The best natural angler in the field had to be voted in by the fans. But no matter how he gets to Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, Aaron Martens will almost certainly be a factor, just as he was on these same waters at the 2010 postseason.
Look for him to be very strong on Lake Jordan, where his finesse skills seem almost certain to carry him to the next round on the Alabama River. Last year, Martens was second on Jordan and would have won had he not released several large bass — trading them out for smaller fish — rather than risking that they die in his livewell.
"The Natural" turns 39 on the final day of the Jordan event, and absolutely no one will be surprised if he celebrates his birthday with a win. Perhaps more than any other angler, Martens will benefit from high temperatures, lethargic bass and tough fishing. He excels when conditions are tough, light lines are the rule and limits are rare. Just ask the rest of the WON Bass U.S. Open field. On Wednesday (July 20), Martens won his third Open on Lake Mead.
Martens has put together a hall of fame career in his time with B.A.S.S. He was the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, has a record four runner-up finishes in the Bassmaster Classic, is second to Kevin VanDam in Elite Series bassing average with 4.8639 (the average number of bass he brings to the scales with a five-bass limit), and was the fifth youngest angler in B.A.S.S. history to crack the million dollar mark in tournament earnings. His 42-pound limit from Lake Falcon in 2008 was the third best single day catch in history. He has surpassed the 100-pound mark three times and has finished in the top 25 in the AOY race for eight consecutive years (the longest current streak).
Perhaps more than anything else, Aaron Martens is due for a big win.
|Nicknames:||The Natural; A-Mart; Spin (he loves spinning tackle); Deuce|
|2011 AOY rank:||16th (voted in by fans)|
|AOY titles:||1 (2005)|
|Strengths:||Finesse (but he does everything well)|
|Weaknesses:||Fatigue after a long drive from Lake Mead|