2012 Elite Series - Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship
Lake Decatur - Decatur, IL, Sep 22 - 23, 2012

2012 Toyota Trucks All-Star Week Live Blog

Martens suffers a "knife wound"

11:37 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

Aaron Martens has moved to the east side of Lost Bridge, and suffered some pain. Martens hooked a good fish off the riprap bank, lost it and screamed in agony, "That one hurts. It's like a dagger in my back."

Here's got as many spectators on the bank as he does on the water. So lots of folks suffered through that loss with him.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

11:17 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

The grass is green, the roses are in bloom, the kids are playing in the yard and Aaron Martens is fishing his way through a nice residential area near Lost Bridge.


Martens continues to draw an audience - of all ages, as you can see in this photo.


The only negative in this scene is the sound of a yapping dog in the background.


Hey, you can't have everything.

Evers lands his fourth keeper

11:11 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

Evers landed his fourth keeper, and it has some more meat on it than the other three in his well. He reckons he’s got 5 1/2 or 6 pounds all told. We’ve just moved into so fishier-looking stuff; there are laydowns and stumps everywhere, which are what all of his fish have come from.

Martens lands No. 3

11:00 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

With a dozen observers standing on the bank above him and Mark  Zona in the boat with him, Aaron Martens just landed his third keeper of the day  a solid 2-pounder  on a crankbait.


It was quite a show, and drew a loud round of applause. There are about a dozen spectator boats out here as well.


Minutes before that, Martens lost another potential keeper halfway back to the boat.


A few puffy white clouds are in the sky now, but it continues to warm into a most pleasant day. Maybe that has something to do with the latest increase in fish activity.

BASSTrakk numbers

10:56 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012
| By Ken Duke

BASSTrakk is wonderful technology. It keeps us in touch with the anglers while they’re on the water and gives us an idea of who’s doing well and who’s struggling. But part of getting the most out of BASSTrakk is knowing something about the anglers themselves. In my last post I mentioned that Edwin Evers tends to estimate his weights on the low side. If he says he has 10 pounds, he probably has 11, maybe even 12. Mike Iaconelli tends to overestimate. If he says he has 17 pounds, bet on the scales saying they weigh 15 1/2 or so. Aaron Martens on the other hand may be the most accurate of any Elite angler when it comes to guessing his weight — and he doesn’t even use a scale. He doesn’t need one. He has specially calibrated eyes after seeing so many bass over the years. It’s amazing how often his BASSTrakk weight matches up exactly with his actual weigh-in weight. The Natural is uncanny.


What this means in today’s competition is that if the weights are close, Evers is probably ahead because Martens’ weight will be on the money while Evers’ will be light. BASSTrakk will probably need to show Martens ahead by at least a pound before I’ll believe he has the lead.

Zona steps in

10:43 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

Bassmaster TV co-host Mark Zona has stepped into Aaron Martens' boat for some up close and personal time. Martens has moved under Lost Bridge and is now working the riprap on the southwest side of the bridge approach with a square-billed crankbait.

Martens told Zona that the bass he's caught today have been about one foot below the surface.

Evers boating shorts

10:41 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

Evers keeps boating shorts. There’s no lack of fish up here, but size is an issue. The little jig is sure producing; he’s getting a bite every 10 flips or so, with two back-to-back just now.

Old School

10:36 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012
| By Ken Duke

Edwin Evers is “old school.” He’s from the era of low-key, “aw shucks” pros who are thankful to be making a living doing what they love. But even though he’s old school, Evers is savvy in the way of modern marketing. Check out his Facebook page. He’s running a contest for whoever can guess his weight for today. Hint: Take the BASSTrakk number and add 10 percent or so. “Old School” tends to guesstimate low.

No. 2 for Martens

10:15 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

Aaron Martens has been working his way south through Nelson Park Marina, concentrating on the riprap banks with a small crankbait. His third stop was the riprap along Lost Bridge, where he caught his second keeper of the day.


Martens put it on his measuring board, to see if it met the 14-inch minimum.


"Fourteen-and-a-half," he said. "Take that, Edwin."


Martens probably has 4 pounds now  a 2 1/2-pounder, plus this 1 1/2-pounder.

Aaron Martens

Evers still searching

10:11 am CDT, Sep 23, 2012

The further we move upriver, the fewer bites Evers is getting. He’s working a small crawfish-looking Booyah jig. It’s what got most of his bites, including the walleye, and another one just now. The fish are biting weird, not fully committed to taking the bait. It’s like they’re pecking at it. Once again, he just swung and missed.