Aaron Martens Rules Day 1 at Elite Series Table Rock

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Elite Series Table Rock Day One Leader Aaron Martens - photo by Seigo Saito - Bassmaster

Elite Series Table Rock Day One Leader Aaron Martens – photo by Seigo Saito – Bassmaster

BRANSON, Mo. — Aaron Martens called it a “picture-perfect day.” Mark Davis said he was “singing hymns all day.” Chris Lane landed inside his “comfort zone.”

And that’s how it was for three of the hottest pros in bass fishing on Thursday, the first day of the April 3-6 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite on Table Rock Lake.

Martens, the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, took the Day 1 lead at Table Rock with 18 pounds, 11 ounces of largemouth bass. Davis, currently in the lead for the 2014 AOY prize, was second with 18 pounds, 8 ounces. Right behind them with 18-5 was Lane, who won the most recent Elite Series event less than two weeks ago.

The three leaders have lots of company. Weighing 17-4 to tie at fourth place were Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., and Jamie Horton of Centreville, Ala. They were 1 pound, 7 ounces, behind Martens.

Even the pro in 12th place trailed Martens by 3-5. That mark was set at 15-6 by Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark.

Martens, a California native who relocated to Leeds, Ala., several years ago, anchored his 18-11 with an 8-0.

“I had a picture-perfect day,” Martens said. “I caught almost everything that bit, and I didn’t lose very many. I pulled that 8-pounder from between three or four trees on non-heavy line.”

Martens, who has fished Table Rock Lake many times, tried to find new areas during the three-day practice. In the end, he returned to spots on which he had success in the past — “fishing old stuff,” he called it.

A solid pattern helped, he said, but the only two lures he used Thursday were key.

“One bait I’m using is pretty phenomenal, but I bet half the guys are using it too,” he said, declining to name the lures.

Even if the weights were not tight, Martens expects Day 2 of the tournament to see changes in the leaderboard.

“This lake is notorious for having a leader one day, and then that guy blanks,” Martens said.

Davis, who is from Mount Ida, Ark., won a Bassmaster Tour on Table Rock in 2004. His history helped him get to work Thursday. And that work involved a lot of “hunting and pecking,” he said.

“That’s how you have to fish this lake,” he said.

Davis came into the Table Rock event leading the points race after finishing third in both of the first two tournaments of the season.

Lane, a Florida transplant to Guntersville, Ala., skipped over Table Rock’s clear, clear water. Instead, he went back to a favorite comfort zone of his: casting in shallow, stained water up into the backs of creeks.

He targeted big bass, selecting three baits to go after the larger bass. The strategy worked. One of his five largemouth bass was a 5-9 and another weighed 5-4.

Lane was trading size for numbers; he caught just seven fish all day.

That, on a day when many of the pros weeded through scores of bass less than 15 inches — the legal keeper size — to put together a five-bass limit in any combination of largemouth, spotted bass and smallmouth.

The event’s first prize is $100,000 and an instant qualification for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. The Elite pros also are out to earn points that count toward a Classic qualification and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

Martens’ 8-0 was the largest bass of the day. He became the front-runner for the event’s Carhartt Big Bass award of up to $1,500.

The full field of 108 Elite pros will return to the Table Rock at 6:30 a.m. Friday at State Park Marina (300 State Park Marina Drive, Branson, MO 65616).

Friday’s weigh-in will be at State Park Marina. On Saturday and Sunday, the weigh-ins will move to the Bass Pro Shops location at Branson Landing. All weigh-ins are scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. CT.

There’s no admission charge for any Bassmaster event.

Local sponsor: Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, www.bransonchamber.com.

Local Host: Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Ramada, Rigid Industries, Shimano

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Proud Partner: Mustang Survival

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

2014 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake  4/3-4/6
Table Rock Lake, Branson  MO.
Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts

