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.