TAVARES, Fla. -- B.A.S.S. legend Roland Martin has had better days on the water. The 19-time B.A.S.S. winner had just started his day on the Harris Chain of Lakes for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open when his outboard motor "blew up" at about 7:30 a.m.
From that point until a BoatUS Angler, the official towing service of the Opens, tow boat came along and allowed them to make the weigh-in on time, Martin and his co-angler, David Few, were "on the trolling motor," stuck in one general area and fishing for whatever bass they could get to without greater mobility.
In the end, Martin made the best of a bad situation, catching one largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces, good enough to tie for 111th place. Few managed a single fish that weighed 1-0.
“Whenever there’s blue skies, it’s a great day,” Martin told tournament emcee Chris Bowes before relating his boat issues and result. “BoatUS Angler came to the rescue.”
Martin's boat had to be towed back to the ramp, arriving a couple of hours after he and his co-angler had weighed in. Now he's hoping to borrow a boat so he can fish the second day of the tournament.
Though his goals for the event have now changed, Martin was philosophical and upbeat.
"I came here hoping to earn a Classic berth [the winner automatically qualifies for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, if he fishes all three Southern Opens]," he said. "That's out of the question now, but if can catch 15 or 16 pounds tomorrow I could still earn a check. That's just the way things go sometimes."