With his AOY win, Aaron Martens becomes the 10th angler with multiple AOY titles (he also won in 2005). The others are Roland Martin (9), Kevin VanDam (7), Bill Dance (3), Mark Davis (3), Guido Hibdon (2), Davy Hite (2), Jimmy Houston (2), Gary Klein (2) and Larry Nixon (2).
Martens becomes the fifth consecutive angler in his 40s to win the title (he's 41). That last angler in his 30s to win was Skeet Reese in 2007.
Martens is the eighth consecutive angler born outside the South to win AOY. In a sport frequently considered to be dominated by southern anglers, no southerner has won AOY since Gerald Swindle in 2004.
And A-Mart's 85th-place finish at the season opener on the Sabine River is the worst ever by an AOY in the Elite era. It just goes to show you how good he was after that. His next worst finish was 24th at Falcon. He had a 15th at Bull Shoals. Since then, he's never been worse than 8th!
It was Aaron Martens' 41st birthday Saturday when he locked up the AOY title. It may be hard to believe, but Martens isn't the only AOY to take the crown on his birthday. Davy Hite did it on May 18, 1997, on his 32nd birthday.
And let August 24 go down as the most important day in bass fishing history for births. Yesterday Aaron Martens was 41, John Murray was 49 and Ray Scott was 80. How's that for some bass fishing luminaries? No other date can compare.
Panoramic view of the crowd at Hooked Up!
There are really just three anglers on the water today with a realistic shot at victory — Mark Davis, Chris Lane and Aaron Martens. Two others — Derek Remitz and Kotaro Kiriyama — are extreme long shots. The rest are, in my opinion at least, out of it because they trail the leader (Davis) by more than the weight of what is likely to be the tournament's biggest bass (about 5-13).
It's called "Ken's Comeback Rule" ... because I thought of it first. You can use it anytime you're dealing with a five-bass limit and have one day of competition left.
How often does it hold up? Well, absolutely every time so far in Elite Series history. It's a very strong indicator of who's in the hunt and who's out of it.
But what about Jason Christie's big comeback on Bull Shoals earlier this year? Yep, he was within striking distance— within the weight of a tournament big bass on that venue — so the rule holds even then. Bull Shoals was just a tournament with a remarkably close top 12. What was most remarkable about Christie's win was not the deficit he overcame (other anglers have overcome bigger deficits to win), but that he leapfrogged 10 other anglers. That's never happened before in the Elite Series, and it will probably be a long time before it happens again.
Aaron Martens will finish his day on Lake Erie without the prying eyes of Steve Bowman upon him. Logistically, this is one of the most difficult events our crew has ever attempted to document. It's a three-hour drive to put in at Catawba Island State Park in Port Clinton, Ohio, so you can get to Martens without making that brutal 80-mile-plus boat run.
Bowman and boat driver Chris Noffsinger are probably on the road now, and soon will drive past Rickard's Bait & Tackle in Port Clinton. It's one of the classic old-time bait shops – a master bait shop, if you will (but you probably won't).
Maybe you have to be an AARP member like me to love these places, but I dearly do. I enjoy everything about them, even the smell.
And a good sign of a great bait shop is just that - a good sign. The one to the left of the front door to Rickard's reads, "All our lively bait is guaranteed to die trying." (P.S. You think John Hendricks lifted that worm on the sign at Rickard's to create the Luck-E-Strike logo? I'm kidding.)
So a tip of the cap to Rickard's and every bait shop like it. Long may they live.
Hey, a win's always nice, but Chris Lane doesn't need a trophy this week to qualify for the Classic on his home water. Even if he stumbles today and slips all the way to 12th place (and that's as far as he can fall), he's still in the Classic with 442 AOY points. Missing a Classic in his own backyard would have been painful, but he can relax now. He's done it. Ditto for Mark Davis, Morizo Shimizu and Takahiro Omori.
The waves are steadily growing where Davis is fishing. His trolling motor is beginning to lift out of the water occasionally.
The two smallmouths in his livewell need some company. That needs to happen soon to pad Overstreet's photo gallery. We need to start back earlier today. These waves will surely slow us down.
I left Morizo a while ago after he caught three lber which makes him with limit of 17lb. Then moved back to Lane and Jones. Still fishing in same area in visible distance. Jones confirmed that he has over 21lb and he doesn't think he will finish in 12th any more.