BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Aaron Martens sometimes thinks so hard when he's competing that he gives himself a headache.
"I do," said Martens when everyone around him laughed. "I really get headaches from it!"
The 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year doesn't simply answer fan questions when he is the guest of a B.A.S.S. Twitter chat. He entertains.
The seasoned Bassmaster pro gets questions ranging from his fitness regimen to his cat's temperament to his infamous record — four runner-up finishes in the Bassmaster Classic.
When a writer asked him about that potentially touchy subject, Martens just laughed:
"Do you think you need a Classic title to cement your legacy in the sport?"
"No, I think multiple seconds do just the same!"
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Thanks! I always love coming to the B.A.S.S. office!
What does a day in the life of Aaron Martens look like in the off season?
A lot of short fishing days and a lot of hiking.
Is the second AOY win as sweet as the first in 2005?
It's sweeter because it's my second one. Getting two is always better than one. Maybe the third one will be even sweeter.
I'm heading out to some secluded ponds for some bass/crappie fishing. Any tips for late season/colder temps? is it too late? #thx
It's never too late! If the water is about 37 degrees in winter you can throw fast-moving baits for a reaction strike.
How many hours a day and how many days this year have you put in?
Hours a day on average: 12 hours on days I fish. At that pace, probably 200 days a year.
Congratulations, Aaron, on the AOY. We are proud to be on your team. And we love your awesome product feedback. Here's to #3!
Thanks @simmsfishing! Looking forward to coming back to Bozeman!
Just wanted to take a second to congratulate @AMartFishing on his AOY title - truly the greatest feat in bass fishing to me.
Thank you! I agree but I still want that Classic win!
How do you find productive ledges?
First of all, sonar and a lot of hours graphing. A lot of times it comes out to trial and error. Graph, fish, graph, fish - basically.
Congrats again on AOY @AMartFishing! Mercury is proud to sponsor such a great angler! Andy wants to know, how's the toe?
Thanks! It's healing. It's getting better.
Don't walk around barefoot. pic.twitter.com/KYkCM2L1vf
Sound advice. Hard to train with a toe like that.
Not for me. I was running the next day. It got tight and swelled up though.
Cara Clark @caradclark
How are you preparing for the Classic with Guntersville being so close to home?
I haven't had a chance yet. I've been too busy but I'll be spending some time up there before the cutoff.
Any tips for a high school angler?
Spend all your free time fishing! Time on the water is what you need.
Do you think running makes you a better angler? Why?
Yes! Definitely. It makes you feel better and increases stamina. Also makes you sharper with decisions.
Remember me on St Clair? pic.twitter.com/0ZWIB7PJO7
Thanks for coming out! Make sure we get another picture next time!
You now know all the lakes for next years Elite Series, how will you prep for them?
I haven't memorized the schedule yet, but I'll probably prepractice for them. Usually a day or two each. I like to get a feel for each lake.
What's your favorite shaky head jig style?
Davis shaky head with Gamakatsu O'Shaughnessy hook. That's my design!
Probably @ChrisLaneFish! He knows where the fish are at, and he's been catching them!
Day4 on St. Clair. My girl and I came out to see you! Any Erie advice as it's my home water? pic.twitter.com/OK9E0qR6KF
Keep your nuts tight! And use sonar there to keep you on the fish. They move there a lot & constantly change.
Favorite non-bass species to catch? And why?
Tuna - because they pull hard and they are fast!
On "light" line? :-) #tuna
Aaron Martens @AMartFishing
On both! There's times you can jack 'em but sometimes it's fun to play them, too.
For drop shot smallies up north, is really light 4-6lb fluro leaders critical? What is the advantage of a 4-6lb vs. a 12lb leader?
It's not reallly critical, it's more presentation. The lighter line is more natural.
Has @tommyfrink aka "flesh weasel" ordered pizza or hibatchi since he's moved in?
Nope! He's getting home cooked meals almost every night.
If not, he goes in the freezer and gets a burrito.
Those frozen burritos are legit!!
You ate the last one. Better go buy some more!
Do you think you need a Classic title to cement your legacy in the sport?
No, I think multiple seconds do just the same!
More importantly, how gnarly is your cat?
She'll scratch your eyes out!
How does a 7.5lb smallmouth feel compared to a similar largemouth? #StLawrenceRiver
They were doing what worked, and I was trying to expand my horizons.
Have you ever fished lake Havasu? What did you use?
I won some West Coast tournaments there. When I fished it it didn't have a lot of grass. My fave bait there is a jig
Best way to get introduced to finesse fishing? #powerfishermanconvert
Get yourself a really good finesse spinning rod and reel. Spend money there first. Good reel and rod are essential
What kind of prop are you running on your 250 ProXS (size and pitch)?
A 26 Tempest on my 921 @phoenixbassboat. I got up to 78 with two anglers & a full tank of gas!
Aaron what would you do if water levels are dropping and water is stained in early summer?
Better find some an area where the current is focused because the fish will gather there!
Classic aside, what tournament are you most looking forward to in 2014?
I'm looking forward to Toledo Bend and Table Rock.
What type of music do you like listening to before a tournament?
I like a lot of stuff. It varies but sometimes it's 70s, 80s, jazz, and pretty much anything chill.
