Category News

Aaron Martens is one of the best “natural” fishermen there is. In other words, he’s got some of the best instincts on tour and thinks so much like a fish that at times he forgets he doesn’t have gills. Besides great instincts, Martens’ meticulous nature regarding terminal tackle makes it easy for him to capitalize on his intuition. He even takes fluorocarbon into restaurants with him so it doesn’t get hot in his truck, which damages the fragile line.

But, we’re here to talk hooks, so here are his five favorites. Click Here

Today’s big news on the bass fishing scene is the announcement of Major Fishing League. The Major League Fishing includes 24 of the best anglers in the world in an all new game with new rules and no limits. To be invited as one of the anglers means a lot to me and I am looking forward to it.  Major League Fishing is a made for television style event that due to the new format will showcase bass fishing and educate anglers around the world.  You can find all the details in the press release below and follow it on or on Major League Fishing’s Facebook page.

Outdoor Channel and 24 Top Pro Bass Anglers Form


Kevin VanDam, Skeet Reese, Mike Iaconelli and Gary Klein among select group to compete in a new game, with new rules and no limits

TULSA, Okla. August 4, 2011 Declaring the creation of a new game, with new rules and no limits, Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader in Outdoor TV, and 24 of the world’s premiere competitive bass fishing anglers have come together to form MAJOR LEAGUE FISHINGTM. This new sports organization will feature competitive bass fishing events designed to bring high-intensity challenges to the competitors and entertainment, as well as insight, to audiences.

Under the new format, anglers will compete with no limit on the number of “legal” fish they can weigh and will not be allowed to begin the events with stored, user-generated GPS waypoints. The anglers will have access to a real-time leader board in their boats, showing them where they rank in the standings at any given time. In another twist, anglers will not be allowed any on-site practice time before MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING events.

“Major League Fishing will offer sports fans a unique way to view bass fishing competitions with production features that go beyond just fishing to focus on the personalities, struggles, strategies, conflicts and emotions of the anglers,” said Outdoor Channel CEO and President Roger Werner. “Outdoor Channel is proud to be involved in this project from the ground floor and we see an outstanding future in this partnership. This latest venture reflects Outdoor Channel’s ongoing commitment to innovative, high-quality content that our core and loyal base of viewers has come to expect from us.”

MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competitors include household names in the pro fishing industry, including seven Bassmaster Classic champions, eight Bassmaster Anglers of the Year and a three-time FLW champion, in addition to a host of other multiple-time winners of major tournaments. Former Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gary Klein and 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett were instrumental in putting together the innovative format.

“It is like nothing we’ve ever done or seen at this level, and I can assure you the anglers are excited about this,” Klein said.

“The format is exciting, and the television production will be top-notch,” Duckett said. “Our goal was to put together a group of the most influential anglers in the business, and we have done that. They understand we’re offering something that will enhance the way the public views our sport.”

Skeet Reese, a former Bassmaster Angler of the Year and Bassmaster Classic champion, called MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING “a new frontier.”

“What your grandfather did, your father did, and what I did last week in tournament fishing has been around for decades,” Reese said. “If you want to see a new, fun and exciting format that will take competitive fishing to a new level, then you’ve got to check out Major League Fishing.”

Jim Wilburn, founder and chairman of the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Winnercomm production company, has been named general manager of MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING. Don Rucks, a former B.A.S.S. general manager, will serve as the league commissioner.

“I’ve been involved for many years with sporting events of all kinds, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been more excited about a project than I am about Major League Fishing,” Wilburn said. “We have a great concept, and we have the enthusiastic participation of the best anglers in the world. I believe this is going to be extraordinary.”

A weeklong event – the MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING CHALLENGE CUP – will be held later this year. The event will be broken down into episodes and aired in the second quarter of 2012 on the Outdoor Channel.


