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: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »