ALPENA, MI – Aaron Martens found himself in an odd (but enviable) position halfway through the day in his Elimination Round domination on northern Michigan’s Hubbard Lake. Martens, who rang up SCORETRACKER to the tune of 54-0 pounds in the first round of Summit Cup competition in Alpena, caught his 11th fish at 12:36 p.m.; that 4-pounder brought his running weight total at the time to a full pound more than second-place finisher Jeff Kriet would catch for the entire day.
So, Martens put down his drop-shot rod occasionally and played a game of “tackle box challenge” for the rest of the afternoon.
“Once I felt comfortable that I had a big enough lead, I fished a bunch of different baits, just to see what I could get them to bite on,” Martens admits. “I knew the drop-shot would work, but I wanted to see if I could get bit on an underspin or a small swimbait. I threw some topwater when the wind came up, too, to see if I could get a reaction bite.”
While Martens and the rest of the Cup anglers advancing from the Elimination Rounds will move to another fishery for the Sudden Death rounds, the nine-time B.A.S.S. winner insists that the knowledge he gained in his tackle testing on Hubbard could come into play later this week.
“It helps me get a better feel for how (the fish) are reacting to water conditions for this time of year,” Martens says. “Just being a fisherman, I always want to know as much as I can about how fish are behaving.”