Aaron Martens Video

Original Bass Pro Interviews
Professional bass angler Aaron Martens reveals tips and tactics for improving your tournament performance, plus he gives advice for becoming a pro in this exclusive video!

Glenn: Hi I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.  I'm here with Aaron Martens. Aaron it is great to have you here you today.

Aaron Martens: It's good to be here.

Glenn: Aaron when you're first prepping for a tournament whether it be for the Classic or any other tournaments that you fish, how far in advance do you start doing that and what are the type of things are you looking for?

Aaron: Mainly a week or two before. The only good thing of having a Classic in February, I prefer it in the summer time, is that after the Classic your tackle is immaculate, which my tackle I try to keep perfect.  Normally, my terminal tackle; weights, hooks, I keep everything in separate boxes in a big box, when I need a certain hook or weight, wacky rigged hook. All my treble hooks are separate.

I have them all marked and tagged so I can get them quick. You don't want to waste time digging for stuff. I insert all my weights, so all that stuff is taken care of. Your plastics, your crankbaits, try to keep them clean and organized and hooks good on them. That's the kind of stuff you want to do. You don't want to grab a bait in a Classic and it's got a bent hook on it or a barb smashed. You want everything perfect, so when you grab it you're not going to have any doubts. When you hook a fish you're not going to be worried about it coming off. 

I'm with Phoenix now. I just signed up with them just a few weeks ago, and got my boat two days before practice started. This year was a little more difficult, getting my stuff to fit in my boat how I wanted it, but I got it all taken care of now. 

Everything in this tournament is important.  You don't want anything breaking. The trolling motor, everything like new wiring. I double check a lot of stuff and go through it.  Even if your GPS went out and you're running somewhere, normally it's not a big deal, but here it could cost you minutes or hours. You could get lost and not make it in. There are so many variables that go into this. It's really a test of everything.

Glenn: So it's really important to take care of your equipment off the water so it works perfectly for you when you're on the water.

Aaron: I might be running four hours a day. That loses four hours of fishing time, so you can't waste five minutes of doing something. It's got to be immediate.  I have a lot of fisherman say, "You are always messing around on the boat," but when it comes to tournament time I don't mess around. I don't waste a second. I am probably one of the more efficient anglers going from one thing to the next, or tying something on, or getting something out I want to try, or different bait. I've always believed that like any professional sport all those missed seconds add up. Everything has got to be as efficient as possible. That's how I fish all the time. This tournament it's especially important just because it's the Classic. If you have a mistake or do something, it could cost you the Classic. You can't have that haunting you.

Glenn: Right.

Aaron: Like when I threw back the keeper at Pittsburgh.  That haunts me still.

Glenn: You still hear about that to this day.

Aaron: I hear that just about everyday during these things.

Glenn: Nice.  When you are getting ready for a tournament and you are in pre-fishing, what do you do? Do you start driving around looking at your graph or do you just start fishing?

Aaron: I want people to know out there and I've heard guys say it in the past, and I don't want to sound like... From the beginning, I have never received help. I think I've gotten help twice in my 15 year career. I want people to know when I go fishing--I know you hear people say this but--I basically pull up to a lake and go fishing. Honest to God, I go to church and that's how I've always been. I'm definitely one of the more pure anglers out there. The way I believe and the way I think this sport should be, I am very firm about that. It's changed so much since all the technologies now, with the chips and the new phones, it's hard to be that way but I just want people to know that. When they see me fishing, how do you find that spot? I've seen internet stuff and my wife's wrote back, he doesn't need any help. I don't get any help.

Glenn: Would you rather there not be any pre-fishing at all?

Aaron: No, how would you find them.

Glenn: Some people think that would be a real challenge.  Just put you on the lake and go.

Aaron: Then you would have guys that may know something about the place and that would be a complete disadvantage.  There are some things coming up in the future I can't talk about. I'd like to see it where we went to a city and drove 200 miles, which is what they used to do in the past. I would be the happiest angler or person on this planet if they did that, all of a sudden say, "All right we are going to go to this city and we are going to drive from there, and you guys have no idea where we are going." I would like to see that. That would be the most exciting thing ever. You would feel my heart beating from there without touching my chest. I'd love to see that.

Glenn: That'd be great.

Aaron: You still need a day or two. We could do it if nobody's been there or knew about it, yeah bring it on. But I don't think that would happen.  I think somebody would know something about it. A day or two is good. It depends, this place literally three days.  A half day yesterday, that's almost like torture. What you end up doing is going here or there and you end up going so fast and passing stuff you're not being thorough at all.

You might be going past something that's the winning spot but you don't take the time to check it out.  You're trying to see as much as possible, trying to find something special. Normally I would stop here I went by so many spots like a straight canal that opens up and goes back in again and it's like, "Oh, that seems right, but the I got to go here."  That's happened dozens of times this week.

Glenn: You've been a pro for quite a while now, but when you first started what was one of the more surprising things that you weren't expecting?

Aaron: Wow, man. I don't know. One of the more surprising things? I wasn't expecting. The help concept I just talked about.  I came out here I thought it's awesome. That's the biggest part. I see what goes on. I wish we could stop it. That's the part that affects me the most; it bothers me the most. I don't know. Not much.

Glenn: Being from California do you have some people say what's this guy from California doing in Alabama or anything like that?  I'm just curious.

