Lake Q&A: Randy Baker
Lake Martin’s Randy Baker is married to Sharon Baker and has five children and three grandchildren. “I am a life long resident of Alexander City, who in my 58 years has seen many changes in our city and surrounding area,” Baker says. “But one thing remains the same: we have one of the most beautiful lakes in the U.S.” Baker worked in management at Russell for over 30 years until “economic pressure and foreign trade forced the company to close our plant.” He now serves as manager at Fish Tales Bait & Tackle on U.S. 280.
Describe your job at Fish Tales Bait & Tackle. How long have you worked there?
I am the manager of Fish Tales Bait & Tackle, responsible for the daily operations of the business. I’ve been with the company for a little over a year now and have enjoyed every minute of it. There’s nothing like working in a position where you have the opportunity to meet new people and talk to them about fishing or their other needs on a daily basis.
What do you like most about working at Fish Tales?
What I enjoy most about this position is the diversity of people I come in contact with daily. I love to talk to people about not only fishing, but the other products we have to offer. Take, for example, buildings, vehicles and our clothing lines. I thrive on hopefully helping someone fill their needs through either my experiences or my knowledge of the products and services we have to offer.
How and when did you meet your wife?
Sharon and I met at our church in September of 2008 and were married on June 25 of 2009.
How many children do you have? Where do they live?
Between the two of us we have five children: three boys and two girls. Two of our children (twins) are Commission officers in the armed services. Lane is currently stationed at Fort Hood in Texas and Lee is currently teaching ROTC at Fort Valley State in Georgia. Craig lives in Kissimmee, Fla., and Keri and her family and our youngest daughter Leigh Ann live in Conroe, Texas.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My wife would more than likely say it’s my boat and fishing equipment! In reality, it’s my salvation!
Who are three people – past or present – you’d most like to meet and why?
Willie Mays – I’ve been a fan of his since the first time I saw him play baseball on TV.
Kevin Van Dam – A chance to meet Kevin one-on-one is for obvious reasons. I’d love to pick his brain about fishing techniques and their applications.
John Wayne – I grew up watching the Duke’s movies and loved every one of them. I still enjoy watching them, even though I’ve probably seen all of them at least 10 times.
Where are your favorite spots to fish on Lake Martin?
That all depends on the time of year we are talking about. In late fall, winter and early spring I love fishing the southern part of the lake; in late spring and summer, the middle area of the lake. The early part of the fall is good just about anywhere you want to fish. As far as telling you the exact spots I fish, that probably isn’t going to happen. We fisherman are very secretive about our fishing spots.
How often do you get out on the lake?
I try to get on the lake at least once a week, and if by chance I have a few days off, I’ll go every day if my wife doesn’t have too many projects lined up for me to accomplish before I have her blessing to go. Just kidding! I have a wonderful and understanding wife. She knows after a couple of weeks of not being able to fish, I start to get cranky. So, by all means, she’s ready for me to hit the water and get out of her hair for a while.
What’s the biggest fish you’ve ever caught on Lake Martin?
The biggest largemouth I’ve caught on Lake Martin was 9 pounds 15 ounces, the largest striper was 29.65 and the largest spotted bass was 5 pounds and 2 ounces.
What’s your go-to fishing lure for Lake Martin?
Are you a cat or a dog family?
We are definitely a dog family. We have a young bulldog named Sam, who loves to tear up anything he can fit his mouth around.
What’s your favorite sports team?
I’ve been an Alabama fan since childhood and will always be.
Which commandment do you break most often?
Probably the most common among people of our generation: Thou shall not covet.
What season of the year is your favorite on Lake Martin?
Spring by far is my favorite season on Lake Martin, which is related to fishing on Lake Martin during spawning season. It’s normally the time of year to catch the larger fish on this lake.
Besides fishing, what are your favorite lake activities?
Just riding around the lake and enjoying the beauty of the lake and all it has to offer.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I guess, in hindsight, in my younger years I wouldn’t have been so self-centered and would have put other people’s needs ahead of my wants.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Vision of the future and what lies in store for all of us.
What’s the funniest or craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen on the lake?
It would have to be a boat collision near Piney Woods. One of the people involved in the wreck was more worried about us rescuing his dog than rescuing his family.
If you couldn’t live on Lake Martin, where would you live?