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Posted By The Bass Hog



Florida pro expects to see 100-pound weights
CLEWISTON, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2013) – The Walmart FLW Tour will kick off the 2013 season with the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee presented by Mercury Feb. 7-10. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the tournament will feature a full field of the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for top awards up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division
     “Overall, the fishing has been great on Okeechobee,” said Evinrude pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. “The water level is the highest it’s been in four or five years. It took a little while for the fish to get settled in, so the fishing was a little slower than normal until just recently. But I expect the bite to be fantastic for the tournament. And I expect big bags to be caught.
     “The great thing about the lake this time is we have three times the water to fish than we’ve had the past several years because the water level is up,” the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup champion continued. “There are fish way, way back in the marsh now. There are little lakes, flats and ponds back there behind the cattails that you couldn’t get to in a boat in the past. There’s 4 to 5 feet of water back there now, and the fish are settling in good.
     “This is going to be the kind of tournament where a guy could say, ‘I never saw another boat all week,’” Martin added.
     Martin said angler will have a variety of techniques to choose from for the Okeechobee event. Flipping and swimbaits will be popular, and Martin said he expects to see some anglers casting a 10-inch worm. Martin said he expects to see motion baits such as spinnerbaits as Chatterbaits as well as Senkos play a factor in the event.
     “I think it’s going to take 100 pounds again to win this,” Martin said. “I think one thing that may be a bit different this year is maybe the weights won’t be as big, meaning I don’t think there will be six bags over 100 pounds. There will be one or two bags at the 100-mark.
     “The guys that find a place and have it to themselves … it could be good for them,” Martin added. “But it takes time to find those places.”
     In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15- 18 on the Red River.
     Anglers will take off from Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort located at 920 E. Del Monte Ave. in Clewiston, Fla., at 7:30 a.m. the first two days of competition. On the last two days takeoff will be at the Clewiston Boat Basin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 1005 W. Sugarland Highway in Clewiston beginning at 4 p.m. Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog
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 presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, Feb. 22-24, on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees out of Tulsa, Okla. 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. But he has not won a Classic. He has come close. Go back to those 10 Top-10 finishes: no less than four of the 10 were second- place finishes at a Bassmaster Classic (in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2011). The Bassmaster Classic Presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa will be his 14th crown attempt in almost as many years. (Martens did not qualify for the 2003 Classic, the only break in a string of qualifications since 1999.) If anyone is due for a Classic win, it would be Martens. Yet, he gives no weight to four runner-up finishes. He does not obsess over statistics, about what happened in the past. “I’m pretty good about forgetting,” he said. Instead, he gets to work. Like most of the 52 other Classic qualifiers, Martens scouted Grand Lake before the early December cutoff. “It was really cold. The fishing was okay, and it will be better in February,” he said. “I didn’t fish a lot. I looked a lot, picked it apart with the (sonar) graph. It’s always amazing how much you can learn doing that. It’s a good-size lake. There’s a lot to look over.” He liked what he saw. “I found some areas I’ll be excited to go back to,” he said. “Some areas I knew were good just by looking at them. I didn’t need to fish them.” When Martens was scouting Grand, the air temperature highs hovered in the 40s. If those temps prevail in February, “the fishing will be good,” he predicted. The tournament will be won on largemouth, he said. Anyone who lives there, or who has a lot of experience on the big lake, will have an advantage, he said. If Martens had to bet on Classic competitors other than himself, he would pick, among others, Elite Series pro Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., which is not far from Grand Lake. “Edwin Evers has been doing really well the past couple of years. That lake is made for him. He could be really hard to beat,” Martens said. Martens knows about getting the better of Evers. The two went head-to-head in the last round of the bracket competition in the postseason All-Star competition. Martens beat Evers. “I’m in the best shape of my life now. Life is better when you’re like that,” Martens said. Courtesy of BASS Communications