Fishing & Boating News

Martens Seizes Control At Bassmaster Elite On Chesapeake Bay

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., takes the lead on the 1st day of the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay, bringing 17 lbs, 8 oz to the scales on Thursday. 
Photo by Seigo Saito/Bassmaster
(Aug 13, 2015 - NORTH EAST, Md.)

 Some fishermen like to play it safe when they’re leading the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race late in the season.

They focus on getting a good limit, drawing a paycheck and earning valuable AOY points.
But Aaron Martens seems to be taking a different approach during this week’s Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay.

The Alabama angler, who came into the event with a slim 11-point lead in the AOY standings, caught 17 pounds, 8 ounces of bass and claimed the Day 1 lead in a tournament that is shaping up to be a tough one down the stretch. Michigan angler Chad Pipkens is second in the tournament standings with 16-14, and Japanese pro Morizo Shimizu is third with 16-9.

“I had seven keeper bites, and I broke two of them off,” said Martens, who increased his AOY lead over Dean Rojas to 52 points. “My bites were spread out all day. I wish I could catch them faster. But no matter how fast or slow you move, it’s going to be a bite about every hour and a half.”

Like most of the anglers near the top of the leaderboard, Martens seemed almost surprised to bring in a good catch after a dismal three days of practice.

He said he only has a handful of spots he feels he can depend on, but he thinks he has something figured out with the tidal flows that have such a profound effect on the fishing at Chesapeake Bay. That could affect his decision-making process out of the gate Friday morning.

“There is a one-hour window with the tide when you can catch them really good,” Martens said. “I could run the tide if I had enough spots, but I really don’t.”

Martens said Friday’s early-morning tide isn’t likely to be right in the areas where he caught his fish Thursday. So he’s considering starting in a totally different area, much closer to the launch site.

“There’s a lot of fish right here, and the tide’s going to be really good here tomorrow morning,” Martens said. “If I run straight there (to Thursday’s area), the tide’s not going to be good. I’ve got to look at the tides and consider everything.”

One thing Martens said he won’t be thinking much about is the AOY race.

“I don’t even check the AOY stuff,” Martens said. “My wife checks it and tells me where Dean Rojas is, but I can’t worry about that. I’ve got to put AOY to the back of my mind and worry about this event.”

Martens was Angler of the Year in 2005 and 2013, and he has finished in the Top 20 in five out of the six Bassmaster Elite Series events so far this year, including first in the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Havasu presented by Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels in May.

Despite Martens’ excellent day, he’s only 10 ounces ahead of Pipkens, who caught 16-14 after getting off to a slow start.

The 31-year-old pro said he only got four to seven bites a day during practice. But since most of the fish he caught were good ones, he came into the event with perhaps a little more confidence than some of his competitors.

“I knew it was going to be a tough tournament, but I felt like I was probably getting a few more bites than a lot of guys,” Pipkens said. “Between the handful of bites that I was getting every day, I was hoping I could bounce around and catch four to six keepers a day once the tournament started.
Pipkens said success on Chesapeake Bay is not just a matter of finding the right spot, but of hitting that spot at just the right time.

“I didn’t have a fish the first three hours, and I was fishing some good stuff,” Pipkens said. “You’ve just got to keep your head up. I caught my biggest fish today the third time I hit a place, and I hadn’t had a bite yet. It’s just a matter of timing. You hit a place just right, and you might catch two or three like that.”

Behind Martens, Pipkens and Shimizu are California pros Brent Ehrler (15-15) and Skeet Reese (15-13). Florida rookie Koby Kreiger and Virginia pro Jacob Powroznik are tied for sixth with (15-2). Rojas, who led the AOY race much of the season before falling behind Martens, is in 42nd place with 8-7.

The fishing was so tough that 25 anglers zeroed or caught only one fish. Among the anglers who failed to boat a keeper were New Jersey pro Michael Iaconelli and popular Florida pro Shaw Grigsby.

The tournament will resume Friday with takeoff from Anchor Marina and North East Community Park. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 3 p.m., with only the Top 50 anglers advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha


2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano


About B.A.S.S.


B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines,  Bassmaster website, television show ,The Bassmasters, social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.


The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.


2015 HUK Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay 8/13-8/16
Chesapeake Bay, Cecil County  MD.
PROFESSIONAL- Standings Day 1

