Aaron Martens is certainly one of the best athletes to ever fish for bass professionally. His record of wins, Angler of the Year titles, and overall cash winnings is certainly up there with some of the all-time greats, along with the fact he is heavily into physical conditioning and proper diet, and looks like a professional athlete.
Interestingly enough, he is often thought of as quirky, odd and some would say chatty, especially on stage when discussing how the day went on the water. Though he does chat quite a bit, and often about random things, I lean toward singularly unique and brilliant when it comes to describing this near-legendary pro angler. Oh yeah, also one of the nicest people I've ever met in the pro fishing world. Really, so darn nice.
Aaron Martens fishing Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi. (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
So, what is it about Martens that creates such a quirky, odd, funny, gifted and brilliant fishing aura? Who really knows, but it is likely due to him being fully engulfed in his sport/profession. Sure, he's not out fishing 300 days per year anymore since he has a family to spend a time with and enjoy, but he is the prototype of a scholarly angler when it comes to understanding his sport.
"Unlike some of the younger guys or single guys I don't spend as much time practicing," said Martens. "I probably should, since I am a professional angler. I should fish all of the time, but with sponsor obligations and wanting to spend as much time as I can with my family, I make the best out of the time I have."
Of course, that sounds like Aaron isn't spending massive amounts of time in the game, but he does. From changing every hook, to studying various fisheries, and trying out just about everything under the sun to gain a competitive edge.
"I still put a lot of time in to be the best I can be," said Martens. "You really have to when fishing against these anglers. They are all good, and I need to keep my head in the game."
Aaron Martens with a bass from Lake Okeechobee in Florida. (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
Until Martens won at the Lake Champlain, New York Bassmaster Elite Series event, his 2017 season wasn't going well. But by keeping that analytic studious mind focused on the positives, Martens is now back in the thick of things, moving forward and in solid position to qualify to fish another Bassmaster Classic.
"I really have seen how getting a lot of information outside of fishing on your own has impacted fishing this year," said Martens. "I fish on my own and don't get outside help, it's how I am. During practice, I try to find my own fish, but this year, I've seen a lot of guys finding the same fish I have and then have a lot of other fish as well. I just don't have that.
"Ross Barnett and Toledo Bend were not great stops for me. I just never felt very competitive at some of the events. Now Champlain, I had fished there quite a bit in the past. I finished second to Scott Martin there at an FLW Tour event the last time I fished it. It was a $200,000 first place. I had a good idea of areas to fish thanks to past experience. I knew it was going to be good."
Martens is excited about the new "no-information" rule that has been imposed on the Bassmaster Elite Series and its anglers.
"I don't think you should get outside help," said Martens. "As an Elite pro, you should be able to find fish and figure out what to use on your own. Everybody knows it happens, but I don't participate in it and am glad about the new rule.
"Of course, they now have to make sure to enforce it, or it just punishes those of us who abide by it."
Never underestimate Martens. Even though he does appear very random and a tad bit quirky on stage at times, he is one of the most elite pro bassers in world. Don't look for that to change anytime soon.