Gear

Martens’ AOY winning baits

Aaron Martens digs through his boat and shares some of the baits that helped him win his third Toyota Angler of the Year title.

Aaron Martens had an incredible 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series season, the best statistical year since the inception of the Elite Series. With two victories, a second, third and only one finish worse than 15th for his regular season, his dominance is noted.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Aaron Martens had an incredible 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series season, the best statistical year since the inception of the Elite Series. With two victories, a second, third and only one finish worse than 15th for his regular season, his dominance is noted.
Aaron Martens digs through his boat to take you on a tour of some of the baits that helped him win his third Toyota Angler of the Year title.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Aaron Martens digs through his boat to take you on a tour of some of the baits that helped him win his third Toyota Angler of the Year title.
At the Sabine River, Martens resorted to flipping soft plastics for some of his fish, but on the final day he switched it up to catch his weight.
Photo: Shaye Baker - At the Sabine River, Martens resorted to flipping soft plastics for some of his fish, but on the final day he switched it up to catch his weight.
A mix of baits contributed to his third place finish…
Photo: Ronnie Moore - A mix of baits contributed to his third place finish…
...but a spinnerbait was key to his success when he changed his game plan on Championship Sunday.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - ...but a spinnerbait was key to his success when he changed his game plan on Championship Sunday.
Lake Guntersville was his one hiccup in what was a fantastic season. Martens finished 66th place…
Photo: Steve Bowman - Lake Guntersville was his one hiccup in what was a fantastic season. Martens finished 66th place…
...and although he missed the cut to fish the third day, he still averaged almost 16 1/2 pounds per day.
Photo: Steve Bowman - ...and although he missed the cut to fish the third day, he still averaged almost 16 1/2 pounds per day.
Along with throwing a swimbait throughout the event, he also caught fish on a drop shot. Martens isn’t fond of fishing with a drop shot, but he is one of the best at throwing a drop shot. At lakes like Guntersville, he ups his line size to 10-pound test for a more power approach to what is normally a finesse tactic. When he drop shotted, he would throw a Roboworm in Aaron’s Pro Magic and Aaron’s Magic.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Along with throwing a swimbait throughout the event, he also caught fish on a drop shot. Martens isn’t fond of fishing with a drop shot, but he is one of the best at throwing a drop shot. At lakes like Guntersville, he ups his line size to 10-pound test for a more power approach to what is normally a finesse tactic. When he drop shotted, he would throw a Roboworm in Aaron’s Pro Magic and Aaron’s Magic.
At the California Delta, Martens caught numerous bed fish during the event, but he used both a power and a finesse approach to trick those finicky Delta bass.
Photo: James Overstreet - At the California Delta, Martens caught numerous bed fish during the event, but he used both a power and a finesse approach to trick those finicky Delta bass.
For his finesse approach he would use a dropshot with a Roboworm rigged on a Gamakatsu Finesse Heavy Cover hook.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - For his finesse approach he would use a dropshot with a Roboworm rigged on a Gamakatsu Finesse Heavy Cover hook.
When he was fishing with his baitcasting setup, he would throw a Texas rig equipped with a punch skirt.
Photo: James Overstreet - When he was fishing with his baitcasting setup, he would throw a Texas rig equipped with a punch skirt.
He would utilize both a Green Pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw and a Zoom UltraVibe Speed Craw.
Photo: James Overstreet - He would utilize both a Green Pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw and a Zoom UltraVibe Speed Craw.
Both of those soft plastics would be rigged on a 4/0 Heavy Cover Gamakatsu flipping hook. He finished second at the California Delta to another former California angler, Justin Lucas.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Both of those soft plastics would be rigged on a 4/0 Heavy Cover Gamakatsu flipping hook. He finished second at the California Delta to another former California angler, Justin Lucas.
At Lake Havasu, Martens activated the “bird” pattern and brought home his first victory of the season. Flipping the shallow tules on Lake Havasu proved to be the winning type of cover although about half of the Top 12 was fishing offshore structure as well.
Photo: Garrick Dixon - At Lake Havasu, Martens activated the “bird” pattern and brought home his first victory of the season. Flipping the shallow tules on Lake Havasu proved to be the winning type of cover although about half of the Top 12 was fishing offshore structure as well.
The win was his second career win on Mother’s Day, and it was in convincing fashion as he overtook multiple anglers to claim the victory on the final day. His baits of choice were the same as the California Delta. He flipped tules (reeds) with a Rage Craw for the first few days and then the final day weight of almost 20 pounds was attributed to the Speed Craw.
Photo: James Overstreet - The win was his second career win on Mother’s Day, and it was in convincing fashion as he overtook multiple anglers to claim the victory on the final day. His baits of choice were the same as the California Delta. He flipped tules (reeds) with a Rage Craw for the first few days and then the final day weight of almost 20 pounds was attributed to the Speed Craw.
