I-SLIDE 185 Action Video

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Luke Clausen Introduces the PONY GABOT

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Pony Gabot Action Video

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Aaron Martens introduces the Vision 110 Jr.

Aaron Martens introduces the Vision Oneten Jr. 

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Watch Luke Clausen catch a 9lber on the Orochi XX F4.5-70XX!

Luke Clausen introduces the F4.5-70XX on Clear Lake, CA, and catches a beauty on a Megabass prototype crank bait!

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Luke Clausen introduces the F4.5-70XX on Clear Lake, CA, and catches a beauty on a Megabass prototype crank bait!

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Shin Fukae Tournament Blog: Toyota Texas Bass Classic, Lake Conroe 2013

Toyota Texas Bass Classic

Lake Conroe

Montgomery, TX

20th place

9 fish, 24-08

 

Heading into the last event of this year in U.S., Toyota Texas Bass Classic is a unique format championship that the competitors are invited from their qualifications with Top 15 of each circuit’s AOY on the FLW Tour, the BASS Elite Series and the PAA Series in addition to 5 exemptions includes the defending champion. I qualified for the non-entry fee event as the PAA Series AOY current leader.

 

To me, this was the fourth tournament at Lake Conroe and I kind of knew what type of lake it was and what I would have to figure out. However, I haven’t done well on this lake before and I just was hoping I could make this championship and would fish harder as much as I could to win.

 

The water level was different each time I visited and this year some boat docks were unplayable due to the low. On the official practice days, I basically did run around the lake to see the overall condition first and after that, I checked how my waypoints in the past worked as well as tried to find new spots as many as I could. I know the most of Texas lakes hold tons of big fish and Lake Conroe is the one of them but to be honest, fishing the lake this time of year is a challenge and I had such a bad practice as I’ve never had. I caught some fish in shallow and some in deep but no kickers on the both sides so I couldn’t decide which was better for me until right before the tournament start.

 

On the Day 1, I had an early flight and started with fishing shallow before the boat traffic gets worse. I caught some fish there but nothing big same as practice days. A couple hours after the sun came up and my spots started getting some pressure on, I moved to my deep spots and spent the rest of time there. I fortunately managed 15-4 at the end of the day and that was worth tied for 9th.

 

On the Day 2, I decided to spend the all of my day with staying at deep areas since what I caught them at my deep spots on the first day was much better than what I felt from my rough practice. However, the day two turned out tough for me and in fact I could not manage a limit and only caught 4 fish with 9-4 despite of that I not only had a longer fishing time than the Day 1 but also had a good chance to make the final cut.

 

Although I missed the Top-10 cut, I ended up in the 20th that was much better result than what I had thought as well as compare with my finishes in the past. I can say that fishing with Megabass rods has been contributing to my performance on the water and I wouldn’t have better results without them. At this time, I mainly used Megabass Tomahawk cranking rod (F4-70GTA) for deep crankbaits as well as Megabass Orochi X4 casting rod (F6-71X4) fishing with Carolina rig. The Mat Bucker (F6-71X4) originally has made for light frogging game but the rod is very versatile and to me, that is the one of the most favorite rods.

 

Next up for me is the Basser Allstar Classic on Tone River/Kasumigaura in Japan (Oct.25-26), and that would be my last tournament this year. The event is the invitational tournament presented by Basser magazine and a lot of bass fishing fans come to show their support and have fun with the competitors and the sponsors. I have won it before and will watch for a chance of the second win. I also have been looking forward to meeting fans in person over there just because I don’t have many opportunities to do that since I came over here in U.S. I appreciate you all for the all kind of support and the wishes.

Shin Fukae Tournament Blog: PAA Table Rock Lake, 2013

PAA Series

Table Rock Lake

Branson, Missouri

7th place

15 fish, 38.54 lbs.

 

 

Heading into the third PAA series of the 2013 season I was leading provisionally with a slim margin on the Angler of the Year race. To gain an advantage over the competitors with the point race as well as to secure the qualification of the TTBC championship, I wanted a strong finish badly and I did pre-fish to figure something out before the cut-off.

 

Even though I have fished the lake before, the most of time was spring season. Plus, the lake had some record high rainfall in early summer this year so it was a whole lot different conditions compare to its usual. Those made me disturb enough when pre-fishing and I did run around all over the lake which had above summer full pool of water level to find whatever I can rely on from before sunrise to after sunset every day.

