AaronMartensWe are about month out from the 2015 Bassmaster Classic and I find myself putting countless hours in my shop preparing for it and the upcoming season. It seems like every year I try to focus on simplifying things more and more. I think it is widely known that I am a tackle junky, tinkerer, and collector. This makes simplifying a difficult task, but I believe that the simpler I can keep things, the better chance I have to be successful.

 There are several reasons for my thinking. First, the more complex your approach is, the less focused you are on the water. It isn’t as simple as just having a few techniques and key baits and heading out on tour, but for every bait or technique I won’t use, I can focus on those that I will use. Any tackle I carry in my boat that I won’t use, just gets in the way: both mentally and organizationally.

 There is a fine line between eliminating what I won’t need and simplifying too much. If I eliminate too much, I will end up leaving something out that I might later want. At the Classic in New Orleans in 2011, I left my square bills out—a painful mistake. It may only be once every two years that I am looking for a particular bait in a tournament and that too is very distracting. The feeling that I am missing a particular bait which could be effective is a miserable one, and it definitely affects my focus. That is something I risk every time I remove something from the boat. To help avoid that, I carry a lot more with me in practice and then streamline everything before the tournament begins.

 I think every year I get a little bit better at simplifying and organizing my tackle. It is a cycle that will never end. As I add new techniques and products to my boat, inevitably I will need to remove some.

 Improving my physical health is another key component to getting ready for the season. My collective attention to running and eating correctly over the past few years has really helped me on tour. By being healthier, I am able to put more time into fishing without losing energy. Additionally, keeping my energy level high helps me focus better while I am on the water. Being tired or having low energy levels makes it difficult to keep the kind of mental focus it takes to compete against the best anglers in the world. I really believe that being fit gives me a competitive advantage, and it can do the same for you.

By Don Barone as run on Bassmaster.com

“Crowded hallways are the loneliest places…”

Dateline:  BASSfest

This is for all of you out there who have never, been noticed.

For you, in the back of the room.

The last desk in Geography class.

You who never shout, you who never raise your hand, you in 4-door sedans and not tight clothes.

Why is it that we in the media gravitate to those in spike heels, and not the folks in flip flops.

If you wear a sign that says, come see me…we will.  Wear a wife-beater white tee shirt at a disaster; you’ll lead the 6 o’clock news.

I know, I’ve put you there.

And to those in the back of the room, I apologize.  It is easy to cover, to write about those in the front row, the 2nd, the 3rd row, but you there in the back, you’re tough.

Moths, we, drawn to those in the lights… when, in fact, the greatest stories are found in the shadows.

For the first two decades of my life, the planet had no idea I was here.  When I went to my high school’s 30-something reunion, this happened over and over again, a classmate would come up to me, say hello, shake my hand, look down at my high school yearbook photo pinned to my chest, look at my name tag, look at me,

and have no idea who I was.

http://www.bassmaster.com/blog/oh-btw-aaron-martens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 12, 2014

Leeds, Ala. – Solar Bat Sunglasses and professional B.A.S.S. Elite Series angler Aaron have teamed up to design a line of sunglasses for the serious bass fisherman.

Optometrist and owner of Solar Bat Dr. Gary Nesty stated, “I am excited to team with Aaron to design and market an Aaron Martens’ Signature Series line of sunglasses.  Aaron is one of the premier bass fishermen in the USA with a list of credentials that speak for themselves.  Aaron is also know by his peers as one of, if not the most, meticulous, well organized and innovative fishermen on the B.A.S.S. Elite Trail. Solar Bat will utilize Aaron’s attention to detail to produce an outstanding line of sunglasses worthy of Aaron’s signature.”

The 2005 and 2013 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year added,  “I am looking forward to working with a sunglass company that listens and responds to the needs of bass fisherman.  Solar Bat has unique polarized tints that will improve performance on the water, and I rely heavily on my vision when I am fishing.  I am excited to work with Dr. Nesty and his knowledge of vision and lens tints to produce a superior line of lenses. Pair that with some good looking frames, and we’ll have a great line of glasses that will help anglers catch more fish as well as look good.  Overall, I am excited to be working with a sunglass company where fisherman and vision are its top priorities.”