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  17-08  100
  Day 1: 5   17-08  
2.  Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                 5  16-14   99
  Day 1: 5   16-14  
3.  Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  16-09   98
  Day 1: 5   16-09  
4.  Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        5  15-15   97
  Day 1: 5   15-15  
5.  Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  15-13   96
  Day 1: 5   15-13  
6.  Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  15-02   95
  Day 1: 5   15-02  
6.  Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  15-02   95
  Day 1: 5   15-02  
8.  Randy Howell           Springville, AL          5  15-01   93
  Day 1: 5   15-01  
9.  James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  15-00   92
  Day 1: 5   15-00  
10. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  14-15   91
  Day 1: 5   14-15  
11. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  14-11   90
  Day 1: 5   14-11  
12. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA  4  14-07   89
  Day 1: 4   14-07  
13. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  14-06   88
  Day 1: 5   14-06  
14. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  14-04   87
  Day 1: 5   14-04  
15. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL              5  13-12   86
  Day 1: 5   13-12  
16. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX              5  13-11   85
  Day 1: 5   13-11  
17. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  13-01   84
  Day 1: 5   13-01  
18. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  12-09   83
  Day 1: 5   12-09  
19. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  12-06   82
  Day 1: 5   12-06  
20. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  12-05   81
  Day 1: 5   12-05  
21. David Smith            Del City, OK             5  12-03   80
  Day 1: 5   12-03  
22. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  12-00   79
  Day 1: 5   12-00  
23. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  11-15   78
  Day 1: 5   11-15  
23. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  11-15   78
  Day 1: 5   11-15  
25. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  11-14   76
  Day 1: 5   11-14  
26. Jordan Lee             Vinemont, AL             5  11-13   75
  Day 1: 5   11-13  
27. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  11-12   74
  Day 1: 5   11-12  
28. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  10-12   73
  Day 1: 5   10-12  
28. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           5  10-12   73
  Day 1: 5   10-12  
30. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          4  10-11   71
  Day 1: 4   10-11  
31. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  10-09   70
  Day 1: 5   10-09  
32. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN    4  10-09   69
  Day 1: 4   10-09  
33. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  10-06   68
  Day 1: 5   10-06  
34. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  10-03   67
  Day 1: 5   10-03  
34. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             5  10-03   67
  Day 1: 5   10-03  
36. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             4  10-03   65
  Day 1: 4   10-03  
36. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               4  10-03   65
  Day 1: 4   10-03  
38. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX                5  09-15   63
  Day 1: 5   09-15  
39. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              5  09-11   62
  Day 1: 5   09-11  
40. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         4  09-11   61
  Day 1: 4   09-11  
41. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            3  09-08   60
  Day 1: 3   09-08  
42. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     3  08-07   59
  Day 1: 3   08-07  
43. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              4  08-05   58
  Day 1: 4   08-05  
44. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            3  08-02   57
  Day 1: 3   08-02  
45. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  07-12   56
  Day 1: 5   07-12  
45. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  07-12   56
  Day 1: 5   07-12  
47. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  07-09   54
  Day 1: 5   07-09  
48. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           4  07-09   53
  Day 1: 4   07-09  
49. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            3  07-09   52
  Day 1: 3   07-09  
50. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  07-06   51
  Day 1: 5   07-06  
51. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          3  06-14   50
  Day 1: 3   06-14  
51. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            3  06-14   50
  Day 1: 3   06-14  
53. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     2  06-10   48
  Day 1: 2   06-10  
54. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         3  06-08   47
  Day 1: 3   06-08  
55. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          3  06-07   46
  Day 1: 3   06-07  
56. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL         2  06-06   45
  Day 1: 2   06-06  
57. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                2  06-05   44
  Day 1: 2   06-05  
58. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  06-02   43
  Day 1: 5   06-02  
59. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             2  05-14   42
  Day 1: 2   05-14  
60. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  05-13   41
  Day 1: 5   05-13  
61. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA             3  05-12   40
  Day 1: 3   05-12  
62. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          2  05-12   39
  Day 1: 2   05-12  
63. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  05-10   38
  Day 1: 5   05-10  
64. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK               5  05-09   37
  Day 1: 5   05-09  
65. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              2  05-09   36
  Day 1: 2   05-09  
66. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               3  05-08   35
  Day 1: 3   05-08  
67. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            4  04-13   34
  Day 1: 4   04-13  
68. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            3  04-13   33
  Day 1: 3   04-13  
69. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               2  04-12   32
  Day 1: 2   04-12  
70. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               2  04-11   31
  Day 1: 2   04-11  
71. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           1  04-10   30
  Day 1: 1   04-10  
72. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                2  04-08   29
  Day 1: 2   04-08  
73. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                2  04-05   28
  Day 1: 2   04-05  
74. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI              5  04-02   27
  Day 1: 5   04-02  
75. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                2  04-02   26
  Day 1: 2   04-02  
76. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR            1  03-15   25
  Day 1: 1   03-15  
77. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR            2  03-11   24
  Day 1: 2   03-11  
78. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               3  03-05   23
  Day 1: 3   03-05  
79. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  3  03-04   22
  Day 1: 3   03-04  
80. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               2  03-04   21
  Day 1: 2   03-04  
81. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS               3  03-01   20
  Day 1: 3   03-01  
82. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            2  02-15   19
  Day 1: 2   02-15  
83. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        1  02-14   18
  Day 1: 1   02-14  
84. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              1  02-11   17
  Day 1: 1   02-11  
85. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              1  02-10   16
  Day 1: 1   02-10  
86. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          1  02-08   15
  Day 1: 1   02-08  
86. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                1  02-08   15
  Day 1: 1   02-08  
86. Kevin Ledoux           Choctaw, OK              1  02-08   15
  Day 1: 1   02-08  
89. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                1  02-06   12
  Day 1: 1   02-06  
90. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX           1  02-04   11
  Day 1: 1   02-04  
91. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          1  02-00   10
  Day 1: 1   02-00  
92. David Williams         Maiden, NC               1  01-14    9
  Day 1: 1   01-14  
93. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          1  01-13    8
  Day 1: 1   01-13  
94. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        1  01-07    7
  Day 1: 1   01-07  
95. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL         1  01-03    6
  Day 1: 1   01-03  
96. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              1  01-02    5
  Day 1: 1   01-02  
97. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            1  00-15    4
  Day 1: 1   00-15  
98. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH           0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL                0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Joseph Sancho          New Windsor, NY          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  
98. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00  

Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        43       338       783-01

          43       338       783-01