 

Despite fishing at deep water usually is dominant in the summer time on this lake, it looked like the unusual rainfall changed it completely and the thermocline was messed up. In fact, the lake produced to many anglers plenty of shallow bites on the tournament days. I caught some fish on the surface too during the official practice but I stayed and focused on fishing deep brush at 20 to 30 feet of water for all three competition days since I thought that was the strategy I could believe more than anything else and I worked hard to get some key bites from it.

 

I did not get many bites on the competition overall and catching a 5-bass limit every day was not easy to me especially on the final day, but I fortunately could make it with consistency for all three days by using two different presentations. Those were Texas-rigged plastics teamed up with either Megabass Orochi XX (F7-72XX) rod or Orochi X4 (F6-71X4) rod as well as Dropshot with using the Yamamoto baits and Gamakatsu G-Finesse Swivel Shot combo on the Megabass Orochi XX spinning rod (F3-611XXS). The rods for the Texas-rigged baits I choose basically depend on the weight sizes and at this time I picked the F7-72XX for the heavier weights while using the F6-71X4 for the lighter sizes. I have been using the Megabass Orochi Series rods for four years now and those helps to bring my performance out for sure, I think.

 

With the 7th finish on this event, I made another Top-10 finish following the last two events. Thankfully, the high finishes three times in a row on the PAA not only kept me as a provisional point leader with final event left on the tourney but also got me into the Toyota Texas Bass Classic which is called bass fishing world championship.

 

Next up for me is the Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe in Texas (Oct.4-6). I have fished the lake before so hopefully my prior experience works out at the event next month but I will give it my best shot whatever happens. The 2013 season to me is entering the final lap and it would be time to make a last spurt. Last but not least, thank you for all your support and the wishes.

Megabass Deep-Six Video!

Check out the DEEP-SIX diving crank bait in action on Lake Biwa, Japan!

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Edwin Evers Tournament Blog: Lake St. Clair 2013

Elite Series

Lake St. Clair

Detroit, Michigan

54th Place

10 fish, 30-01

 

Heading into practice at St. Clair, I knew that there would be no such thing as playing it safe. That’s not my style anyway, but in a tournament where everyone was going to catch limits it was important to find the schools that had better quality bass.

 

My goal in practice was to cover as much water as possible. I put my Motorguide trolling motor on high, grabbed a bunch of 7:1 reels, and started flinging crankbaits fast and furious. On St. Clair it might be 15 feet deep in one spot, then you go a half mile and it’s still 15 feet and 3 miles later the depth hasn’t changed, so it’s important to key on every little subtlety. Depending on the characteristics of the particular spot, I rotated between three Megabass crankbaits: the Deep-X 150, the Deep X-300 and the Deep-Six.

 

On the first day I found a quality group of fish and an area that had the potential to produce the win. I caught a five-pounder and a couple of fours, plus had a bunch of followers so I knew the school was a good one. In the second half of the day I made the long run up to Lake Huron. Now that I know where some of the top 12 were fishing, it’s obvious that I went further than I had to go, but right before dark I got into some schooling fish. That’s a situation that’s hard to gauge because it was later in the day than we’d get to fish – who knows if they’d be there during tournament hours? As a result, I didn’t think much about it.

 

On the second and third days I cranked until my elbows just about fell off and I found several more groups of quality fish, including a few 5 ½ pounders. Two of those areas were both around the size of a football field, and I also found a third area that was a lot bigger, an absolute monster. I felt that by catching the aggressive ones with a crankbait and supplementing it with a dropshot and a tube any one of those three areas could lead me to a top ten finish. I was confident heading into the event.

 

On the first day of competition the wind was out of the west and that seemed to change everything. I caught a smallmouth in the first 30 minutes of fishing, but at 2 o’clock that was still the only fish in my livewell. At that point I scrambled to fill out a limit for a little over 13 pounds, which left me pretty far down in the standings. I should’ve gone up the river to Huron, but I couldn’t pull the trigger.

 

Day Two started off equally tough, but at 9 o’clock I made the decision to pack up and head 30 miles up the river, where I caught 16 pounds in about 30 minutes and then proceeded to cull up to my eventual weight of 17 pounds even. I hoped that would be enough to get into the cut for Saturday, where I’d have a chance to reclaim the AOY lead, but ultimately I was a half pound short of the top 50. If I’d just gone up there the first day I’m sure I would have had at least 14 or 15 pounds and I would’ve been celebrating. One bad decision over the course of the entire Elite Series campaign cost me the title.

