Racin' was good, Reelin' was awesome

As B.A.S.S. member Harris Housley, an avid NASCAR fan, watched the recent Talladega race conclude, he was relieved. “The race is cool, but I’m ready to go fishing tomorrow!” he admitted. Housley, a Calhoun, Ga., native, won the Bassmaster Reelin’ & Racing sweepstakes presented by Nationwide this past April, which gave him a VIP experience at the Talladega Superspeedway and a fishing trip with Elite Series pro Aaron Martens. Housley brought along his wife, Judy, who would fish with Bassmaster editor James Hall in a separate boat.

The group met the morning of Oct. 20, at a launch ramp on Logan Martin Lake. “This is my favorite lake on the Coosa river and one of the best spotted bass lakes in the nation,” Martens said. “We should be able to catch a bunch of fish.”

“I don’t care if we catch anything!” Harris said. “I’m just excited to learn how Aaron picks apart a lake and uses his electronics.” There would be little concern over getting skunked, though, as Harris landed the first fish of the day within minutes of stopping at the first spot. “It will just get better as the day goes along,” Martens predicted. And he was right.

Martens would idle over offshore structure before deploying his trolling motor, differentiating between baitfish and bass before making a cast. Sometimes Martens would identify a single fish on his graph, then stop and catch it. All told, the pair caught over 20 spotted bass and didn’t quit until the sun fell below the trees. Judy, who had never caught a bass prior to this trip, landed three.

“It was just incredible!” Harris said. “To fish beside an angler of such high caliber is eye opening. I learned so much. And Aaron couldn’t have been more fun to fish with.”