Robinson family on a roll - Major League Fishing
Robinson family on a roll
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Robinson family on a roll

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Marshall Robinson won Polaris Rookie of the Year and is set to compete alongside his dad, Marty, in the 2024 BPT. Photo by Jody White. Anglers: Marty Robinson, Marshall Robinson.
August 3, 2023 • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour

BAY CITY, Mich. – Things are going pretty well for Bass Family Robinson. 

Marshall Robinson, 19-year-old Tackle Warehouse Invitationals wunderkind, just won Polaris Rookie of the Year and claimed a spot in the Bass Pro Tour next season. A few days later, Marshall’s younger brother, Mitchell Robinson, won the Bassmaster High School National Championship along with teammate Cody Abbott on Lake Hartwell in their home state of South Carolina, besting a massive field of 480 boats.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a week to remember for proud dad Marty Robinson and his wife, Iris, as Marty competes on Saginaw Bay for Minn Kota Stage Seven Presented by Suzuki.

“This was one of the most exciting weeks of my life, and their lives, too,” Marty said. “They were both fishing the biggest trails or tournaments of their lives and neither had ever had finishes like that in situations that were that big.”

Marshall will take Kevin VanDam’s spot on the road with Marty next season. Photo by Rob Matsuura

Next up for the Robinson boys

Bass Pro Tour fans will be able to watch Marshall next year on MLFNOW! alongside his father. The elder Robinson confirmed that his son will accept the invite to fish the BPT in 2024.

“He’ll take KVD’s spot in a way since Kevin is retiring and is one of my roommates – he’s moving out and Marshall will be moving in on the road,” Marty said. “He’s been wide open and gung-ho (about bass fishing), and this was his biggest goal since the start of the season. He said he wanted to make a check in every event, win Rookie of the Year, and make the BPT.”

While Marshall fell a little short of cashing checks in every event, he can check the boxes on the other two. 

“When he said those goals to me, I never said anything negative or made discouraging comments, even though I knew how hard it would be to do against the tough competition fishing the Invitationals,” Marty said. “He cashed checks in four events and barely missed another by ounces, but he made his other two goals.”

Marty says his son has a nice blend of old-school and new-school, which could make him competitive from the start in the Bass Pro Tour.

“He’s originally a power fisherman, picking up a ChatterBait, crankbait or spinnerbait and just going down the bank,” Marty said of Marshall. “The last few years, he’s learned the forward-facing sonar well and is good with that when needed. I’ve always said he has a natural talent I didn’t have at that age. I’ve been around natural talent like that fishing professionally and know what it looks like; I know that he’s got it.”

Marshall’s younger brother, Mitchell, also made some bold goals before the National Championship event, and again, Marty did nothing to discourage him.

“He told us he was going to win because he had fish both shallow and deep and thought that’s what it would take,” Marty said. “I didn’t mention anything to him because winning against 400-something teams is extremely hard. He and his teammate started the event shallow and were in fourth place going into the final day. They went to the deep fish they had saved and had one of the bigger bags of the tournament on the final day to win it.”

Mitchell is entering his senior year in high school, but he’s already looking ahead to the next level of competition. 

“He’s hoping to graduate early in December and get into the Toyota Series as a boater this spring,” Marty said. “The goal was for me and Marshall to fish the Bass Pro Tour and jump in some Toyotas to fish with Mitchell, and it turns out that we can do that. I couldn’t have scripted a better way for it to happen.”

Entering his senior year of high school, Mitchell Robinson is set to compete in the Toyota Series in 2024 alongside his dad and brother. Photo by Charles Waldorf

A family affair

The Robinsons are a tight-knit fishing family, and the two boys have spent many hours on the road and water, traveling with their parents to tournaments.

“They’ve traveled with us to events, and I always tried to get them on different bodies of water to get familiar with different fishing styles,” Marty said. “I’m always skeptical of how any kid, not just mine, will do on the road. There are a lot of really good young anglers who fish around the house and do well but struggle in situations they’re not familiar with. I’m hoping that experience will help them.”

And what does mom think? Like Marty, she’s very proud. 

“She loves it,” Marty said. “She’s a fishing wife and fishing mom and has been all in since day one. She gets up with the boys to cook them breakfast and make sure they have all of their rods and life jacket in the boat. If they struggle at the next level, it’ll be because ‘momma’ ain’t there to get their stuff together.”

Three Robinsons may be on the Bass Pro Tour someday if things go as planned. Both Marty and Marshall see it as a real possibility. 

“Marshall says his brother is coming soon,” Marty said. “They saw a lot of the same stuff growing up, and I’d expect Mitchell to get here in a few years, but it will be hard to match his brother and make it on his first try.”