| Bass Fishing
Alexander City, in east/central Alabama, which is the closest town to Lake Martin, in Tallapoosa, Elmore and Coosa counties, was called Youngville until its incorporation in 1973. The city was built on the site of one of the early towns of the Tukabatchee, a tribe of the Creek Confederacy of Indians.
This large lake, impounded in 1926, has a thermocline depth of 20 feet and a growing season of 220-frost-free days.
From 1983 to 1986, a strain of Florida largemouth bass was stocked annually into the reservoir. By 1986, a total of 115,710 bass, 1 to 2 inches in length, were distributed throughout the lake. Two other stockings have taken place since 1986. One in 1988 placed about 1.5-fingerlings per acre throughout the lake, a total of 60,008 bass in one stocking. The Florida strain was again stocked throughout Martin Lake in 1990 with a total of 38,299 fish approximately 1 to 2 inches in size put in the reservoir.
In the 1990 electrofishing sample, 42-largemouth bass were caught in just over five hours, about 8.4-bass per hour, while 91-spotted bass were taken in the same amount of time. The spotted-bass population was over twice that of the largemouth bass, seeming to suggest a dramatic shift in the fishery. In the gill netting sample, only one largemouth per hour was caught in the nets, while five spotted bass per hour were captured. A total of 70-spotted bass in 15 hours were found using the gill netting method, and another 15-spotted bass were caught in 29 hours using a trap-netting sampling approach.
An age-1 largemouth bass was over 8-1/2-inches in length and grew to over 10-1/2-inches in one year in Lake Martin in earlier samplings. Nine years later, a largemouth bass averaged 22.90-inches. From age 1 to age 9, a largemouth bass in Lake Martin grew an average of 14.05-inches. Spotted bass averaged a growth of just over 4 inches in the first year from 5.78-inches to 9.85-inches. The oldest spotted bass the sample reported was an age-5 bass with a length of 16.14-inches, an increase of 10.36-inches.
As McHugh reports, Lake Martin is a large settling basin. The abundance of threadfin shad is very low. The fishery is still experiencing a period of adjustment due to both the impoundment of Harris and the drought in the mid-80s that affected the reservoir greatly.