Aaron: No, I still go to California.  My family still out lives there and I still visit. California, it's a beautiful country.  The weather there is unmatched to anywhere I have been so far in the world. The people are sometimes nice.  It has its pros and cons. Alabama everybody is so friendly. 

I have been all over and there is friendly people everywhere, but the majority of people in Alabama everybody is super nice and friendly and here too.  Alabama everybody waves at you still. Even in the city where it's crowded and people still look and wave, even if you're not in a wrapped truck, a normal truck, this is how they are.

Glenn: Now you've been a pro for a while, you are in the spot light, you are getting interviews, you've been on TV, magazines, whatnot, how has that changed you in any way from when you first started?

Aaron: It doesn't changed me. I don't think I'll change that way. The way I was brought up I think my mom and dad did a good job. They kept me fishing as a little kid. Not bass fishing, but trout fishing; I was back packing. I was always doing outside sports. The way I am even if I was making a billion dollars a year, I would give most of it away to charities.  I try to treat everybody like I would like to be treated.  This sport doesn't always happen the way as we've seen in the past. They show it a lot of times on TV; they show it funny.  They take all three days and they combine it in one day. Don't believe everything that you see. I try to treat all these guys with the respect they deserve. That's how I like to be treated myself.

Glenn: For any new anglers out there, young especially, that want to move up and become and Elite pro, what's the number one piece of advice you could give them.

Aaron: Don't start too young. This sport is all about knowledge.  Like I said, the help thing. It goes that way. It just has. That's just how it is right now. If you have a special talent the best way to do it is on your own. I probably haven't done it as good as I would have done it knowing what's going on but consistent wise the long term is just to go out there and become the angler you are and not somebody else's.

I'd say if you try to start before 20 even if you are extremely good it's still a sport of knowledge. No matter what somebody shows you and teaches you, you can't use it. It's hard to explain but when you get into your 30s. I've talked to Kevin about this, VanDam, Skeet, we've all talked about this. It's just something about as you get older; it's experience. Even if you got taught all this you're not going to use it like when you are older. If you start too young, I don't want to see people start early and not be able to afford it and not do well enough, and fall out.  There are fish club tournaments, team tournaments and if you are an exceptional fisherman and have a natural ability, it will come to you. People see that. Sponsors see that. If it's meant to happen, it will happen.

Glenn: A lot of circles when you are asked about who is your favorite angler or who do you admire, your name comes up a lot.  Who is your favorite fishing hero?

Aaron: I've got a lot of them.  I love these guys. These guys are awesome.  VanDam is awesome. I hang out with VanDam a lot. Zona actually isn't fishing the tour but he's actually one of my favorite anglers. Just because he's a good honest guy. He's funny. You look at these anglers and even if some do get help they are awesome fisherman, like Van Dam. I think he's probably the best thing on tour now, or in the world.  I like them all. I don't want to say one. There's a lot of good guys. There's guys that are like me that just go out and go. I know there are. I talk to them. I know how they are and I can tell. You'll notice those guys will stumble. It just happens. you'll stumble here and there. I stumble all the time. That's how it is when you go out there and do it on your own. You're going to fall.

Glenn: What I would like to do now is called the "Shameless Plug Moment," and that is where you can talk about your sponsors as much as you like or if you have a new book or video coming out or if you want to give a shout out to your family or friends or whatever you would like to do.

Aaron: I like that. I'd love to write a book. I've been wanting to write a book for 10 years but I think I'll wait probably another couple of years before I do one. I got a lot of technical stuff that a lot of guys even know about yet.  From inserting your weights to different knots to this line to this line.  There's endless stuff. I'll do a book eventually. 

Right now, I'm in a new boat. I know you guys see that Phoenix.  It was a business move. It's a smaller company that only had two pros Russ Lane and Greg Hackney. So two guys plus me was three. I thought would be awesome. It would be more personable. It's going to be a good deal. The boat itself is awesome.  I'd say Champion is known for its ride. It rides like a Champion, fishes like a Ranger, fast like a Gambler. It has all the things that I wanted.

I've been using it a week. It's an awesome boat.  One of the newest things I got besides the boat is I'm running lithium batteries. You say, yeah okay, these guys are like let me see them. I can't tell you how many guys that are here that. I told a few guys and all of the sudden everybody knows and they want to see them.  These guys are drooling and foaming at the mouth. I've got four batteries on my boat.  My four batteries weigh just a little heavier than one of their batteries and they will outlast their batteries. They recharge in a half hour to an hour. Totally recharged.

They have 10 to 15 year life span. You can recharge them 3000 times. I don't know if everybody knows out there, but normally a high quality battery 300 is the max. You can recharge them 3000 times. They are green you can throw them in the trash can when your done. They have a five year warranty. Lithionics is the name of the company. You can look on Aaronmartens.com.  I hope it's up. I just got that back. Somebody was holding it for me for a while.

I can't tell you the advantages of it. I'd have to show you. Just imagine to be able to go to 2 inches shallower.  Imagine getting on a pad twice as fast and you got a mile or two on top of it. When it comes to us, you can't put a price on it.  Just the two inches alone shallower is worth--I can't tell you how much to these guys and me--that's going to be 100 yards of fishable water. There might be a bunch of fish spawning back there; you can't get to them because you're two inches too deep. Literally for a pro or for the average angler its fun. It's like having one battery in your boat all year. I've been using them for two months now. It's the future. Lithium.

Glenn: Fantastic.  There you have it ladies and gentleman.  Mr. Aaron Martens. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.