Martens on Difficult Fisheries: 'I Prefer Them' - Major League Fishing

Martens on Difficult Fisheries: ‘I Prefer Them’

Image for Martens on Difficult Fisheries: ‘I Prefer Them’
March 11, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Cup Events

ALPENA, MI – Coming off a 22-fish blitzkrieg in his Elimination Round at the 2018 Summit Cup in Alpena, Michigan, one might expect Aaron Martens to be disappointed with an eight-fish day in his Sudden Death Round.

Not even close. Martens, who advanced out of that round and will fish for the Summit Cup Championship, sports the nickname “The Natural” because of his uncanny ability to catch fish in virtually every fishing condition. And he actually prefers a good, old-fashioned “grinder” over a slugfest where the fishing is almost too good.

“I’ve always enjoyed challenges,” says Martens. “Growing up in California when those lakes would flood and nobody was fishing them because the fishing was horrible and you’d maybe get two or three bites a day, I enjoyed those days. The water would come up 60 feet and the fishing was brutally tough, but I’d stay out there all day. I like a wide-open lake, too, but I’d rather fish one that’s hard to figure out.”

To understand Martens’ psychology about this, it’s important to first understand his curiosity about fish biology and behavior. While most tour-level anglers will simply dunk keeper fish right into their live well or release them immediately without a second glance, Martens commonly studies his fish, turning them this way and that so he can examine them at all angles.

He looks at their fins, their mouths, their bellies, sometimes their eyes, in order to pick up any miniscule clues about that fish’s behavior, and why it bit his bait.

“I want to know they’re acting the way they are, don’t you?” Martens asks. “It’s interesting to me to understand why a fish would be in 50 feet of water when most of the others are in 10 feet of water.”