DeFoe vs. Martens

Ott DeFoe and Aaron Martens square off on Lake Decatur.

By virtue of two days on Lake Shelbyville, Ott DeFoe will face off against Aaron Martens for one day of fishing on Lake Decatur. They are the No. 2 and 3 seeds, thanks to DeFoe edging Martens in the preliminary round. DeFoe caught nine fish weighing 22-15, and Martens caught six fish that went 10-13.

Opposites in fishing styles, the pair will make for an electric match. DeFoe nearly always manages to find fish in shallow water with aggressive presentations with crankbaits and flipping baits. Martens is known as the light-line, finesse fishing guru, preferring drop shot rigs and shaky heads. But, to make a living at this level of fishing, one must be versatile, and these two are adept at a gamut of techniques.

Martens is anxious about DeFoe’s preparation on Lake Decatur, saying that the Tennessee pro has an edge in that regard.

“I know these guys did their homework, and I definitely didn’t. I think I might be in trouble,” Martens said. “However, I had a fairly good practice on Decatur; I caught probably 13 pounds, including a couple of good, solid fish. It definitely beats Shelbyville. Plus, I’m tickled to be here. Ott’s gonna catch ’em for sure.

“I have a little pattern going, but I’m just going to have to go fishing. If I win tomorrow, I’d rather fish against Gerald [Swindle]; he’s like me, he didn’t do his homework, either.”

DeFoe thinks that if Martens can manage 13 pounds, he’d be tough to beat. But, the reigning All-Star champ is at ease under pressure, and always rises to challenges presented to him.

“I had a good practice over there on Decatur, and I’m looking forward to the event. I caught a few fish, but nothing too big,” he said. “This is a really cool format and I’d sure like to knock Aaron out! If I beat him, I’d like to fish against Edwin. That would make it a repeat of last year, which would be really cool.”

DeFoe plans on using a flat-sided square bill crankbait that he makes himself; he named it Butch. His custom bait has gotten him this far, and he’s not going to give up on it. The adage “dance with the one who brought you” comes to mind. He also might lob a spinnerbait.

At stake is $60,000 and the title of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week Champion.