2012 Elite Series Ramada Championship Oneida Lake - Syracuse, NY, Aug 23 - 26, 2012

Don't expect an all-Northern Top 12

Will his momentum continue? It will have to if he wants to improve on his past performance at Oneida. Having never made a Sunday cut here in four tournaments, Martens' average finish is 37th – 14th in 2007; 14th in 2006; 27th in 2008; 93rd in 2009.

While Martens is too far back to win AOY, he's a threat to win any tournament, especially one in which smallmouth will be a factor. "He's going to catch 'em there," Zona said. "And he'll focus on smallmouth and still be somewhere in the Top 15."

Not the type to ease off, Martens will fish to win. The smart money is probably on him.

"I like Oneida," Martens told me at ICAST. "But I wish largemouth didn't exist in that lake! I wish there was no grass. I wish that it was all smallmouth. Because I love smallmouth fishing, I always do well in smallmouth tournaments. But obviously, it's been dominated by largemouth. … I'm going to focus on both and see what happens."

Others in Bucket B:

  • Michael Iaconelli – 37th-place average finish here (third, sixth, sixth,10th, 54th). Out of the AOY race, a mid-level finish gets him into the Classic, so he might fish conservatively.
  • Alton Jones – 22nd-place average finish (sixth,15th, 19th, 45th). With a win already this season, Jones is already Classic-qualified.
  • Skeet Reese – 24th-place average finish (seventh, 14th, 32nd, 43rd). Classic-qualified, barring disaster, Skeet is not likely to fish super aggressively.