Like Faircloth, Aaron Martens has also lifted two Elite Series trophies over his head and has developed the uncanny ability to routinely put himself in position to win on championship Sunday. Since his last Elite Series victory on Lake Guntersville in 2009, Martens has recorded five top 10 regular season finishes.
This week on the Mississippi River, Martens has hinted that he’s doing something drastically different than the rest of the field, and it has been paying off in a big way. On Saturday, he brought in a limit weighing 16-2 to boost his three day total weight to 47-4.
Keying on one main area, Martens said that his area has changed each day of the competition. “The water has come up maybe a foot and a half since the tournament started,” he explained. “It has definitely changed a lot. The water has come up and gotten dirtier and everything is moving around.”
On Saturday, his day got off to a slow start, but a late flurry saved his day. “I figured some stuff out towards the end of the day,” he said. “I really don’t want to say that much, because I have a lot of spectator boats around me. I just don’t want people to know what I’m doing yet.”
Aaron Martens talks about fishing sunlit banks in falling water for bass.
We’re coming into the time of the year that bass begin to settle into their summer haunts. Those deep water ledges, humps brushpiles and rockpiles that will be their bedrooms, dining rooms and recreation areas for most of the hot part of the year.
While bass have set up shop in the deeper areas of lakes across the country, a lot anglers typically do the same. There are those who go looking for deep water, find a depth they think bass are in, and start casting, hoping for bites. Then there are those anglers in the know. Those anglers that are skilled at finding and catching bass on offshore spots, sometimes a mile or more offshore.
In order to be successful out there, they need to rely on their underwater eyes; their fishfinders. Two of those anglers who excel this time of the year are Bella Vista, Ark. pro Mike McClelland and Leeds, Ala. pro Aaron Martens, a transplant from the West.
McClelland is most widely known for his skills with an offshore structure jig, and Martens ability to pick apart a piece of offshore structure with a spinning rod are legendary. However, their success begins even before they pick up a rod. It begins with their proficiency with their fishfinders. “You’ve got to know what you’re fishing before you even make a cast,” said McClelland. “I spend time on my Lowrance HDS units making sure that there are fish there before I even make a cast.”
Martens agrees. But, it goes deeper than just knowing fish are in the area. “You have to know that the fish are there, the bait are there, and what kind of mood they are in,” said Martens. “I can tell all of that with my Humminbird 1198 before I even make a cast.”
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