BASSfest at Kentucky Lake was the next event on the schedule, and it proved to be difficult as practice was tough for most anglers and crowds were expected on the famous ledges. Martens managed a 15th place finish on the historic fishery.
Photo: James Overstreet - BASSfest at Kentucky Lake was the next event on the schedule, and it proved to be difficult as practice was tough for most anglers and crowds were expected on the famous ledges. Martens managed a 15th place finish on the historic fishery.
Along with a swimbait and a flutter spoon, Martens relied on a football jig to put numerous fish in the boat during this event. A-Mart nearly averaged 20 pounds per day and ended with 59 pounds, 11 ounces.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Along with a swimbait and a flutter spoon, Martens relied on a football jig to put numerous fish in the boat during this event. A-Mart nearly averaged 20 pounds per day and ended with 59 pounds, 11 ounces.
The St. Lawrence River was a little different than the last time the Elites fished there in 2013. Martens, like others, relied on a drop shot outfitted on spinning tackle, but he also did damage with another technique, too.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The St. Lawrence River was a little different than the last time the Elites fished there in 2013. Martens, like others, relied on a drop shot outfitted on spinning tackle, but he also did damage with another technique, too.
A spinnerbait was big for him as well, while a jerkbait was a sidekick throughout the week.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - A spinnerbait was big for him as well, while a jerkbait was a sidekick throughout the week.
The Chesapeake Bay was Martens second victory of the season as he led wire-to-wire in an area that many local anglers never would have imagined could factor into the event.
Photo: Steve Bowman - The Chesapeake Bay was Martens second victory of the season as he led wire-to-wire in an area that many local anglers never would have imagined could factor into the event.
A Picasso Shock Blade is a vibrating jig and the Green Pumpkin with blue skirt was a go-to color. Although this is not the exact skirt he used (because it is broken off on a dock at the Bay), the black blade and trailer were extremely critical as well.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - A Picasso Shock Blade is a vibrating jig and the Green Pumpkin with blue skirt was a go-to color. Although this is not the exact skirt he used (because it is broken off on a dock at the Bay), the black blade and trailer were extremely critical as well.
At different times of the day, Martens said he would switch between a vibrating jig and spinnerbait depending on when he felt it was necessary. Both baits put important fish in the boat for him.
Photo: Steve Bowman - At different times of the day, Martens said he would switch between a vibrating jig and spinnerbait depending on when he felt it was necessary. Both baits put important fish in the boat for him.
The subtle flash and colors gave the bass a visible bait to check out as the water was a little dingy from the description Martens gave. Martens led wire-to-wire and also blew the tournament out as he boated big bass for the tournament on the final day and also brought 22 pounds to the scales, which was 4 pounds bigger than any bag the entire week.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The subtle flash and colors gave the bass a visible bait to check out as the water was a little dingy from the description Martens gave. Martens led wire-to-wire and also blew the tournament out as he boated big bass for the tournament on the final day and also brought 22 pounds to the scales, which was 4 pounds bigger than any bag the entire week.
A-Mart digs through his bag of Roboworms in search of the colors that he used at Lake St. Clair.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - A-Mart digs through his bag of Roboworms in search of the colors that he used at Lake St. Clair.
Martens continuously caught fish on a drop shot, both at the mouth of Lake Huron and also when he was actually in Lake St. Clair.
Photo: Shaye Baker - Martens continuously caught fish on a drop shot, both at the mouth of Lake Huron and also when he was actually in Lake St. Clair.
But he also caught fish on a swimbait as well.
Photo: Shaye Baker - But he also caught fish on a swimbait as well.
Although he already had the Angler of the Year award clinched, Martens finished right around the middle of the pack and completed a 112-point victory in the Toyota Angler of the Year race.
Photo: Shaye Baker - Although he already had the Angler of the Year award clinched, Martens finished right around the middle of the pack and completed a 112-point victory in the Toyota Angler of the Year race.
For Aaron Martens, 2015 will be a special year in the record books. The same can be said for the spinnerbait. A bait that had never factored in an Elite Series win ended up helping Martens win the Chesapeake Bay event, and it also was a reoccurring bait for Martens at other events like the Sabine River and St. Lawrence. At Sturgeon Bay during the fan expo, Martens was asked what bait was most important for him. Unlike his two other AOY title wins in which a crankbait played a role, the spinnerbait was in the spotlight this year.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - For Aaron Martens, 2015 will be a special year in the record books. The same can be said for the spinnerbait. A bait that had never factored in an Elite Series win ended up helping Martens win the Chesapeake Bay event, and it also was a reoccurring bait for Martens at other events like the Sabine River and St. Lawrence. At Sturgeon Bay during the fan expo, Martens was asked what bait was most important for him. Unlike his two other AOY title wins in which a crankbait played a role, the spinnerbait was in the spotlight this year.