1.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  18-11  100
Day 1: 5   18-11
2.  Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  18-08   99
Day 1: 5   18-08
3.  Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  18-05   98
Day 1: 5   18-05
4.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  17-04   97
Day 1: 5   17-04
4.  Jamie Horton           Centerville, AL          5  17-04   97
Day 1: 5   17-04
6.  Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID               5  16-13   95
Day 1: 5   16-13
7.  Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     5  16-08   94
Day 1: 5   16-08
8.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  16-00   93
Day 1: 5   16-00
8.  Jared Miller           Norman, OK               5  16-00   93
Day 1: 5   16-00
8.  Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  16-00   93
Day 1: 5   16-00
11. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  15-09   90
Day 1: 5   15-09
12. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  15-06   89
Day 1: 5   15-06
13. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  15-02   88
Day 1: 5   15-02
14. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR            5  14-11   87
Day 1: 5   14-11
15. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  14-10   86
Day 1: 5   14-10
15. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  14-10   86
Day 1: 5   14-10
17. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  14-08   84
Day 1: 5   14-08
17. Bobby Lane             Lakeland, FL             5  14-08   84
Day 1: 5   14-08
19. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          5  14-03   82
Day 1: 5   14-03
20. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  14-02   81
Day 1: 5   14-02
21. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  14-00   80
Day 1: 5   14-00
22. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX              5  13-14   79
Day 1: 5   13-14
22. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS               5  13-14   79
Day 1: 5   13-14
24. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  13-12   77
Day 1: 5   13-12
25. Randall Tharp          Port Saint Joe, FL       5  13-09   76
Day 1: 5   13-09
26. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              5  13-07   75
Day 1: 5   13-07
26. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL                5  13-07   75
Day 1: 5   13-07
28. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  13-04   73
Day 1: 5   13-04
29. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  13-03   72
Day 1: 5   13-03
30. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  13-02   71
Day 1: 5   13-02
30. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            5  13-02   71
Day 1: 5   13-02
32. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               4  13-01   69
Day 1: 4   13-01
33. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  13-00   68
Day 1: 5   13-00
34. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  12-15   67
Day 1: 5   12-15
34. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         5  12-15   67
Day 1: 5   12-15
36. Morizo Shimizu         Osaka JAPAN              5  12-09   65
Day 1: 5   12-09
37. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  12-07   64
Day 1: 5   12-07
37. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR            5  12-07   64
Day 1: 5   12-07
39. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  12-06   62
Day 1: 5   12-06
39. Randy Howell           Springville, AL          5  12-06   62
Day 1: 5   12-06
39. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  12-06   62
Day 1: 5   12-06
42. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  12-05   59
Day 1: 5   12-05
42. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  12-05   59
Day 1: 5   12-05
42. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  12-05   59
Day 1: 5   12-05
45. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  12-04   56
Day 1: 5   12-04
46. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               5  12-02   55
Day 1: 5   12-02
46. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                5  12-02   55
Day 1: 5   12-02
48. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL              5  12-01   53
Day 1: 5   12-01
49. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  12-00   52
Day 1: 5   12-00
50. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  11-15   51
Day 1: 5   11-15
51. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  11-14   50
Day 1: 5   11-14
51. Boo Woods              Oneida, KY               5  11-14   50
Day 1: 5   11-14
53. Glenn Browne           Ocala, FL                5  11-12   48
Day 1: 5   11-12
53. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  11-12   48
Day 1: 5   11-12
55. Rick Morris            Lake Gaston, VA          5  11-11   46
Day 1: 5   11-11
56. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK         5  11-09   45
Day 1: 5   11-09
57. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  11-08   44
Day 1: 5   11-08
58. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  11-07   43
Day 1: 5   11-07
59. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  11-06   42
Day 1: 5   11-06
60. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  11-05   41
Day 1: 5   11-05
61. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          5  11-04   40
Day 1: 5   11-04
62. Matt Herren            Trussville, AL           5  11-03   39
Day 1: 5   11-03
62. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  11-03   39
Day 1: 5   11-03
64. Tracy Adams            Wilkesboro, NC           5  11-01   37
Day 1: 5   11-01
64. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                 5  11-01   37
Day 1: 5   11-01
64. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  11-01   37
Day 1: 5   11-01
67. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  11-00   34
Day 1: 5   11-00
67. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH           5  11-00   34
Day 1: 5   11-00
67. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  11-00   34
Day 1: 5   11-00
70. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK               5  10-15   31
Day 1: 5   10-15
70. Joseph Sancho          New Windsor, NY          5  10-15   31
Day 1: 5   10-15
72. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX           5  10-14   29
Day 1: 5   10-14
73. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            5  10-13   28
Day 1: 5   10-13
73. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  10-13   28
Day 1: 5   10-13
75. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          4  10-13   26
Day 1: 4   10-13
76. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  10-11   25
Day 1: 5   10-11
76. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ              5  10-11   25
Day 1: 5   10-11
78. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  10-10   23
Day 1: 5   10-10
78. Trevor Romans          Plano, TX                5  10-10   23
Day 1: 5   10-10
80. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                5  10-09   21
Day 1: 5   10-09
81. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  10-08   20
Day 1: 5   10-08
82. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  10-07   19
Day 1: 5   10-07
82. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              5  10-07   19
Day 1: 5   10-07
84. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  10-06   17
Day 1: 5   10-06
84. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL         5  10-06   17
Day 1: 5   10-06
84. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL         5  10-06   17
Day 1: 5   10-06
84. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  10-06   17
Day 1: 5   10-06
88. Kelly Jordon           Palestine, TX            5  10-05   13
Day 1: 5   10-05
89. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             5  10-02   12
Day 1: 5   10-02
90. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA             5  10-01   11
Day 1: 5   10-01
91. Jeremy Starks          Scott Depot, WV          5  09-15   10
Day 1: 5   09-15
92. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  09-14    9
Day 1: 5   09-14
92. David Smith            Del City, OK             5  09-14    9
Day 1: 5   09-14
94. Joel Baker             Talala, OK               5  09-11    7
Day 1: 5   09-11
95. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          4  09-10    6
Day 1: 4   09-10
96. BJ Haseotes            Centerville, MA          5  09-08    5
Day 1: 5   09-08
97. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  09-06    4
Day 1: 5   09-06
98. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  09-01    3
Day 1: 5   09-01
99. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX                5  09-00    2
Day 1: 5   09-00
100. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           4  08-09    1
Day 1: 4   08-09
101. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               4  08-00    0
Day 1: 4   08-00
102. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                4  07-14    0
Day 1: 4   07-14
103. Pete Ponds             Madison, MS              4  07-13    0
Day 1: 4   07-13
104. Grant Goldbeck         Boerne, TX               3  06-14    0
Day 1: 3   06-14
105. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               3  05-14    0
Day 1: 3   05-14
106. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI              3  05-12    0
Day 1: 3   05-12
107. Byron Velvick          Boenre, TX               2  04-08    0
Day 1: 2   04-08
108. Michael Simonton       Fremont, OH              2  03-13    0
Day 1: 2   03-13
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        96       521      1285-14
———————————-
96       521      1285-14