Tommy Biffle Denny Brauer Mark Davis
Boyd Duckett Brent Ehrler Edwin Evers
Shaw Grigsby Greg Hackney Tim Horton
Michael Iaconelli Alton Jones Kelly Jordon
Gary Klein Jeff Kriet Aaron Martens
Mike McClelland Ish Monroe Takahiro Omori
Jason Quinn Skeet Reese Dean Rojas
Marty Stone Kevin VanDam Byron Velvick


MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING is a partnership of 24 of the world’s most talented, influential professional bass anglers and the Outdoor Channel. For more information about the new game, with new rules and no limits, please visit:

About Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc.

Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OUTD) owns and operates Outdoor Channel, America’s leader in outdoor TV, and Winnercomm Inc., an Emmy Award winning production and interactive company. Outdoor Channel offers programming that captures the excitement of hunting, fishing, shooting, off-road motorsports, adventure and the Western lifestyle and can be viewed on multiple platforms including high definition, video-on-demand, as well as on a dynamic broadband website. Winnercomm Inc. is one of America’s leading and highest quality producers of live sporting events and sports series for cable and broadcast television. Winnercomm also owns and operates the patented Skycam and CableCam aerial camera systems which provide dramatic overhead camera angles for major sports events, including college and NFL football. For more information, please visit

BASSMASTER (Bassmaster) and BASSMASTER CLASSIC (Bassmaster Classic) are registered trademarks of B.A.S.S., L.L.C.


Outdoor Channel and America’s Leader in Outdoor TV are registered trademarks of OUTDOOR CHANNEL HOLDINGS, INC.

Las Vegas, Nev. – Aaron Martens of Leeds Alabama holds on to win his third U.S. Open. True Image Promotions; Martens’ Public Relations firm, caught up with him the day after his win, while he was on the road to the B.A.S.S. All-Star event on Lake Jordan in Alabama.

The U.S. Open Tournament

“The U.S. Open is probably the most grueling tournament anywhere,” explained the 2011 US Open Champion.  “Mentally and physically this event will push you to your limits.”

“The unique thing about the Open is, it’s the one place where anyone can take a shot at fishing against the sports best like Rick Clunn, Gary Klein, Fred Roumbanis, Mike Folkestad, Morizo Shimizu and more. Then you have the local sticks that come out and mix it up very well.  The Western anglers are good, really good, and to compete with them in their backyard is not easy.  I love Lake Mead and it’s my backyard too.”

Matching Mike Folkestad with the most US Open Victories (3):

“It’s not about winning the U.S. Open more than anyone else or setting records.  To me it’s just about fishing and testing my skills.  Mike is 70 years old and he still goes out and works as hard as or harder than anyone out there. I have known Mike since I was 14 years old and he’s paved the way for guys like me to make it on tour from the West Coast.  Mike’s somebody I’ve looked up to for a long time and to hold the most wins with him is pretty cool. I actually hope Mike gets his fourth win before I do; but won’t be upset if he doesn’t.”

Fishing with Co-Anglers

“This event is different than most because you fish with a co-angler and you fish as a team, not against each other.  I had three great co-anglers and they helped out quite a bit.  On day two I had the pleasure of fishing with 13-year-old Carson Sims from Texas.  Kids like him are the future of our sport and that is great to see.  Just finishing three days of grueling fishing on Mead in the heat is an accomplishment but, he also fished well and caught the big fish on the first day of the event. What was really neat was he donated his $1000 big fish check to the Wounded Warrior foundation.  That was great as everyone should care about the soldiers who fight for our country.”

The Baits

“Lake Mead is literally fishing in a desert. I told my co-anglers that it’s a lot like trying to hunt coyote in the desert; they aren’t everywhere so you have to find a coyote here and there. You have to cover a lot of desert to find a lot, but they are there. Bass on Lake Mead are similar; which is why I chose my baits based on covering a lot of water.  I used three techniques mostly; a Davis Bait Company X-Vibe spinnerbait, a 4 ½-inch Roboworm on a drop shot rig and a Davis Bait Company football head jig.

