Lake Martin Feature Story

February 23, 2023

Lake Martin preview with Marty Giddens

By Jason Duran

The Alabama Bass Trail South Division begins the 10th Season with the first stop of five at Lake Martin. Registration for this season is another sell out, with 225 teams itching to get back on the water since they signed up for this event. A $10,000 pay out goes to the first-place team, but it won’t be an easy win in the toughest team tournament competition in the southeast. Marty Giddens has fished the ABT since day one and is looking forward to get season number 10 started. 

“We are right between the winter/spring pattern at Lake Martin.” Marty prefers the “cold weather and tough fishing, but the warm weather this week has possibly thrown the fish for a loop. Before the warmup, we were fishing a cold weather pattern. We targeted fish out in the deep fishing with crank baits, jigs, and jerk baits. This weekend we might be fishing shallower throwing topwater baits like buzz baits and spooks. I really don’t know what the pattern will be. I have been waiting to spend most of my practice time towards the end of the week after the warmer weather. I don’t want to go out and find the fish early in the week before the change to have them move after the warmup.  

The lake can be broken down into a couple of areas. “The upper end of the lake is more narrow as it goes up into the Tallapoosa River. Teams will find dirty water there. This section of the lake can produce some good stringers and there could possibly be a winning bag caught up the river.” Marty “prefers to fish from the middle to the south end of the lake. I have a house on the south end. This lake fishes huge as it spreads out on this end of the lake. Even with a 225 boat tournament, you are usually never bothered with other teams getting close or fishing your area.”

“The water temps early this week have been 54° and I expect it to be close to 60° on Saturday. Water clarity will be muddy upriver and stained on the south end which is not normal for this lake.” Marty said “with the temps warming up he feels the topwater bite will be the winning pattern for this weekend. Many teams will catch fish on a jig and a spinner bait if the wind blows.”

“Teams will catch fish by fishing their strengths, and Lake Martin is different every day.” A couple key areas to focus on to locate fish will be “along the bank in the transition areas. The bank will go from sand to rock or rock to larger chunk rock. Those can be key areas to locate fish at Lake Martin. If the clouds move in, the bite will be tough, but if the sun shines, it will be much better fishing. Teams shouldn’t be afraid to throw something small using a spinning rod like a shaky head.”

Marty and his wife, Kim, are partners in the ABT South Division this year. He said he’s “finished in the top ten a few times through the years and still wants to win one of these events. My wife is a really good fisherman. She’s one of the best partners I have ever had in the boat. In the event we fished last weekend, I finished in first out of 125 boats with 12.57 and Kim finished second on the non-boater side with three fish at 6.99-pounds. Last year out of the back of the boat, she won the event, but I didn’t do well. Ever since then I’ve caught hell from all the guys. It has taken 12-13 pounds to win all winter and fall.” This weekend he predicts it will take 15 pounds to win.

Pre-Tournament Meeting:

Check In: 4:30 P.M. – 6:30 P.M  February 24, 2023
Central Alabama Community College Betty Carol Graham Center 1675 Cherokee Road Alexander City, AL 35010 Check In: 4:30 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. Pre-Tournament Meeting: Everyone seated by 6:30 P.M.

All friends and family are welcome to attend this event, bring lawn chairs and see some of the best bass teams in the country cross the stage. Everyone can watch the live weigh-in and over 4 hours of on-the-water live coverage on the ABT Facebook page, YouTube (Alabama Bass Trail TV), WOTM-TV on Charter Spectrum Cable and the website. 

Launch & Weigh In

February 25, 2023
Wind Creek State Park 4325 AL-128 Alexander City, AL 35010 Launch will be at 6:30 A.M. or safe daylight. First flight due in at 3:00 P.M.

The sponsors of the 2023 Alabama Bass Trail include: Phoenix Boats, Academy Sports & Ourtdoors, Alabama Power, America’s First Federal Credit Union, American Trailer Rental Group, BAJIO, Big Bite Baits, Bill Penney Automotive, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Anheuser – Bush, Inc., E3 Sports Apparel, Fish Neely Henry, Garmin, Jack’s, Lew’s, Mountain Dew (Buffalo Rock – Birmingham, AL), Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Power-Pole, Strike King, Sweet Home Alabama, TH Marine, Yamaha, YETI Coolers.