Bull Shoals, AR – Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Brent Chapman, Randy Howell and Aaron Martens will be flying new colors on the first day of the Bull Shoals event. All three professional’s will be wearing their jersey’s altered in colors to represent local or nearby sports teams on the first day of the event. These jerseys will be sold on eBay over the next week with all proceeds going to charities that you can help select. Read More
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Aaron Martens had a cold. He hadn’t been able to kick it in time for the annual Ragnar Relay team race, but he ran anyway. He ran through the sniffles, stuffy head and runny nose.
“The guys who won the race had the same cold,” he said two days after the Miami-to-Key West relay team event. “That’s what makes us runners. We run even if we’re sick. If you can still walk, you can run.”
Same thing happened last fall. Martens had walking pneumonia, but he kept his commitment to run the Philadelphia Marathon.
Since taking up running about two years ago, Martens, 40, has earned the right to be called a runner. But that’s not, of course, how most people know him. They know him as a highly successful Bassmaster Elite Series pro. Training for a race provides the motivation to run, and he runs to stay healthy.
Right now, feeling very fit (despite the cold), he is moving fast toward the biggest event of the season: The Bassmaster Classic taking place Feb. 22-24, on Grand Lake.
The Classic’s first prize is $500,000 and an instant entry for the next Classic. That provides security for a season. The prestige, media and fan attention, and new sponsorships can change a career.
Sure, Martens would embrace a winner’s package, but he’s already a star of the sport. He has a huge fan base, especially in Japan. He’s racked up $1.9 million in Bassmaster earnings alone. He owns six Bassmaster titles — including his most recent in the 2012 postseason: 2012 Toyota Trucks All-Star champ — and 10 Top 10 finishes. He was the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, too.
During Major League Fishing’s August filming at Chautauqua Lake in Western New York, a ritual took place each evening as the sun was setting. A lone runner would pass Major League Fishing’s lakeside studio set, pacing himself at a steady clip. He would glance over at the set and wave enthusiastically if anyone noticed that he was running by.
That lone runner was angler Aaron Martens, and he was training for the Philadelphia Marathon that would take place less than two months after completion of the Chautauqua event. Martens ran every day, anywhere from five to 12 miles. Even after spending all day fishing competitively or filming production work, the early evening hours still meant one thing – a training run.
Martens, a six-time B.A.S.S. winner with 55 Top Ten finishes, began running in 2011 and began serious marathon training this past summer.
In the beginning, he took what he considered a long run one day – the object was to see how far he could go. His run was 3.5 miles – not bad but not exactly marathon material. “That’s the best I could do. It was slow, and I couldn’t go a step farther,” he said.
But soon the distances increased and the pace was faster. By August of this year, the marathon training was on schedule. Martens had a brief setback in late October, a bout of walking pneumonia that coincided with Major League Fishing’s second fall filming, at Lake Istokpoga in Florida. But after the brief illness knocked him down for the better part of two weeks, he recovered and competed in Philadelphia.
Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Aaron Martens, Randy Howell and Brent Chapman have teamed up to launch a new for print only magazine, Bass Quest. The 80-page high-gloss, full-color magazine will be less than 10 percent advertising in the first issue and all issues in the future. Although, all future magazines will be print only, the first issue is available to view online. To view the first issue or to subscribe, visit BassQuestMagazine.com. Bass Quest is offering anglers who subscribe before Jan. 2, 2013 the first issue autographed by all three professionals.
“The magazine will feature no less than 20 different tour level pros,” said Howell. “That means pros from both the Elite Series and the FLW Tour will be in our magazine. I believe the first issue has 10 FLW Tour professionals and 14 Elite Series pros. Each magazine will also feature some high school anglers, college anglers and kids. We are doing some things in the kids section that we hope can excite kids about fishing and give them some opportunities to interview their favorite pro or win some free tackle.”
“Having our own media source allows us to explore sides of this sport most fans never see,” said Martens. “We want to offer a more personal side to the anglers, kind of like People magazine for celebrities. We’ll still be going in depth on how to catch more or bigger fish, but we think that it’s important to share some of the personal side of the anglers.”
“We want to express our support for Bassmaster and the many other great media outlets for bass fishing,” Howell said. “We hope to be a welcome addition to the media that can help grow and enhance our sport. We just love the sport and we all felt like it was time for a magazine from the angler’s perspective.”
Perhaps one of the best anglers to opine on west coast spotted bass is none other than Aaron Martens. With five Bassmaster and one FLW win to his credit, this 2005 Bassmaster Angler of the Year is a master when it comes to catching spotted bass. Growing up in California and having fished some of the greatest spotted bass lakes in the west, the 39 year-old pro began fishing team and club tournament at the age of 15. Fast forward to today, and Aaron now resides in Alabama where he’s closer to his destinations in the Bassmaster Elite Series events. Martens is quick to point out the major difference between east coast and west coast spotted bass fisheries – the size of the lakes. “The east coast lakes are larger, shallower, and more stained than in the west, and the east coast lakes get more extreme weather conditions, generally have more current, and the forage for bass is more diverse and complex than west coast lakes,” summarizes Martens.
However, just because there are differences in the sizes of the lakes, complexity and forage, that doesn’t mean Martens alters his approach to patterning spots whether he is on the east coast or west coast. He says, “Sure there are differences but a spot is a spot no matter where it lives and I have my tried and true methods for catching spots in the fall that work day in and day out, east or west.”
The west coast has a number of spotted bass lakes but Aarons’ favorites are Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville. “These are two of the most beautiful lakes I have ever fished and you can catch a bunch of quality spots on both.” Another place Martens mentions is a little lake called Pine Flat Lake where in 2001 the world record 10.27 pound spotted bass was caught with a Yamamoto Senko during a tournament by angler Bryan Shishido.
By Don Barone
“Mama may have,
and papa may have…”
It is not what we say,
but what we do, that is the measure of the man.
It is not what we take,
but what we give, that is the measure of the man.
It is not what we help ourselves to,
but what we help others with, that is the measure of the man.
I certainly want to thank you for your more than generous $15,000 donation to Tackle The Storm Foundation, but more so my friend, I want to tell you what it means.
I would do so on the phone.
I would do so in person.
I would do so eye to eye.
If I could do so without breaking down.
But I can’t.
The only way I can thank you, is through the keyboard, writing late into the night, early morning.
The only way to really thank you, is to tell you what your gift means.
Means not to me.
Means not to the Board of Directors.
Means not to your fans.
But what it means,
to the children.
“…God bless the child who can…”
Walk with me through fields of destruction, Aaron, help me untangle a child’s tiny jeans from the clutches of a barbed wire fence.
Leeds, Ala – Aaron Martens is finally returned home after a nearly two month tournament trail road trip. He would like to take the time to thank everyone for the support and votes that sent him to the All Star event, and eventually a victory. “It was almost more rewarding being voted in instead of qualifying in the top eight. It means a lot to have the fans support me. I narrowly missed qualifying in the top eight, but to get over 17,000 votes really blows me away and I can’t think the fans enough.”
Before he was officially voted in, he promised to hold a drawing from the names of those who voted for him. The winners and their prizes are as follows:
Steven Letson – 10 Megabass baits
John Valerio – A tournament used (pristine condition) Megabass Rod
Tim Patterson – An autographed tournament worn jersey
Rob Melendez – A day fishing with Martens himself.
The real winner of the contest, however, was the Tackle the Storm Foundation. Martens had promised to donate at least 25% of his winnings to this great cause, so Tackle the Storm won $15,000!
The drawing was held via live webcast September 21st and can be viewed at For those who would like to see a replay of the drawing visit