 

I was in the service yard getting some of my gear adjusted until well past the end of Friday’s weigh-in, so I didn’t really know what happened immediately, but I did have a gnawing suspicion that my decisions – or lack thereof – would come back to haunt me. Fortunately my family was there to keep me grounded. Your four year-old doesn’t care about the AOY race, he just wants to be with you. The next day we went kayaking and ate the biggest scoops of ice cream in Michigan and tried to put the one subpar finish behind us.

 

While the result wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I still have to give credit to my gear for allowing me to stay out there under conditions that’ll test any piece of equipment. My Optima batteries kept me going at full speed into the waves and current for three long days of practice and two days of competition. My Lowrance touch screen electronics enabled me to find groups of fish in ways that never would have been possible just a few years ago. My Nitro boat has a livewell cooling system that I’m sure was responsible for keeping several deep-hooked fish alive – without it, I’m sure a few of them would have died, costing me valuable places in the standings. Finally, I’m increasingly relying on the Megabass crankbaits and have come to realize that they outfish anything else in their class. In particular, the Deep X-300 was the perfect tool for the depth I was fishing at St. Clair.

 

My next tournament will be the B.A.S.S. All-Star week, again in Michigan, but before that occurs there’s lots to do. I’m headed to Table Rock soon for Tracker media days, and I just had two big pallets of Antler King food plot products show up. The best way to get over the disappointment of finishing 2nd in the Angler of the Year race will be to spend some time on my tractor.

Aaron Martens Tournament Blog: Lake St. Clair 2013

Elite Series

Lake St. Clair

Detroit, Michigan

12th Place

15 fish, 62-02

 

Heading into the final Elite Series event of the 2013 season there was a big gap between me and Edwin Evers in the Angler of the Year race. I was in 2nd place, but it was a very distant second. He could seal the deal with a strong finish, and I knew that under any circumstances I’d probably have to win or come close to steal the title away. The fishing reports indicated that the fish close to the launch site in St. Clair were skinny and light, so the combination of those factors made it easy for me to decide to make the long run to Lake Erie.

 

Of course, making that long run is perilous even under good conditions. I figured that at least one day out of the four we’d get strong winds and I’d have to make a decision whether it was worth the pain, but in my heart I knew that I could do it as long as the wind wasn’t much over 20 miles per hour.

 

Even though I’ve done well on Erie in the past, most of that success was up around Buffalo. I hadn’t fished this side of the lake too much, but it didn’t take me long to figure out a few sweet spots. I looked deep and shallow and on the second day I pinpointed a big area that I felt had the potential to produce a win. It wasn’t going to give me a lot of fish – maybe 10 or 15 a day – but there were lots in that 4 to 6 pound class.

 

It was pretty rough on the first morning of competition but it only took me about an hour and a half to run the 70+ miles to my spot. The fishing started off slow, and I lost a few good ones early. That was frustrating, because during practice I couldn’t shake them off. After a couple of moves I settled down and the fish stopped biting funny. Pretty quickly I culled up over 20 pounds. My final weight for the day was 21-14, which had me in 3rd place behind Chris Lane and Mark Davis. Meanwhile, Edwin only weighed about 13 pounds, which meant that if things stayed the same I’d be AOY. Still, a 20 pound bag on Day Two could put him back in contention, so I didn’t allow myself to think about anything but my own performance.

 

Day Two dawned a little calmer or at least the wind had shifted. That made the boat ride easier but the fishing a little bit tougher. I caught lots of drum but the bass were finicky. They’d mouth a bait and then spit it out. You could see on the graph that they weren’t in feeding position. I gradually got a few in the boat and once again they were the right size. My 19-19 moved me up to 2nd behind Mark Davis. The wind shifted again the next day, but the fish didn’t leave. I was persistent and it paid off with another 20+ limit. To be precise, I had 20-11 and that had me in 3rd behind Davis and Lane. I could only hope that their fish were running out because I knew that there were plenty left where I’d been fishing. Just as importantly, there was no way I could fall below 12th, which meant that I’d clinched the second AOY title of my career.

 

The fourth day of competition had some of the roughest water of the week. It didn’t prevent me from getting to my fish in a reasonable amount of time, but once I was there I had to keep the trolling motor on high to maintain my position. It still seemed like it was out of the water at least half the time.

