I caught up with 2013 FLW Cup qualifier and Evinrude Professional Angler Scott Martin today to talk about the upcoming 2013 FLW Cup on the Red River in Shreveport / Bossier City Louisiana. Scott has been competing in FLW tournaments for fourteen years and has qualified for the Cup thirteen times. In 2011, he was crowned the World Champion of Bass Fishing when he won the FLW Cup on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It’s easy to see that Scott Martin is no stranger to the pressures of fishing against the world’s best anglers.
Last year, the FLW Cup was on Lake Lanier. I spoke with Scott while he was prefishing for that event, and he was very excited at his chance to be the first angler to win back to back FLW Cup victories. Scott took a hard charge at the coveted title and performed very well coming in fourth; however, Jacob Wheeler took the win. With the “Back-To-Back” titles now off the table, I asked Scott if there seemed to be less pressure heading into the 2013 FLW Cup. His excitement was high as he chuckled, “Not really, now I want to be the first angler to win the FLW Cup twice, that’s never been done either. Really there is always a lot of pressure going into a tournament like the Cup; however, I feel good and I’m confident about what’s going on, so I think I have a good shot at winning this one.” Anyone that has ever spoken with Scott or spent any time around him knows that he is very energetic and always has a positive spin to put on the situation.
So Scott, what have you been doing during the ‘Off Limits’ period? I totally expected to hear that he was home spending time with family and relaxing, enjoying some summer fun. In a way, I guess he was, enjoying summer fun that is. Enthusiastically Scott said, “I’ve been in South Louisiana chasing some monster Red Fish. That is a lot of fun right there!” Scott went on to say that the Cup has been on his mind for the entire off limits period, “I am constantly checking the weather and water levels; I imagine I’m there on that given day and decide what I would do and how I would approach given scenario. By the time we get there and start fishing, I’ll have two weeks of weather and water history to help me decide what the bass should be doing. Knowing if the river has been in turmoil or if it’s been stable can greatly decrease the time it takes me to find quality bass.”
I asked Scott how much he pre-fished the Red River prior to the official cut off for the tournament. He said, “I got down there three to four weeks ago for two days – mostly making sure I knew how to navigate the river and its back waters.” Scott stressed several times that knowing how to get in and out of the back waters as quickly as possible could make or break you in a tournament on the Red River. Scott continued, “In a tournament like this where numbers aren’t the problem, quality fish will be the problem. Moving from location to location in search of the better bites is going to be very important. If you’re spending time hung up on stumps or sandbars, you’re losing fishing time. Knowing the shortest and fastest way from point A to point B is a huge key.”
Even though Scott Martin is known for fishing the shallow weed infested lakes of Florida; he is also a very versatile angler. For his Cup victory on Lake Ouachita, Scott was using topwater baits and swimbaits over long points; for his fourth place on Lake Lanier he presented a drop shot and a spoon around deep brush piles. I asked Scott if his shallow water experience or his versatility would help him the most in this tournament. He quickly responded, “Versatility, it is wide open, the Red River in the spring is a whole lot different than the Red River in the summer. The Red River has it all; shallow stump fields in the backs of oxbows, to deep water rocks on the main river. Right now, bass can be and are everywhere. However, the Red River suits my style of fishing very well. I’m ready for anything that is necessary to catch them.”
Without getting into patterns or how he’s going to do it, I did manage to pull a prediction of sorts out of Scott. Understandably it’s difficult to predict a tournament weight on a river system that is subject to the rains from the north, barge traffic from the south, and a variety of other variables. However, Scott predicted that an angler that can manage fourteen pounds a day is going to have a very strong shot at winning this tournament. “I expect that we’ll see a couple high teens come across the scales the first day and maybe even the second day, but the Red River can’t sustain that for several days in a row.”
Being inquisitive about possible areas Scott would be fishing in, I tried to see if I could figure out if he’ll need extra fuel or batteries for his game plan. Scott replied, “I have a few ideas and pre-fishing will tell, but fuel is not an issue. The Evinrude E-TEC that I’m running has amazing fuel economy. I can fill up for the day and even on the Red River I don’t have to worry about fuel. If I want to run to Pool 3, I just go, never looking at the fuel gauge. The fuel economy and reliability of this motor has been a game changer for me. The confidence I have is so great that I devote 100% of my focus to catching that next bass.”
This year Scott is very excited and confident he has a good shot at becoming the first angler to win the FLW Cup for a second time. With temperatures around the century mark and humidity you can cut with a knife, it’s going to be a battle of endurance along with bass catching skill.
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