Martens’ next event is this week on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas.  Martens is currently ranked ninth in the 2014 B.A.S.S. Elite Series Angler of the Year Standings.

For more information on Solar Bat sunglasses please visit SolarBat.com.

For more information on Aaron Martens please visit AaronMartens.com

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Bassmaster Elite Series 2013 Angler of the Year Aaron Martens will run Lithium Pro Batteries in 2014. Martens will be using Lithium Pro batteries for both his main battery and his trolling motor batteries for his 2014 season

Martens is one of the first tour level anglers to use Lithium based batteries in his boat and he knows the advantages. Martens said, “I switched to Lithium based batteries several years ago. There are so many advantages to using Lithium batteries, they are lighter, charge faster, last longer, and they don’t lose power throughout the day. Lithium Pros offers the best batteries you can put in your boat, and I am happy to be relying on them in 2014. Their warranty is an incredible four years or 800 cycles. Each cycle is a fishing day. Any angler knows a typical battery doesn’t last four years or 800 fishing days – Lithium Pros batteries do and they guarantee it!”

Lithium Pros is offering a Aaron Martens special to anyone looking to add Lithium Pro batteries to their boat, RV, truck, car, or other battery based equipment or vehicle.  Use the code AMART at checkout from their website LithiumPros.com for $100 off your total and free shipping for qualifying orders (over $2000).

Image courtesy Lithium Pro Batteries

Four times a Bassmaster Classic bridesmaid means only that the odds are with Aaron Martens to finally be the bride.

by Cara Clark / B.A.S.S.

That’s how Martens regards his legendary four near misses to be the world champion. It’s a positive spin on what could be heavy baggage heading into the Feb. 21-23 GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville and in Birmingham, Ala., Martens’ home base.

“I feel very fortunate to have come that close four times. It makes me feel like I can win. You’re that close in a short period of time; the odds are with you; it’s going to happen,” said Martens, who is looking for his first Classic crown.

Martens has more than the odds going for him this time around. He has momentum after wrapping up his 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series season by adding another Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title to his first AOY title from 2005.

He has a solid track record in Classic competitions. He’s competed in 14 Classics since 1999, missing only in 2003 after an uncharacteristic off year. In nine of the 14, he scored a Top 12 finish. In only three of those 14 did he fail to advance to the third-day finals.

In his Bassmaster career, he’s won six times (and placed second a dozen times). One of those wins was in the Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Guntersville in May 2009.

And now the world championship is coming to a lake he’s not only won on, but competed on eight times since 2002. Not to mention that the Classic is where he lives. His home in Leeds, Ala. – just east of Birmingham – is 78 miles from Lake Guntersville.

Martens has been doing his Classic homework. One priority has been keeping himself in top physical condition.

“I’ve been training so I can try to spank everybody. If I can get into phenomenally good shape, maybe it will help that much,” he said.

Martens is a runner – a marathoner. For him a 10-mile run is a warm-up. Unless he’s laid up in bed sick, he’s out running every day.

In the same dedicated way, he cares for his tackle, boat, clothing and any other gear and tools he relies on.

“I work on it all the time. I put in eight hours a day in the offseason, sometimes more,” he said. “I’m getting ready for the Classic and for the whole season. I start over every year and go through everything to make sure it’s perfect.”

Martens’ Classic homework also included about six days on Lake Guntersville over a two-week period. Other commitments kept his Classic pre-fishing time relatively short for someone who lives nearby. But he said six days was enough to bring him up-to-date on the big fishery and enough time to know there are many things about Guntersville he doesn’t know.

Overall, he liked what he saw.

“The lake’s healthy and the grass was tremendous, even in December,” he said. “With the grass as thick as it is, the bass are averaging pretty good size. For all the fishing pressure Guntersville gets, the fishing still holds up. That’s what’s so amazing about Guntersville.

“And I like Guntersville’s layout – long, with a lot of creeks on it, and good main-river stuff.”

He compared the lake now to how it was in 2009, when he won the Elite event.

“In ’09, you could catch 20 or 30 5-pounders a day. I don’t see that now,” he said. “But you can catch four or five of the big ones a day.”

He said his Guntersville goal is to bring in at least 25 pounds a day.

“I don’t know if I’ll do it, but if I can, my chances (of winning) are good,” he said.

