fished in the top 20 out of 200 boats. Marty has been there a few times including the Bass Nation National Championship 2 years ago where he finished 3rd and qualified to fish the Bassmaster Classic in 2018 on Lake Hartwell. They believe it compares really well to Lake Martin and Smith Lake. They feel better about going to Lake Hartwell than they did about going to Kentucky Lake and look to build on their past experiences. They both enjoy fishing clear water and believe you can fish anyway you want to and you don’t just have to chase the herring around like some people think.
When asked about the hopes of making the Bassmaster Classic again Marty said he really hasn’t thought about it much and that even the first time he qualified he didn’t really think about it as a goal. He said he will cross that bridge again when given the opportunity.
They both agree that qualifying through the team championship is probably one of the hardest ways to get to the Bassmaster Classic, especially through the ABT. They feel the ABT trail is tough because it’s like anybody who has won a couple big tournaments fishes the Alabama Bass Trail. The field is a very tough field to fish against.
When asked what the plan was if they ended up making the final day of the championship and had to fish head to head? Marty said, they would figure it out on the final day. Josh answered he wasn’t going to get much time to go over and practice so he would give Marty the spots to go fish. We told him we were going to put that in writing so Marty could have it when they do make the final day. So Marty, here is your proof. We look forward to seeing how you guys do in December.
2019 AOY tie for 8th with 920 points
Lake Martin 10th Place
Lake Jordan 21st Place
Alabama River 161st Place
Lay Lake 7th Place
Lake Eufaula 2nd Place
2018 Marty – Bass Nation National Championship- Lake Hartwell -3rd Place
2018 Marty- Bassmaster Classic- Lake Hartwell – 48th Place
2017 9th AOY and qualified for team championship
Marty has fished the ABT since 2015
They have fished as a team in 2017, 2018, 2019