Aaron I’m a junior angler hoping to go pro. I always face staying mentally strong through the day. How do you do it?
I try not to never be hungry - staying fed and hydrated is important. I do think so hard sometimes I get headaches. It takes a lot of time and experience to stay mentally focused. That's one of bass fishing's biggest hurdles.
Still running? And does being physically fit help you be a better angler?
It makes you better at everything!
What is your go to bait for drop shot, and your line length between hook and weight?
Leader length varies btw spring/fall, but normally 6-8 inches. I like 6-inch ST @Roboworm1 in Aaron's Magic
Hey @AMartFishing when are you coming to South Africa? Lot of fans here. Come fish with me I'll show you...
I'd love to but not until my kids are out of the house!
I don't believe in superstitions.
How did Castaic lake shape your career? Did it make you the fishermen you are today?
It made the finesse fisherman I am today.
What does this AOY title mean in terms of the Classic and next season?
I don't know yet.
What career would you have if you weren’t fishing for a living?
Race car driver! Or a golfer.
What do you do in the offseason to make yourself a better angler?
I tinker with my tackle and get in really good shape.
Do you fish the opens? And if so which is your favorite to enter -Southern, Northern, Central, etc?
If I had to fish one I could fish every it would be the Northern. I acutally am fishing the Northerns this year.
Have you lined up any new sponsors for the upcoming year
Why do you favor all flouro vs braid to flour for drop shooting deep water? over 30 feet
It's a softer presentation. At St. Clair I did use a swivel and 10-pound braid with 7-8 pound fluoro and liked it.
Swivel vs albright? would you stay at a 6-8 leader in 40+ foot, clear water. Even if you pick off suspended fish on your graph
I might just go straight fluoro in that situation. I like the swivel better.
Brandon Johnson @Johnsonfishing
What is the most aggravating aspect of being a professional fisherman?
Once in a while you get a nontournament angler who follows you around & fishes the spot you were fishing.
Any tips for fishing from shore in fall. Baits and what to look for?
From shore: a topwater can be really productive. A drop shot and a lipless crankbait work well, too.
As its getting colder, what's some of the baits you will start throwing?
A lipless bait, the @MegabassUSA 110 and probably a jig for a slow bait.
Aaron, what's the best advice you can give to college anglers who wants to follow in your footsteps?
I believe that doing most of your own work pre-fishing makes you a better angler in the future.
So Aaron what advice would you give to me, a junior angler, wanting to someday go pro?
Spend your free time fishing & pick up tips from other anglers who can be your mentor
How does it feel to be in the legendary group of anglers with two or more AOY titles?
Aaron Martens @AMartFishing
It makes me want to get another one more than ever!
What is the best way to catch inactive fish, particularly after a cold front?
Deadstick & keep a bait where you know fish are at, or go the reaction way & get the bait moving past them in their zone.
What is the best frequency to put your humminbird on when dropshotting?
I keep my chart speed about 5 and my sensitivity between 10 and 15.
What's the key to your drop shot success?
Knowing it's effectiveness and having confidence in it. I've spent a lot of time trying to master it.
When to use strait up, light fluorocarbon line versus braided line with fluorocarbon leader when dropshotting?
Use straight fluorocarbon, it's safer. The advantages of the other are castability and hookups.
If you also secure your 1st Classic title this year do you plan to join forces w/ Greg Norman and start a vineyard?
That sounds fun!
Monster Fishing @MonsterFishing
What is the most realistic Mayfly imitation lure you know of? There seems to be a lack of options.
Please let me know when you find it! I like the @megabassusa Parachute Bug, though!
What size/brand of hooks do you recommend for flipping heavy mats
I love the new Gamakatsu heavy cover flipping hook, I'd probably use a 3/4.
What do you miss the most about fishing Southern California trout fed lakes?
The big bass.
What should be the focus as far as structure/cover?
Where it's located and if there is bait by it!
How do you feel about Seminole and have you been there?
Last time I was there was the last @bass_nation event in 2003. It's a healthy lake & has a lot of nice fish in it.
How do you like the new mega bass series rods?
I love them.
What runner are you on the upcoming Ragnar Relay race? Also will you be running along the banks of Lake Mead?
I hope so but my captain @ericlopez98 likes to surprise us when we get there!
What is your favorite event to fish each year and why?
The Classic because the stakes are high & you get the most time to prepare.
Do you think there should be a rule where no info (spots) should be shared at all from outsiders (locals)?
I would love that!
Rumor is you have a big hunting trip coming up. Are you ready to chase a big whitetail?
Yes, but I'm most looking forward to my daughter, Jordan, hunting for the first time!
@GilleyScott Mark this down -- Jordan is going to get her first deer or she will sling a lot of bullets trying.
Best fall bait when the bite is tough, for lakes and ponds.
One of my favorites overall is probably a jig.
How do you rig a dropshot, more texas, wacky rig or how?
It's about 50/50. It's all pretty equal over the season!
Favorite shaky head and dropshot Roboworms for fall fishing and into winter fishing? Color, size
Favorite is 6-inch ST in the fall and winter in Aaron's Magic, MM3, bold bluegill & prism shad
Hugs and kisses to the @BASS_nation staff, and thanks for all of your questions!