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DANDRIDGE —Aaron Martens hasn’t won an Bassmaster Elite Series tournament since 2009, but after hauling in a nearly 24 pounds of fish Thursday, that four-year drought may be over.

Martens’ haul of 23 pounds, 14 ounces was the best in the Douglas Lake Challenge by two pounds. Three other fishermen — Matt Reed, Andy Montgomery and Britt Myers — all had totals of more than 21 pounds to round out the top four at the first-day weigh-in at The Point Marina.

Day two of the tournament begins this morning, with boats departing The Point Boat Dock at 6:30. Weigh-in will again begin at 3:15 p.m. at The Point Marina and is free and open to the public.

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Aaron Martens began to pull himself out of his season slump Thursday by leading the Douglas Lake Challenge with 23 pounds, 14 ounces, an even 2 pounds ahead of Texan Matt Reed, his nearest challenger in the four-day Bassmaster Elite Series event.

“I’m out there catching nice fish for once,” said Martens, a five-time Bassmaster champion who this year sits in 79th place in points after three 2012 Elite events. “It’s been an awful four tournaments in a row for me (three Elite events plus an Open tournament). My wife said last night, ‘Just go out and have fun.’”

His fun began about 7 a.m. Thursday, when he had 19 pounds of largemouth bass in the boat less than a half hour after the day’s start. He began to cull to improve on 19 pounds. By the end of the day, the largest of his five biggest bass was a 5-pounder.


This is the last video you ever need to watch on how to drop shot. It’s nothing but Aaron Martens walking you through the how and why to fish a drop shot and how to approach the fish and the tackle, options and more. It’s long but worth 10 minutes of your time to understand how he’s had so much success. For a follow-up feature on drop shotting be sure to check out


Sunline of ten 1200-yard spools of FC Sniper to 10 lucky anglers who post “April Promo” on their Facebook wall at will end Saturday. If you haven’t done it already, you can go to their facebook page and post April Promo on their wall for a chance to win a bunch of FC Sniper fluorocarbon line.

Elite Series veteran and thirteen time Bassmaster Classic qualifier Aaron Martens has utilized Sunline fluorocarbon, monofilament and braid for most of his career.

“Sunline has been a huge part of my career,” Martens said. “For many years I was the only angler on tour using Sunline and it was a big advantage.  Today, there are lot of anglers using Sunline and although my advantage over the anglers might be gone, it still gives me a big advantage over the fish.”