UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Rollin’ Martin

Pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., won the $200,000 first-place award in the 2004 Forrest Wood Open on Lake Champlain.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - He said it would take a 17- or 18-pound sack to win it, and that's just what Scott Martin caught Saturday. Emerging from the pack with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces, the Clewiston, Fla., pro won the Wal-Mart FLW Tour regular-season closer at Lake Champlain, claimed $200,000 and upended Aaron Martens' bid to repeat as Forrest Wood Open champion.

"I'm so proud to win this one because Forrest has been a part of my life since I was born," Martin said about Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood.

Martin is the son of TV fishing legend Roland Martin, and you've probably seen him fishing on camera since the time he could first hold a rod. Incidentally, with this win Scott Martin picked up right where his father left off. The last time Roland Martin won a tour-level bass event was in a 1997 BASS tournament at Lake Champlain.

But with his second FLW Tour win as a pro (his first was at the Pascagoula River in 2000) and over a half-million dollars in FLW Outdoors career earnings, the younger Martin is making his own mark these days. Plus, this bass-packed fishery on the New York-Vermont border seems tailor-made to his strengths. For most of the anglers here, this event was about finding spawning fish and keeping track of them throughout the week. Martin makes no bones about his reliance on GPS technology during tournaments. Two years ago, he worked his Garmin waypoints into a fourth-place finish in FLW competition here. This year, he figured out how to take it to the next step.

"(Three-time FLW champ) Clark Wendlandt once said, `You can never win these four-day tournaments if you fish in the same spot twice,'" said Martin, who had some 500 waypoints marking smallmouth spawning beds in his Garmin by the tournament's start. "I wouldn't have been able to keep my weights up consistently if I fished the same areas each day."

Scott Martin carries his last bass to the scale for victory at the Forrest Wood Open.The winner fished the Burlington area of Lake Champlain the first two days and kept his focus strictly on smallies. By days three and four, he moved to the northeast portion of the lake and fished the Inland Sea area. Anglers hit many of the shallow smallmouth areas pretty hard the first two days, but by catching a limit early Wednesday and Thursday, Martin was able to use his time scouting a few key spots he could use Friday and Saturday.

"I saw a lot of areas that hadn't been picked through yet," said Martin, who said he saved his heavier fish until today. "I caught four of my biggest fish today within a hundred yards of each other. Yesterday, I knew that I needed a big bag, so I had been kind of saving this one spot. I really spent a lot of time GPSing things and concentrating on areas that were otherwise too windy or too rough for people to fish earlier in the week."

By throwing jerkbaits as well as sight-fishing with tubes in Saturday's calm, slick water and sunny weather, he caught two bass that were each in the crucial 4-pound range and two more around 3 pounds. His winning two-day weight in the finals - 10 smallmouth bass worth 32 pounds, 8 ounces - topped Martens by over 2 pounds.

"It's hard to win a tournament with only smallmouths," he said. "But I enjoy catching these smallmouths so much, I don't want to catch largemouths."

Aaron Martens of Castaic, Calif., caught a two-day weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces and finished in second place at Lake Champlain, just missing a repeat victory in the Forrest Wood Open. He still claimed $100,000.Martens makes bank again at Open

While he couldn't come up with a repeat performance of his 2003 Forrest Wood Open title at Pickwick Lake, Aaron Martens didn't feel defeated Saturday. He has cleared $300,000 in just this tournament alone the last two years and has also now eclipsed the half-million-dollar mark in FLW career earnings.

"$100,000, that's still pretty good money," said the pro from Castaic, Calif., whose two-day weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces earned him second place at Lake Champlain.

For Martens, who donned a wide-brimmed hat to keep out the sun and also went sight-fishing, Saturday was about finding occupied spawning beds.

"I think about 90 percent of the fish in this lake are on beds right now," he said. "Today, I saw a lot them that had been picked clean."

Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., finished third with a final-round weight of 30 pounds 3 ounces and collected $50,000.Rookie Newton rises to third

Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., caught 1 ounce less than Martens and finished third with a final-round weight of 30 pounds 3 ounces. A two-time EverStart Series champion but FLW rookie, he won $50,000 in just his third FLW tournament fished.

"It's been a great week. If it hadn't been for Andy Morgan talking me into coming, I wouldn't even have been here," Newton said, saying that making the trek to upstate New York from Alabama to fish had been a last-minute decision.

Newton caught his limits in the finals by sight-fishing flats.

Blaukat fourth

Day-three leader Randy Blaukat of Lamar, Mo., finished fourth and collected $40,000 with a final-round weight of 29 pounds, 7 ounces.

"These are the first bedding fish that I've caught in, like, eight years," he said. "I just don't like to do it, but I had to this week. Right at the end of the day I caught my biggest one."

Walker fifth

Day-one leader David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., made his long run south to his largemouth area Saturday, but came up short. He caught 29 pounds even in the finals, finished fifth and collected $30,000.

"I feel as good as you can, and I'm mad as (heck) at the same time," he said. "I did everything right and caught everything that bit, but the big ones just weren't there for me."

Walker estimated that he ran approximately 560 miles throughout the week.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at Lake Champlain's Forrest Wood Open are opening-round leader Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Ark., with a final-round total weight of 27 pounds, 1 ounce (6th place, $28,000); Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., with 26-11 (7th, $26,000); Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., with 26-8 (8th, $24,000); Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Okla., with 26-8 (9th, $22,000); and Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., with 16-12 (10th, $20,000).

All of the pros caught limits both days of the final round except Kilpatrick, who weighed in four bass Saturday.

Coming up

The next FLW Tour stop is the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, scheduled for Lake Logan Martin near Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 11-14.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2004-06-23-lake-champlain 

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-profile-jeremy-lawyer

Profile: Jeremy Lawyer

A year ago, Jeremy Lawyer endured a harsh reality as the door to a Forrest Wood Cup berth slammed shut on his runner-up finish at the BFL All-American on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. Flash-forward to June 11 and the boater from Sarcoxie, Mo., saw life come full circle with his All-American win on Barkley. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-poffenberger-found-the-right-four

Poffenberger Found the Right Four

Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned $4,684. READ MORE »