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by Dan O’Sullivan
Talk to any number of professional bass fishing fans and you will find that the name Aaron Martens is synonymous with being meticulous with his tackle, and that he is one of the best anglers in the business. Talk to any number of those bass fishing insiders – including some of his competitors – and you will hear much the same.
Martens is a gifted angler, one who fishes with as much natural instinct as anyone on the pro tours. Martens is extremely creative. His reputation for finding unique ways to put bass in the boat is the stuff of legend. Martens is a winner. the 2004 Bassmaster Angler of the Year He is the lone Bassmaster Angler to have won a Bassmaster event on all of the major B.A.S.S. tournament waters in the State of California.
He won Bassmaster Invitationals at Lake Oroville in 1999, in 2000 at Lake Shasta, and Clear Lake in 2002. Then, in 2007, he won an Elite Series event on The California Delta. Of course he followed that win up with a 2009 victory on Lake Guntersville; but the point is, Martens is a skilled angler.
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.
In the minds of many anglers, the Red River that courses across northwestern Louisiana isn’t a finesse-angler’s venue. Instead, it’s touted as a waterway suited for anglers who flip jigs and soft-plastic baits, or wield spinnerbaits and a variety of crankbaits.
But during the recent Bassmaster Classic at Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama, spent most of his time afloat brandishing a finesse outfit.
In fact, one of Martens’ fellow competitors, Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Oklahoma, said it was both a stellar and amazing sight to watch Martens allure an array of largemouth bass on February 25 in a backwater area called McDade. Roumbanis also confessed that he was somewhat distraught and depressed by watching Martens’ wizardry with finesse tackle, and the reason for that was Roumbanis didn’t have any finesse tackle in his boat. Thus he couldn’t emulate Martens’ methods.