Tommy Martin ranks high on the list of bass fishing's all-time greats. The 1974 Bassmaster Classic champion was part of the original Hemphill Gang that came from the area around Toledo Bend Reservoir and established themselves as some of the best anglers in the early days of B.A.S.S. and professional tournament angling.
Martin went pro in 1974, qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic that year and winning it. In all, he made it to 19 Classics (eighth best all-time), including 14 in a row (1978-1991), and finished in the top 5 six different times. That's tied for third-best, behind Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam.Martin also ranks high on the list of all-time tournaments entered. He's fished 307 B.A.S.S. events in his lengthy career — fifth most in history (behind Clunn, Gary Klein, Denny Brauer and Paul Elias).
And though he never won a Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, he's likely the best angler who never did and he came close many times, including runner-up finishes in 1982 and 1989. Ten times he finished in the top 10 for the season and six times he was in the top 5.
He was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rick Clunn and Tommy Martin are teaming up for the Bassmaster Legends tournament taking place July 31 on a private lake in Montgomery, Ala. The event is part of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, and weigh-in will be before the final of the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championshp.