Beyond The Pond: Lesley Martens

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha
Power Pole
Lews Fishing
Strike King
Bucks Falcon Mercury

2/10/2011by Jody Only

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion”- 19th-Century Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Passion equating to great accomplishment was a notion that Lesley Martens had always been aware of and when she met her now-husband Aaron, his passion for bass fishing was not lost on her.

As a Southern California native; Mrs. Martens met her future husband on her 21st birthday. Spending the next year and a half dating a man that wanted to be a professional fisherman seemed a strange aspiration to a SoCal girl but she never doubted that it is what he would do. She never doubted the fact that it was the path that their life together would follow as his passion for the sport was apparent and his greatness shined through.

Talking about their early dating days, Mrs. Martens stated, “I always knew Aaron would fish for a living and even though a life on the road was not something I had ever thought I would be living, I would never have tried to change his mind or think of taking him away from his dream.”

While many families; especially fathers, may frown upon their daughter bringing home a “fisherman” as their new boyfriend; her parents were quite the opposite and she recalls them loving him from the beginning. Explaining that her dad thought her new love interest’s career objective was “very cool,” Mrs. Marten’s said, “Aaron has a really big heart and my parents saw what kind of person he was rather than judging him for a job.

Within two years of meeting, the pair married. The couple began a long-distance relationship while her husband kept his career on the road and Mrs. Martens remained at home working for a publishing company. Laughingly saying, “I retired after only six years of work,” Mrs. Martens described how she gave up her outside job two years into their marriage to travel with her husband, run their family and their business as her new full-time venture.

Recalling that it took a couple years to find her niche in the unfamiliar situation and fully adjust to her participation in their business, Mrs. Martens explained, “At first, I had a hard time feeling like I brought something to our life that was more worthwhile than a paycheck.”

Through the many roads traveled and the successful career over the years, the Martens have been blessed with two children, Jordan and Spencer. Although Mrs. Martens enjoys the nomad life and her family of friends that she has grown close to in the 12 years she has traveled with her spouse, the family has made the decision that this will be her last year in the camping caravan. Putting the kids into a private school for further education and offering them the opportunity to build a base of close social relationships will be the main reasons that Mrs. Martens will retire for the second time in her life.

Believing a traveler’s life is an adventure and a great learning experience for Jordan and Spencer, she stated, “Our children have seen more places and been exposed to more cultures than most adults.” Extolling more of the virtues that touring has offered, Mrs. Martens said, “This life has allowed us to travel together, for the kids to spend time with their dad and have fabulous adventures at tour stops like Disneyworld but it is time for them to have more of an educational opportunity than I am prepared to teach.”

In addition to the scholastic and social opportunities staying home in Alabama will provide for the children, Mrs. Martens aspires to return to school herself and looks forward to one day rejoining the mainstream workforce. Expressing her interest in possibly furthering her education in accounting or psychology, she explains that she uses both in their fishing business, which she will continue to run from their home.

Looking at the pros and cons of managing the Martens’ business, Mrs. Martens stated, “It may be easier to do all of the business duties without having to multitask during a home-schooling day, but then being on the road I only have to manage and clean a 39-foot camper rather than a whole house”.

Saddened by the imminent future distance of her husband on tour and her at home, Mrs. Martens stated, “We feel it is best for the children and we know our marriage is strong enough for a long-distance relationship, because we have done it before.”

Anticipating her daytime schedule will change when she is holding down the business from the home-front as opposed to the camper, she now starts her day making breakfast for her husband. After he launches, Mrs. Martens spends about six hours rotating between business tasks and home school curriculum. She breaks for lunch and an outdoor recess with the kids and other road families around noon. The afternoon is split between home school and fun outdoor learning activities or field trips. She typically sees their day wind down around 6:00PM when her husband returns and the family eats dinner together and prepares for the next day.

Managing the business for her and her husband includes the communications, accounting, travel plans, scheduling, contacts, contracts and anything else that is not tackle. She enjoys most aspects of her part in their career but remarked, “The worst part of being in this business is when you have 32 hours to make a 32-hour drive.”

Wearing many hats as the operations director of their business, a tow vehicle driver, a teacher, a wife, a mom, and the manager of the household takes up most of the day for Mrs. Martens. She stated, “I only really try to make time for two things for myself, reading and running.” Once a cross country runner in high school, Mrs. Martens explained she recently rediscovered her love for running and has participated in three runs last year with three more scheduled for the upcoming year. Along with a group of friends she completed the Ragnar Relay Series that began in the Gulf of Mexico and ended 200 miles east, crossing the finish line in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Expressing she wouldn’t change anything about her life and how she knows that traveling together for many years has strengthened their relationship, she advises couples thinking of entering the business to plan for the pitfall of the sport… finances. Mrs. Martens elaborated, “Money can come between a marriage and in fishing the money can be scarce.”

Saying there were plenty of times her and her husband wished for more normalcies with a day job, weekends off and evenings together, she reminded others to weigh the good and bad of the touring life. Ultimately for the Martens there is no other life; He will always fish, she will always support her husband’s passion to fish and feels the family atmosphere in the sport has been a great environment to raise their young family; thus far.

Although Martens is an 11-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier and cashed checks in 109 of the 148 Bassmaster tournaments he has entered, Mrs. Martens boasts of the day in 2007 when her husband took first on the Duel in the Delta as her proudest moment. While she was in another state giving birth to their second child and couldn’t be present for the crowning of the Delta King title, she explained that this particular body of water was always a nemesis for her husband and how she would cringe when she would see the destination listed on a tournament schedule. She explained for them the win was about victory over the location, more than anything else.

Mrs. Martens knows that her husband will fish for a long time, that he only anticipates slowing down never retiring and that his passion has not and will likely never dim and she supports that. Mrs. Martens foresees rejoining him on the trail in the future when the kids are on their own.