 

I ran straight to what I thought was my best spot. It hadn’t produced much on the second or third days, but it was on once again. I caught a limit pretty quickly and then it got really good. I culled and culled until my smallest bass was 3-07. It wasn’t easy to land them in that rough water and I lost a few that might’ve helped, but overall my equipment enabled me to get the job done.

 

The wind seemed to die down the as the day progressed, but I didn’t want to take any chances. The day before it had taken me an hour and 20 minutes to get back, so with a good limit onboard I left myself an hour and 45 minutes for the ride. I pushed it a bit at first and then when I got near the mouth of the river it seemed to get worse. There were five footers out there and when I looked at the flag at the mouth of the river it was ripping hard. There’s current in there, too, and more big boats than you’ve ever seen in such a confined area.

 

When I got about three-quarters of a mile from where I was going to gas up, there’s a spot with an island and two channel markers. There’s also lots of rock there, so I played it safe and went right down the middle. There was a 50 foot boat coming at me, pushing a big bow wake. I still had over an hour to go the last 36 miles so all seemed in order. Meanwhile, the wakes from two other 40 footers were coming at me as well. I was trying to stay on top of things, but when the wakes converged all I could see was a cavern in the water and I was going right into it. Normally when you hit a wake it’ll jar you a bit, but there’s a certain amount of give. This time the boat just stopped.

 

When we impacted the swirling water, there was a loud snap and a popping noise. That can never be good, but I could only hope that it was something inconsequential rather than catastrophic. I was able to keep going for a short distance, but then I hit a 3 foot wake and the motor jumped off the studs. I’d broken one of the bolts that held it in place. There was nothing I could do at that point except try to contact another competitor. I called Randy Howell, who I figured was my last chance, but his phone was in a dry compartment and he never heard it ring.

 

I started heading toward the gas station but it was too late. With only 40 minutes to go, even if my boat miraculously came back together there was no way to make it in time. I tried calling Trip Weldon but I couldn’t get through, so I called Mark Zona and verbalized the bad news. At that point I got out my scale, weighed each fish individually, and let them swim away. My scale is a spring scale that tends to read a little light and it had me at 20-08, which probably means I was within an ounce or two of 21 pounds. Ouch.

 

I got the motor going to where I could idle and started the long trek back to the ramp in the river. Meanwhile Lesley had to drive through Detroit traffic to meet me. It was late by the time we got it on the trailer. At that point, we couldn’t really drive it anywhere without the motor falling off, so we headed to Lowe’s to get any kind of bolts that would secure it until I could get it to a certified mechanic. While we were in the parking lot my cameraman looked up the standings on the phone and told me that I would have won the tournament. All of the good feelings I had from winning AOY were soured and I could feel the blood drain from my face. I’m still frustrated about it, but there’s nothing I can do. Hindsight is 20/20, but I’d still take the risk of that long run if I had it to do over again. The same risk that cost me in the end was the one that put me on the fish to win the event. I’m mad that we suffer through so many needless no-wake zones and they let those big yachts fly around there at warp speed, but everyone had those same conditions to deal with so there’s no one to blame.

 

For the record, every fish I weighed in during the tournament came on a dropshot. Most of them were on the Orochi XX Drop Shot rod (F3-611XXS), but I also caught some on the Destroyer Aaron Martens Limited (F3-610XS). I fished 3/8 and ½ ounce weights below a variety of Roboworm products, including the 4 ½ Straight Tail worm in Aaron’s Magic and Pro Blue Neon, as well as the smaller Alive Shad in similar colors. Unlike other tournaments where I use straight fluorocarbon, in this one I used a main line of 10 lb. Sunline SX1 braid with a leader of either 8 lb. or 7 lb. Sunline fluoro. I attached the two with a swivel, and then had 12-15 inches of line before the hook, and another 20-25 inches of line from the hook to the weight.

 

Next up for me is the US Open on Lake Mead, one of my favorite lakes and an event that I’ve won three times. We’re filming MLF this week and then I have to drive back to Alabama before heading to Vegas. Maybe that will give me some recuperation time. We’re headed from some serious rough water on the Great Lakes to the furnace of the desert. As my career has progressed, I’ve learned to deal with extreme conditions better and better and I think the proof is in the results.

  • B.A.S.S. Elite angler Aaron Martens is perennially ranked among the Top 10 in the US--and with an AOY title in 2013 and 2004, multiple tour-level wins, and over $2.6 million in career winnings, it is no question why Aaron continues to dominate the sport.