NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Before the FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by the National Guard began this week, National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., dedicated his efforts to his wife, who has been a vital part of his support over the course of his career. Martin, the reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion, led the first three days of the event and on Sunday he got to dedicate a victory to her, as well. At the end of the day, Martin’s five bass worth 13 pounds, 7 ounces gave him a total four-day weight of 66 pounds, 6 ounces – just 3 ounces heavier than second place – as well as a championship trophy and $126,000. The win boosted Martin’s career winnings past the $2 million mark.
Martin’s teammate, National Guard pro Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., narrowly missed earning his first Tour win and posted a total weight of 66 pounds, 3 ounces to claim second place. Lucas won $34,276 for his efforts.
“Every win is just so special, but this one here is unbelievable,” said Martin, who now has five Tour-level victories. “I dedicated it to my wife earlier in the week before practice started and was able to pull it off. Usually when you say you’re going to do something like that you kind of jinx yourself, so this is one of the most proud (wins) I’ve ever had.”
Although he led the entire tournament, Martin’s lead shrank more and more each day. On Sunday Martin admitted he didn’t think he was going to win the tournament.
“I pretty much said I wasn’t going to win,” Martin said. “I thought somebody was going to bring in a 17- or 18-pound bag and edge me out. But God is good.
“When I got in and saw some of the weights starting to hit the scale I thought, `Man, I might have a shot at this thing.'”
Martin said he fished excruciatingly slowly and picked apart grass beds with a Bruiser Baits paddle tail worm. He said he wouldn’t catch a fish for 20 minutes and then he would catch one that would allow him to replace his smallest fish in his limit and increase his weight by 4 or 5 ounces. Then he would repeat the process.
“You feel like a caged animal,” Martin said. “Because you’re sitting in this one little spot flipping into every little hole you can.
“I just stayed confident out there,” Martin said. “(David) Dudley kind of touched on it a little bit. It’s not the lures you throw. A lot of times it’s not even the exact spot you’re fishing. It’s confidence that wins tournaments, and I had a lot of it this week. It really paid off bigtime. The winning lure really was confidence.”
The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 20 bass, 65-7, $28,943
4th: M&Ms pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 20 bass, 64-7, $24,610
5th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 20 bass, 63-12, $19,276
6th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 62-8, $16,376
7th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 20 bass, 61-11, $15,410
8th: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 20 bass, 61-10, $14,443
9th: Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz., 20 bass, 61-10, $13,476
10th: EverStart pro Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 20 bass, 61-4, $12,510
Overall there were 50 bass weighing 141 pounds, 4 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.
Chris Dillow of Waynesboro, Va., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, 3 ounces followed by Greg Knick of Ansonia, Ohio, in second place with 15 bass weighing 46-11 worth $7,238.
In FLW Tour Major tournaments, pros and co-anglers are competing for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 pro and co-anglers in the point standings from the six FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
The Tour stop on the Potomac River presented by the National Guard was hosted by National Harbor and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and was the fifth of 10 Walmart FLW Tour tournaments of the 2012 season. The Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake presented by OFF! will be the next tournament and will be held June 7-10 in Murray, Ky. The event will be hosted by the Marshall County Tourist Commission and Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau and boats will launch from Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky. For a complete schedule, visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Coverage of the Potomac River tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs June 24 from 1-2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.