AMart the Great Entertainer

Written by Sarah on July 4, 2011

Is there any angler on the Elite Series tour who continually says more outlandish things than Aaron Martens? I don’t mean those pee-your-pants Swindleisms, but just stuff that flat out surprises you.

I first got a sense of what AMart is like at the 2004 Bassmaster Classic, when I rode with him on Day One. He parked his boat under a bridge all three days of the tournament and but for Takahiro Omori’s last minute heroics, he would’ve been the Classic champion – fishing old school crazy stuff like a “horsey head” and a hair jig. It took me about three quarters of the day to realize that most of his comments weren’t directed at me. They were just portions of an internal play by play that he happened to externalize.

Then when he won the Elite Series tournament on the California Delta in 2007, a good friend of mine drew out with Aaron on Day Two. Aaron caught a 10- and an 11-pounder that day, one on braid, one on super-light fluorocarbon. When he hooked the big fish on light line, my friend asked how he could help. “Pray, dude, pray,” Aaron responded.

Now, I have to admit, not everyone is as intrigued by Aaron’s demeanor as I am. One of the BASS cameramen told me that it can be a pain in the butt to follow him. “In an hour on the water, he might only fish for 15 minutes,” he explained. “In the middle of the tournament he’ll dump out his hook box on the deck of his boat and re-sort his hooks.” But here’s the rub – during those 15 minutes he’s likely to do something pretty extraordinary.

Last night I finally watched the footage of the recent Elite Series tournament from the Arkansas River. There were lock issues, battles for position and some exciting fish catches, but for me the best part was a throwaway quote from Aaron. As he fished down a stretch of riprap there were some cats watching him, so he opined on our feline friends: “Cats are cool,” he said. “Pound for pound, a lot more gnarly than a dog, I know that.”

Top that, Swindle.

This blog was written by Facts of Fishing blogger and Dave’s good friend, Pete Robbins.

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  • TomLeogrande

    Pete can you blog 5 times a day?  Please – your stuff is better than TV these days!  This one is Classic.  Aaron is definitely one of a kind.  Super nice guy and an unbelievable angler and a conversation with him will leave your head spinning. 

    One time at band camp, errrrr I mean a seminar I sat in on, years ago at a boat shop in Southern Cal, he said something that always stuck in my head and I just didn’t get it.  It didn’t really dawn on me until years later when something he said finally clicked.  I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with many of the best pro’s out there and only 2 guys can leave me feeling like at total kindergartner sitting in on an algebra class, Aaron Martens and Big Fish stud Mike Long.

    As for the fun comments – Martens to VanDam at the 2011 Classic (and I paraphrase) “You’re a good angler, we should go fishing sometime.”  That one line still makes me crack up when I think about it, that’s a “classic” statement (pun intended), I am sure I will drop that on someone someday while on the water.