If conditions are perfect, he said, he expects to see some 30-pound bags.

“I’m pretty sure the record will fall,” he said, referring to the Classic weight record for five fish over three days set at 69 pounds, 10 ounces in 2011 by Kevin VanDam on the Louisiana Delta.

Martens, of course, hopes to be the one who busts the record – to be the bride this time.

“Once fishing starts, it’s all business for me. I might give someone a smile, but I’m going to be serious the entire time. You have to keep your focus sharp on the task ahead of you.”

2014 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO

2014 Bassmaster Classic Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: Dick’s Sporting Goods

2014 Bassmaster Classic Official Apparel Sponsor: Carhartt

About B.A.S.S.
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications – Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times – comprehensive Bassmaster website and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

If the results from the inaugural Alabama Bass Trail (ABT) North Division tournament are any indication, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic anglers and spectators are in for a treat. by David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The ABT tournament on Lake Guntersville, site of the Bassmaster Classic on Feb. 21-23, was impressive to say the least. Winners Brandon Staggs of Summerton, Tenn., and Jerry Wright of Waterloo, Ala., weighed in 32.02 pounds, a whopping, 6-pound-plus average. Jamie Smith and Michael Rains, both of Albertville, Ala., just missed a 6-pound average with a 29.92-pound stringer for second place. The top 16 teams weighed in five-fish limits of at least 20 pounds.

What that means for the three-day Classic, dubbed the Super Bowl of bass fishing, is the fishermen and crowd will likely be on pins and needles until the final angler has weighed in on the stage at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). The drama is fueled by the fact that any of the 56 Classic competitors can potentially bring a huge sack of bass to the stage at any time.

One of those Classic anglers is Aaron Martens, 2013 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, who calls Leeds, Ala., home. A native of California, Martens couldn’t resist the quality of fishing in Alabama and permanently moved to Leeds 10 years a go.

“I considered a lot of states and decided on Alabama,” Martens said. “People are nice down here, friendly and everybody waves to you. The lakes kind of drew me in. Overall, if you like fishing, this is the place to be. You’ve got the Coosa River and the spotted bass. You can go to Pickwick and catch giant smallmouths. Then you’ve got Guntersville, which is probably the best largemouth lake in the nation outside of Falcon (Lake in Texas). The fishing is what really hooked me. When I moved here, you could go to Logan Martin and catch 40 or 50 spots in four hours.”

After a stumbling start to the 2013 season, Martens managed to overcome his disappointment with a renewed goal.

“I kind of focused that negative energy into positive energy, which I’m really good at doing for some reason,” Martens said. “I kind of complain sometimes, but that’s how I work. I’ve got no filter is what my wife (Lesley) always says. I say what I think.

“The rest of the year got progressively better and better. It seemed like I was on a mission all year. The mission was to make the Classic. Then I heard some writers talking about the statistics and that I might be able to win Angler of the Year. I thought to myself, I’ve got to at least make the Classic.”

After the 85th place finish in the opener, Martens rebounded by finishing in the top 24 in the remaining seven Elite Series tournaments. He finished second to Skeet Reese at West Point (Ga.) Lake and second to veteran Tommy Biffle at La Crosse, Wis.

“This was one of those years when I didn’t second-guess my decisions,” Martens said. “I just went and did it. Bass fishing is a lot of decisions. I can fish any way, but that last tournament fished to my strengths. But I wasn’t thinking about Angler of the Year. I was thinking about winning that tournament. My ultimate goal was to win the tournament. I had two seconds, so I didn’t need any more of those. I’ve gotten a lot of seconds. Too many.”

Martens was in second place on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair in the Elite Series finale when he had to settle for “only” winning the Angler of the Year title. Martens slamme

d into one of the big waves on St. Clair and almost knocked the motor off the stern of the boat.

“I really wanted that tournament,” he said. “I was as determined to win as I’ve ever been. It showed because I sheared the bolts off at the jack plate. It was a bad wave, plus a combination of 30 miles of 3- to 5-footers before that. I’ve never not made it to the weigh-in before. And to have the fish to win the tournament, why would that happen? But winning Angler of the Year means a lot.”

