Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Aaron Martens Reveals ‘Secrets’ of Success
October 9, 2007
If long-term consistency in the Bassmaster Elite Series was an award, Aaron Martens would be a prime candidate to win it.
Not only was Martens the winner in 2005 of the Angler of the Year crown — pro fishing’s greatest accomplishment — he has been in the top six in the AOY standings every year since 2004. He qualified this year for his ninth Bassmaster Classic. He finished second at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Classics. He has four event titles to his name, including an Elite win this past season, and he’s a member of the exclusive BASS millionaires club.
It’s a consistently successful record. So how does he do it? Does he have a magic lure in his tackle box? Secret ways of finding fish? Or is he just one lucky guy?
Perhaps all of the above is true for Martens at one time or another, but the major reasons he gives for his success aren’t as flashy: He’s organized. He fuels his body. He trusts his gut.
“It’s unbelievable how much time you can waste on the water and off if your tackle’s not organized,” said Martens, a 35-year-old native Californian who moved a few years ago to Leeds, Ala. “Keeping up with my tackle is like a regular job when I’m home.
“In 2003 I had my worst season. Then during the off-season, I went to work on my tackle, got it organized, and I was back in 2004. I finished second in the Classic, and was Angler of the Year the next year. Now that I’m organized, I’m five times more efficient.”
Maintaining his health is another top priority for Martens. “You need a lot of energy just to do well enough to make a check every tournament,” he said. “You don’t ever want to feel hungry or tired. It steals your energy and focus.”
Several years ago, he said, his weight plummeted.
“I was too lean, and looking back on it, I think that was why I wasn’t doing as well I as wanted to,” he said, alluding to 2003, the one year in the past 10 seasons in which he failed to qualify for the Classic. “But the past four to five years, I’ve been eating tons of food, drinking a lot of fluids and trying to get more sleep, and that’s helped me a lot.
“Fishing is a sport, the same as, say, basketball. It’s a lot of strain on your body, and you have to fuel it.”
The third key to Martens’ success is his steadfast confidence in his talents and instincts.
“I basically stick to myself during tournaments,” he said. “I try not to talk to others so I can focus on my own abilities and rely on myself. Depending on other people throws you off and can really hurt you.”
Martens, by the way, is colorblind. It’s not something he thinks much about, and his consistent record shows it doesn’t affect his game.
“Although I have perfect vision, I have a hard time seeing blue or red. I can’t see something like red writing on a billboard,” he said. “But in fishing, colors aren’t as important as shades; it’s how fish see. I just pick the lure with the best shade for the conditions.”
BRINGING HOME THE EDDIE. Bassmaster, the magazine that brings the world the sport of competitive bass fishing, won a prize at the recent 2007 FOLIO: Awards in New York City.
Bassmaster scored a Silver Eddie award for overall excellence in the category of consumer sports magazine with a 2006 circulation above 500,000. ESPN The Magazine won the Gold Eddie in the same category.
“Bassmaster has again proved that it is a leader in not only sportfishing titles, but all sports journalism,” said editor James Hall.
In taking home the prestigious award, Bassmaster beat out 1,500 other titles.
CARRYING HOME THE CUP. Five BASS pros were on the 12-angler American team that brought home “the cup” again this year.
Eurobass Cup is an annual invitational competition that pits an American team against a European team on a Spanish lake.
Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Wirth of Crestwood, Ky., was this year’s individual champion, leading the American team to its fourth straight victory.
Besides Wirth, Elite pros who participated in the Sept. 25-26 event were Greg Gutierrez of Red Bluff, Calif.; Charlie Youngers of Geneva, Fla.; and Keith Phillips of Calera, Ala. Bassmaster Open pro Terry Segraves of Kissimmee, Fla., also competed.
WRAP RAP. Christiana Bradley of Bealeton, Va., is one of the growing number of pros who have wrapped boats though they are not competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series, where all contenders run wraps.
Bradley competes on the Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats. Her rig is a Triton TR-21 X, fully wrapped in the yellow and black colors and logo of her sponsor, Geico Powersports.
Besides being selected by her fellow WBT competitors as having the “hottest rig running” during the 2007 season, Bradley was featured in a full-page Geico advertisement that ran in Bassmaster Magazine’s November issue.
TAG TEAM. Six Triton/Mercury rigs valued at $250,000 are on the line at the inaugural Triton Boats BASS Club World Championship presented by Mercury Marine this week in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
The Oct. 11-13 competition on the Red River is a unique format that results in one BASS Federation Nation club being able to claim bragging rights to having the best six-man team in the world. The winning team takes home the six rigs, which are fitted with Lowrance electronics and MotorGuide trolling motors.
There are 60 teams entered in the event. To qualify for the Louisiana championship, a team first had to advance through state and regional events.
WEIGHTY WORDS. “I think today I had the worst day I’ve had all year.” — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., on the weigh-in stand at the Bassmaster Central Open on Texas’ Lake Amistad, as he realized he missed the cut and his chance at a 2008 Bassmaster Classic berth