Natural colors are important on Lake Mead.   The spinnerbait was a natural shad color. I used two colors of Roboworm, Aaron’s Magic and Blue Crawler and the Davis jig was green pumpkin.”

The Equipment

“For the drop shot I was fishing with a 10 to 12 foot leader of 6-pound-test Sunline FC Sniper Fluorocarbon on a 6’10” Megabass Hedgehog spinning rod.  The tip of this rod is amazing; I have never seen another rod like it.   I used a 3/8-ounce tungsten drop shot weight and a Gamakatsu split shot hook. On day three, I did downsize my line to 5-pound-test to get more bites; Lake Mead will definitely make you a good light line fisherman.

For the spinnerbait I was using 12 and 14-pound-test Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon on a Megabass 7’2” Racing Condition rod and a 7:1 reel.  The rod was key because long casts were a must. My average cast was probably 120 feet with a long cast going over 150 feet.  The parabolic action of the Racing Condition rod is perfect and excellent for lighter line reaction fishing because it allows for good hook penetration on the bite, but it doesn’t rip large holes to make the bait fall out during the fight.

One question I get a lot is where to get the Megabass rods that I use.  The simple answer is to contact or email them at

The spinnerbait I used was slightly altered. I modify most of my baits. I cut down the wire about an inch and used only a single willow blade instead of two. I did use a size 1/0 Gamakatsu trailer hook, which is odd because I usually use a size 2/0 or 3/0.  I downsized the trailer hook because of the super clear water on Lake Mead.”

On Lake Mead

“The harder you fish the better you do. I worked my ‘hiney’ off this week.  I have never gone five days on only 16 hours of sleep before.  I have been fishing the US Open on Lake Mead since I was allowed to.  It’s made me the angler that I am today.

Lake Mead can be brutal on boats as well. This was my first trip out there in my Phoenix and I am so happy with this boat I can’t even tell you.  In the morning, its calm, but you have to run through ‘the narrows.’  It’s literally the Grand Canyon filled with water. With 400 foot walls on both sides of you; it’s only a third of a mile wide in some places, after a lot of boats run through there it can get pretty bumpy.  I don’t want to sound like a commercial, but the Phoenix is awesome.  It has a straight V all the way down the boat; there isn’t a flat spot in the back so you don’t have any hard bounces, the Phoenix cuts right through everything.”

The Road Trip to B.A.S.S. All Star Week
“Contrary to some earlier reports, I am actually going to get there with about a half a day to spare; I might actually get a little pre-fishing in.   I’ve fished Jordan about a dozen times before and I think I can do well there even with just a little pre-fish. My goal is to win this event. It would be cool to win on the West Coast and then back east; back to back; we’ll see.

One thing I would like to clear up is about the All Star event and my semi-late arrival.  After being selected by the fans I had a talk with Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director and I was ready to not fish the U.S. Open if they required it.  I was given permission by B.A.S.S. to do exactly as I am doing now.  I really appreciate B.A.S.S and their understanding of my situation.”

Before I go, I’d like to thank all the fans that voted me into the All Star Week event. I met a lot of them at the U.S. Open and I can’t tell you how much it means to me and it is much appreciated.”


Aaron Martens became the first three-time winner of the U.S. Open on Wednesday as he caught a 10.51-pound sack on the final day at Nevada’s Lake Mead for a 3-day total of 33.11. The California native, who now resides in Leeds, Ala., also claimed the title in 2004 and ’05.

Prior to the event he was one of six anglers to have won the Open twice. The others are Rick Clunn, Mike Folkestad, John Murray, Byron Velvick and Cliff Pirch.

Following the final-day weigh-in, Martens embarked on an arduous trip to Alabama to arrive in time for the start of practice for the first leg of the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week on Friday morning. He was one of four Bassmaster Elite Series pros voted into the 12-angler All-Star field.