Martens Looks to Break Championship Round Drought this Week in Alpena - Major League Fishing

Martens Looks to Break Championship Round Drought this Week in Alpena

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March 22, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Cup Events

ALPENA, MI – He’s qualified to fish the Championship Round in exactly half of the Major League Fishing Cup events he’s competed in since the inaugural MLF Cup event at Lake Amistad, Texas in 2012. But through five championship appearances to date, MLF hardware has escaped Aaron Martens.

It’s an odd experience for the Alabama pro, who has claimed three Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles and won 10 tour-level events in a 21-year career. It’s especially vexing considering Martens’ recent success: two of his AOY titles and three of his wins have come in the last five years.

“Things just haven’t ever seemed to work out right in (MLF) championships,” Martens admits. “I have these awesome days during Elimination and Sudden Death rounds, but I never quite put it together on the last day. I’d like to win one of those trophies one of these days.”

Martens has qualified for three previous Summit Cup finals (2014 in Alpena, 2015 in Waterville, Maine, and 2017 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota) and two Challenge Cups (2015 in Shreveport, Louisiana and 2017 Challenge Cup in Eufaula, Alabama), and finished third in both Cup events in 2017.

But while his fellow Wiley X Summit Cup Championship competitor this week, Mike Iaconelli, won last year’s Summit Cup Championships, Martens has yet to have that “perfect storm” day on an MLF Championship Saturday.

“I fished the last round of the Cup that he won in Grand Rapids in 2017, he caught like 50 fish that day. I’d like to have one of those days (in the championship),” said Martens. 

Considering the way Martens is fishing heading into the final, it’s certainly not out of the question.

He staged the biggest come-from-behind win in Elite Series history the week before arriving in Alpena for this Summit Cup, climbing from 19th place on the final day to win the Lake Champlain, New York Elite, event. He backed that up with a dominating 30-pound win in his Elimination Round on Hubbard Lake, prompting fellow Championship Saturday competitor Bobby Lane to choose Martens as the angler to beat in this event.

“I like the way I’m fishing right now, but, man, it’s hard to win at this level,” Martens says. “If I have one of those days where everything goes right, I can get it done. It seems like I’m about due, right?”