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Not every angler gets a chance to learn first person from the pros. The opportunity to sit in a boat with some of the best anglers in the business and learn their favorite tips and techniques is rare. knows this, and when we went to the SPRO, Big Bite, Sunline, Gamakatsu and Pinnacle Writer’s Conference at Table Rock Lake, we tried to get some in-depth tips from the best in the business.

Here Aaron Martens talks about setting up his Drop Shot Rig. Learn from one of the best finesse anglers in the world in this Advanced Angler Video.

Click here to watch the video.

Bait holders on a hook can save you fish, time and money. When a fish bites and you set and miss, the bait will often ball up on the hook, sometimes causing the hook to not penetrate the fish. Plus, then you have to pull the bait from the water, fix your plastic and then re-present the bait to the fish. Oftentimes it is too late to get the fish to react again. By eliminating the balling of your bait at the bottom of the hook, you can preserve the bait and fish it longer and for more than just a few fish.

Gamakatsu offers a Heavy Cover hook and Roboworm offers a re-Barb Hook that both work well. However, there are times when I want a different hook with a bait holder on it. One of my favorite hooks is a 3/0 worm bend hook from Gamakatsu, and so far it doesn’t come with a bait holder.

There are also times where you need a bigger gap between the eye of the hook and the bait holder (for when you want to snell the hook rather than tie a knot). This works well for that.  If you are fishing a large soft plastic bait, you’ll need a bigger gap than pre-made bait holders offer. This is another excellent reason to be able to add your own keeper. I have taught many of my fellow Elite Series anglers how to do this. I hope this helps save you money and put more fish in the boat.

What you’ll need:  A hook, some light 10-pound braided line, a jig weedguard (single strand), and something to hold your hook in place, like a tying vise.


During the summer of 2011, we worked with Steve Quinn, In-Fisherman’s senior editor,  on an article  about jigworms for the 2012 “Gear Guide.”

A substantial part of the article pivoted around the shaky-head phenomenon.  Some it centered upon the  shaky-head observations and methods  of Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama, who competes on the Bassmaster and FLW circuits, as well as several other tourneys such as the U.S. Open at Lake Mead, Nevada.

Across his 13 years as a professional tournament angler, he has garnered 56 top 10 finishes and his name has reigned at the top of the leader board seven times at Bassmaster and FLW events, amassing $2,314,375 in prize money. He earned the Bassmaster angler-of-the-year award in 2005. What’s more, he won the prestigious U.S. Open in 2004, 2005 and 2011.

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