The reason Martens is so frustrated with a second-place finish is his Classic history. Four times in his career, he has finished runner-up. In the 2002 Classic on Lay Lake, Martens finished just behind Jay Yelas. In the 2004 Classic at Lake Wylie, S.C., Martens ended a couple of pounds behind winner Takahiro Omori. Martens finished only six ounces behind Kevin VanDam in the 2005 Classic in Pittsburgh. Most recently, Martens finished second to VanDam in the 2011 Classic in New Orleans.

Therefore, Lake Guntersville holds a great deal of hope for Martens as he attempts to shed the bridesmaid label.

“Guntersville is a grass lake,” he said. “There are so many big creeks in that lake that can be so good. There are so many good places to fish; it’s going to be a hard one to win. Even if you know the place really well, even if you’re Chris Lane (former Classic winner who now lives on Guntersville) and guide there, it’s anybody’s tournament. I won there in 2009, but it was later in the year.”

That victory at Guntersville in May 2009 was special. Martens won with a four-day total of 107.3 pounds. The next three finishers – Reese, Kevin Wirth and Michael Iaconelli – all weighed in more than 100 pounds.

“The lake is so good you could have a guy fish a spot that a tournament has never been won on, and he could find something special and just dominate,” Martens said. “It’s hard to say. But I’m excited about it. I usually make the cut at Guntersville, so I am excited.

“It’s a matter of getting there and getting a feel for it. Conditions change. If it rains or freezes or gets really warm, we’ll have options for different situations. This time of year on Guntersville you can get away with power fishing. But you may have to mix it up.”

Martens does expect to see plenty of big bags on the BJCC stage. He suggested that a three-day total of 75 pounds would be in the running for the title in the Classic, which will be missing defending champion Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss. Pace broke his leg in a hunting accident recently and won’t be able to compete.

“I’m thinking it’s going to take 24 or 25 pounds a day to win,” Martens said. “Then again, it could be 26 or 27 a day. I think 30 pounds would be phenomenal. Of course, if it rains all week, it might be 23 or 24 pounds. But my best guess is it’s going to take 25 pounds a day.”

Martens won’t be the only angler who lives in Alabama in the Classic. In fact, Alabama has more anglers than any state in bass fishing’s premier event. Chris Lane made the field by winning the season finale at St. Clair. David Kilgore of Jasper won a Bass Pro Shops Southern Open to qualify. Randy Howell of Springville won a Bass Pro Shops Northern Open. Cody Carden of Shelby qualified by winning the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Southern Division. Jordan Lee of Auburn qualified through the Carhartt College Classic. Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Steve Kennedy of Auburn and Gerald Swindle of Warrior all qualified through Angler of the Year points.

Classic anglers will launch each tournament day at 7:15 a.m. from City Harbor, 201 Blount Ave., in Guntersville. Doors to the weigh-ins at BJCC Arena in Birmingham will open at 3 p.m. each day. The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will be held in conjunction with the Classic at the BJCC Convention Center.

Guntersville, Ala – Aaron Martens is widely known as an extraordinary deep water angler which is largely due to his use of electronics. Martens will be using Lowrance electronics for the 2014 season.
Martens appreciates the technological advances Lowrance has made. Martens stated, “Since my early days of fishing, I have relied heavily on my sonar to help me find and catch fish. The advances Lowrance has made over the past decade have literally changed fishing. Lowrance has made deep water fishing, and finding fish at any depth much easier. It’s gotten to the point where I spend days on the water without making a single cast, I’ll just use my electronics to see what’s below and to the sides of the boat. It’s really incredible what the new Lowrance units can do and I can’t wait to put them to good use next week at the Bassmaster Classic. “
Lowrance makes a large variety of electronics for use by fisherman including those fishing for bass. In 2008, Lowrance launched the first high definition multifunctional display unit that redefined marine electronics.  Today they offer units with SideScan®, Down Scan Imaging ™, Broadband sonar, Trackback, Broadband Radar, and a host of other technological advantages for anglers.
 The Lowrance brand is wholly owned by Navico, Inc. A privately held, international corporation, Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G.
Martens kicks off his 2014 season at the Bassmaster Classic next week at Lake Gunersville. The Classic Appearance will be Martens’ 15th appearance in the championship. In his three previous Alabama based Classics, Martens has finished in 2nd, 9th and 25th, all of which were on Lay Lake.