After being in a boat following Aaron Martens this morning, when he struggled to put a fifth keeper in the boat for three hours, I thought he might be ready to bail out of the Black River area where he'd been the past two days. He'd caught 17 pounds in the first two hours there Friday.
Before Steve Bowman and I left the water, we had a chance to talk with Martens for a couple of minutes. There was not a shred of panic in him.
"It's a timing deal," Martens said. "They're going to bite, probably about 1:00 or 1:30."
So it shouldn't surprise me that Martens caught a 4-pounder at 1:48.
"I had four like this yesterday," he said, as he put a new worm on his shaky head and cast back to the area where there has been a deep school of bass.
In year's past, I've been in the boat with our driver today, Brian Beebe, and photographer James Overstreet when we watched Martens catch fish in the Black River, which has produced second-, fifth- and 30th-place finishes for him in the previous three events here.
"Aaron hasn't burned a tank of gas in four years at La Crosse," said Beebe.
And Martens just showed us why.