Martens Cruises to Elimination Round Win as Alpena Summit Cup Begins - Major League Fishing

Martens Cruises to Elimination Round Win as Alpena Summit Cup Begins

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February 18, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Cup Events

ALPENA, MI – Northern Michigan is a long ways away from MLF Cup Angler Aaron Martens’ home in Leeds, Alabama. It’s even further away from where he grew up and learned to fish in Southern California. The way Martens fished during the Elimination Round 1 competition at the 2018 Summit Cup, though, you’d think that the three-time Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year actually resided in Alpena County, and fished these Wolverine State waters his whole life.

Martens racked up 22 Lake Hubbard smallmouth for 54-0 pounds to dominate his Elimination Round, beating second-place finisher Jeff Kriet (23-7) by just over 30 pounds, one of the largest margins of victory in Summit Cup history.

“That was just fun!” Martens exclaimed as he sat down for the daily winner’s press conference at tournament headquarters in Alpena. “Anytime you catch a lot of fish and it’s steady – fish, fish, fish, fish, fish – all day long, it’s a pretty great time. I love it up here (in Michigan), especially when you’re catching the right fish.”

And Martens was on the right fish from the get-go, hooking a 3-8 and a 3-14 to start his morning, and then steadily piling up 1- to 3-pounders through the first two periods, mostly drop-shotting a 3-inch Roboworm Alive Shad in Aaron’s Magic color.

By the time Martens hooked his 11th fish late in Period 2 – a 4-8, his biggest smallmouth of the day – the nine-time B.A.S.S. winner had already accumulated enough weight (28-3) to win the round and advance to Sudden Death for the seventh time in his last nine MLF Cup competitions.

“I tried a few things just to see what I could get them to bite on, but by far the drop-shot was the way to go for a dependable bite,” Martens said. “The blue/watermelon of that Aaron’s Magic worm really stands out on a cloudy day like it was today, fish just seem to see it really well.”

In addition to Martens and Kriet, the following anglers made it out of the round and into Sudden Death competition: defending General Tire World Champion Bobby Lane (19-10), Brent Ehrler (19-6), Jason Christie (16-14) and Keith Poche (14-11) … “Big Fish” Lane lived up to his nickname with a 5-10 smallmouth, the biggest fish of the round.

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