Lake Martin Preview Story With Robbie and Lynn Pritchard
By Jason Duran
The second stop of the Alabama Bass Trail South Division heads to Lake Martin. Lake Martin is located on the Tallapoosa River, and with a surface area of 41,150 acres, is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. Lake Martin is also home to Wind Creek State Park one of the largest state-owned campgrounds in the United States. Robbie and Lynn Pritchard have been preparing for what is setting up to be a great event this weekend.
The team shared the conditions should be good by tournament time. “Weather earlier this week has been changing with a severe cold front last weekend and rain early and late this week. Temperatures have warmed up since last weekend and should help raise the water temps some. Saturday should be warm, mid 60° and no rain. The rain from earlier this week will cause the water to rise, and by blast off Saturday morning, it will probably be up about a foot.”
Typical early spring patterns will be in play this weekend. “Fish have been moving up shallow in recent weeks, but the cold fronts keep pushing them back out. This week’s weather is warm and should help move the shallow bite along a little more.”
“Teams will be fishing all over the lake this weekend,” shared Robbie. “Many teams will focus on the lower end of the lake where they will find cleaner water and target spotted bass. There will be lots of locals running around fishing areas they know well.” Many will probably target brush piles as this lake is known for its abundance of brush piles. He continued, “I probably have about 200-300 piles on the lake.”
The key baits that will probably play this weekend will be, “a jig, spinner bait, a jerk bait and swimbait. Teams should remember that this lake has Blue Back Heron as bait fish, and a team could get on the right school of Heron and just blast them to catch a solid bag.” The team noted, “the winning team will probably have a mixed bag of large mouth and spotted bass. Some teams will catch five spotted bass early and spend the rest of the day trying to upgrade by targeting large mouth. Teams will have to bounce back and forth from shallow to deep to find the better fish.”
“Robbie fishes a tournament every Sunday on Lake Martin, and last week it took 12.26 to win… his weigh was 12.20. He shared that “Lake Martin is notorious for fish being affected by the storms; guys could be on a bite in practice, but when the storms move in on Friday, it could really change things up. The lightening is what really affects the fish. This is a deep clear lake, and the shallow fish really turn off after the lightening storms. If it wasn’t for the storms coming in, I think it would take 18 pounds to win and high 12s to get a check. This group is some of the best, so we will see some good bags.” He said he has “had some really good wins on this lake but would really like to have an ABT win here.”
The team offered advice for teams coming to Lake Martin for the very first time; “new teams should focus on spotted bass. They recommend finding areas off shore and using forward facing sonar to find fish.” New teams should easily find those type areas and be productive on this lake.
All anglers should make sure they have checked text messages and emails for the latest information and changes made to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time. There was a virtual meeting posted on the ABT Facebook Page earlier this week.
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 and the ABT website. The Launch and Weigh In will be held at Wind Creek State Park 4325 AL -128 Alexander City, AL 35010.
The sponsors of the 2022 Alabama Bass Trail include: Phoenix Boats, Academy Sports, Alabama Power, America’s First Federal Credit Union, American Trailer Rental Group, BAJIO, Berkley, Big Bite Baits, Bill Penney Automotive, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Buck N’ Bass, Anheuser – Bush, Inc., E3 Sports Apparel, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Garmin, Jack’s, Lew’s, Mtn Dew, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Power-Pole, Strike King, Sweet Home Alabama, T-H Marine, Wedowee Marine, Yamaha, YETI Coolers.