Bassmaster Classic In Depth Aaron Martens – Second Place

Bucks Falcon Mercury

by Tom Leogrande

Aaron Martens Day Three Big Pair (Large)
In twelve Bassmaster Classics Aaron Martens has now taken 4 second-place finishes. Although, Martens is understandably unhappy with the lack of a win, finishing in the top two one-third of the time is still a remarkable accomplishment.

Entering his twelfth Bassmaster Classic Aaron Martens was excited about his chances, but more than once Aaron mentioned that this was the first Bassmaster Classic that his family has missed.  In several interviews throughout the event he mentioned he wanted to win more for his family than he did for himself. “Without my family none of this would be possible,” Martens explained.  “I want to win a Classic more for them than for myself.”

The Prognosticator
In an interview from the launch ramp following the final day of practice, Martens let us in on some secrets, “The water is warming up, its 61-62, we all know what that means.”  (To watch the video interview visit

Aaron Martens Fog Delay Hug (Large)He continued to prognosticate by stating, “There is a lot of people fishing the same areas.  I just don’t know how many fish there are, you don’t know.  I don’t know if you can sit there and catch 10-15 fish everyday. It has happened in the past, but you never know.”

At the Media Day event, Martens continued to analyze, to near perfection, what was about to happen in the following days.  “It’s turning out to be the best week on the delta of the year.  It might be a couple days late, right now (referring to media day)  could be it, but we are going to hit one of the best days of the year.  The whole year could be good, there are times of the year you can go out there and catch 100… this is the time of the year where those big giant bags can come in.  So we are actually hitting this place, as BASS does a lot, right during the best week of the year.”  (For the full media day video interview visit

Martens launched at Bayou Segnette, the tournament launch facility, and fished locally on first day of prefish.  He reports that he fished in Cataouatche, but the water temperature was in the high 30’s to low 40’s and it was a waste of his small amount of prefishing time to be in there.  He also fished around the canals near there and didn’t have much success on day one.

On the second day of prefish Martens launched at Bayou Black and found some fish.  “The fish I found were probably good enough for the top 25, but they weren’t winning fish.”

Martens eliminated Venice before making the trip to New Orleans for the Classic,  “It’s a big area (Venice) and I checked it in December and I got blown out by a cold front just like we had last week before the tournament. I didn’t want to waste a full day of practice down there.  I knew Bayou Black and Bayout Segnette pretty well so I focused on those areas with the limited practice time.”

Aaron Martens Practice  Day One Big Pair (Large)On the third day of practice Martens went back to Bayou Segnette, ”I fished Cataouatche and had 7 or 8 bites. I like that area, I had read about the diversion canals and how they stocked bass in there 7 or 8 years ago.  I fished in there the last Classic and lost the fish that could have helped me finish better.”

Martens was fishing for what the conditions were “going to be” not what they were currently and he knew that Cataouatche was the perfect place for fish to move up and spawn. “That place is a fish factory. For a spawning cove and for what fish need to survive, I would rate it among the top 5 spots in the country.  The vast hydrilla, the stumps, the hard bottom and the big tire reef /break which breaks the big water from the area makes it a perfect place for bass in spawning mode.”

Aaron Martens’ Bassmaster Classic Photo Album – Click Here

On the final practice day Martens realized what was about to happen, “It was shaping up to be the perfect storm for fishing.  I spent all day in there (Cataouatche) on the final practice day.  I had 30 bites in there. I put shrink tubing over hooks or bent the hooks over and I was getting the kind of bites that had me giggling all day.  They were really good bites.  It really changed my thinking from just making the top 25 to possibly winning the Classic.”

Day 1
On day one Martens used a spinnerbait and 20 pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon on his Megabass rod to boat 20 pounds and 7 ounces.  Martens didn’t catch many fish, but he caught the right ones. When the weigh in concluded Martens led the Bassmaster Classic over second place Scott Rook and third place Kevin VanDam by more than a pound.

Aaron Martens Practice Day Interview (Large)Day 2
Day two started slow for Martens, and he watched Kevin VanDam boat fish after fish from shouting distance.  Scott Rook was also catching them well on day 2 while Martens struggled to get them in the boat, “I wish I had my square bill crankbait box on day two.  I picked my boat up just a week before the event and in the boat transition I though I left that box out.  I thought I had that box in the boat. I never leave that box behind, it’s a very important box to me.  It’s the box I won Guntersville with.”

Martens weighed 12 pounds 11 ounces and sat in third place headed into the final day, over 8 pounds behind leader Kevin VanDam.

Get the Strike King KVD 1.5 at

Day 3
When Martens talked about “the day” in his early event interviews, day three was it.  The big fish moved up and started chewing.  Martens used a small square billed crankbait with 20-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon on his Megabass rod for most of the final day and weighed 25 pounds 14 ounces which was good enough to move him up to his unprecedented fourth runner up Bassmaster Classic finish.

Although he never mentioned the one’s that got away during interviews for this article, it was hard to miss from the ESPN 2 coverage that a couple of big fish appeared to come unbuttoned. However, finishing nearly 11 pounds behind the winner Kevin VanDam, it would be hard to believe the lost fish would have changed the final outcome.

Aaron Martens Day Three Weight (Large)After Thoughts
While Martens found the right spot and figured out how to catch the right fish, he wasn’t the only one who did so.  Fishing side by side with multiple other anglers Martens went toe to toe with the hottest angler on the planet, KVD.  While the results didn’t turn out the way Martens had hoped, overall he was pleased with the finish.

Immediately after the final weigh in Martens explained, “This one is different than the rest, I had a great day.  It wasn’t a 12-inch fish that I decided to cull or a last minute big fish or just a few ounces.  I am happy with this one.”