2013 Elite Series Plano Championship Chase Lake St. Clair/Detroit River - Detroit, MI, Aug 22 - 25, 2013

Did Martens seal the deal?

12:58 pm EDT, Aug 24, 2013 | By Steve Wright

As everyone knows, if you want to get what you really want for your birthday, you need to pick it out yourself. Aaron Martens has been trying to keep his mind off the perfect gift this week, concentrating instead on simply winning the Elite Series Plano Championship Chase, not his dream present, the 2013 Toyota Angler of the Year award.

Before noon today, Martens finished wrapping the ultimate gift for his 41st birthday and put a nice bow on it. Now he's simply got to deliver it back to the weigh-in site.

Martens put-on a video-game-fishing, drop-shotting clinic this morning on Lake Erie. When we left him at 11:30, Martens had close to 20 pounds in the boat.

"AOY would be a great birthday present," Marten said, after landing a 4-pound smallmouth at 9:35 a.m., shortly after we finally found him in the Pelee Islands area of Lake Erie.

He already had three fish in the boat at that point, including a 1 1/4-pound dink. An hour later, he'd culled the dink in favor of another fatty.

Slowly but surely, with the occasional drum or walleye catch in between, Martens added smallmouth in the 4-pound range until he couldn't tell them apart, with the exception of one that weighed closer to 5 pounds.

While he plans to give himself plenty of time to make the run back to the weigh-in site, his initial goal stayed on his mind.

"I want to win this tournament," Marten said.

But you talk about relaxed - that was A-Mart this morning. He was celebrating his birthday in a way that appeared unlikely when the week began. Happy birthday to him.

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