The Sam Rayburn blues

Keystone Light pro Casey Martin reels in a Lake Okeechobee largemouth.

Editor's Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW. As I write this, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Lufkin, Texas, getting ready to head over to the FLW Expo to work the Keystone Light booth while the Sam Rayburn tournament goes on without me. After a rough finish at Hartwell, where I managed a $4,000 check, I was hoping to turn things around on Sam Rayburn. Practice was OK. There were no big bites, but I thought I could grind out 12 or 14 pounds a day and possibly contend for a good check. Rayburn is a giant lake and definitely tough to break down in three days of practice. In practice I pretty much caught everything on moving baits, just covering some prespawn and spawn stuff. The day of the tournament the wind blew and a front came shoving in, so I figured the moving baits would only get better. As usual, I was too stubborn to make any changes and just kept after it, rotating areas with moving baits even though I never came across anything. When it was all said and done, I ended up with 13 1/2 pounds for two days and wound up way down the leaderboard. I really want to put Sam Rayburn behind me and focus on the upcoming events at Beaver, Pickwick and Kentucky lakes. Right now I'm way in the hole on points, and it's going to take a miracle to get into the top 35 in the Angler of the Year standings to make the Forrest Wood Cup. I've pretty much dug a hole that will be extremely difficult to climb out of. This year has been tough so far, and at this level there's a fine line between finishing 35th and 135th in a tournament: One lost fish, a couple of bad decisions on where to start or waiting too long for fish to bite can mean the difference between a good finish and a bomb. I've always been a gambler at heart and have never fished to get a limit and then go looking for big ones. I've always tried to fish for the biggest fish and hope to have five by the end of the day. For the poker players out there, it really comes down to knowing when to hold them and when to fold them. This year I have been trying to go all-in when I probably would have been better in some tournaments just folding the cards and starting from scratch. I've been keeping extremely busy, and after this I head back to Guntersville for a couple of days of guiding before turning around and leaving Friday for Beaver Lake, where I work the Walmart pro day the Saturday prior to the practice. Meanwhile, I don't know if you guys have watched the first episode of "Circuit Breaker" this year with JT Kenney and Chad Grigsby, but definitely check it out. It follows a very different format this year, but you get to see two veterans and how they travel compared to a rookie, which was me last year. Actually the opening scene this year is pretty funny where JT mentions he isn't a fan of mine, saying: "I'm not a Casey Martin fan. He never did anything to me; I just don't like him." OK. One thing I did notice about the new "Circuit Breaker" is there haven't been any on-the-water shots of fishing. I think a lot of guys want to see how these guys fish on a day-to-day basis too. At any rate, the documentary format that FLW has come up with is definitely something this sport needs. I love the way it gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and that it's not always big checks and holding up big fish on stage. There are a bunch of ups and downs in between, and as a fan of the sport, I look forward to watching many more of these episodes. Moving on, although Rayburn is a great area, I'm looking forward to getting home for a couple days to see my girlfriend, Lindsey, who is my biggest supporter. Her dog Petie will be extremely happy to see me as well because I always sneak a Dingo treat or two from the Expo to take home to him. By the way, if you ever get a chance to attend one of the FLW Expos somewhere, go for it. They're fantastic. You get to meet a lot of the pros and also sample many of the products that FLW sponsors bring to each event. Just save some of the Dingo dog treats for Petie. Until next time, Casey

Tags: blog  casey-martin 

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-29-here-we-go

Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-13-are-you-taking-care-of-business-

Are You Taking Care of Business?

My dad started taking me fishing when I was two. My very first job was at Hi’s Tackle Box and after that I spent a few years working for Fisherman’s Choice. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to spend my life doing what I love and enjoy doing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-30-the-ebb-and-flow-of-sponsorships

The Ebb and Flow of Sponsorships

Many of the readers who follow FLW know me as one of the pros who fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. What many of you don’t know is that I also work in the industry. I get to see what happens behind the scenes more than the average fisherman or fellow fan does. I get to see the sponsor contracts, and the ins and outs of how business works. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-22-ish-monroe-travels-to-china

Ish Monroe Travels to China

Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-12-5-must-have-knots

5 Must-Have Knots

Most anglers, pros included, look for any little edge to increase their catch, and that includes even the knots they tie to attach lures to their lines. With that in mind, picking the best knot to use with all of today’s lines can be a challenge. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-02-offseason-with-the-blaylocks

Offseason with the Blaylocks

READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-24-how-to-approach-a-potential-sponsor

How to Approach a Potential Sponsor

For a lot of FLW anglers, it’s crunch time in regards to sewing up sponsorships for 2015. Whether you’re fishing at the high school or college level, in BFLs, the Rayovac FLW Series or on the Walmart FLW Tour, gaining some form of sponsorship is critical to enabling you to make a profit from competitive fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-06-the-future-of-bass-fishing-is-in-good-hands

The Future of Bass Fishing is in Good Hands

It’s been a couple months since I fished my last FLW event, the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., where I got to watch history in the making. The championship weigh-in was very exciting as it featured the local favorite Anthony Gagliardi taking home the top prize with a 1-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-23-changes-in-the-air

Changes in the Air

Another year gone, and another off-season flying by. I’m still trying to catch up on all the stuff around the house that I let go during the season. Chores like painting the garage or little fix-it-up jobs around the house and yard seem to never end. By the way, I am currently fighting it out with fire ants, and even though they seem to have won most of the battles so far, I guarantee they will not win the war. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-22-when-more-is-better-

When More is Better

Today’s Lowrance sonar/GPS combos are so powerful, even the entry-level units are waaaay more advanced than what was available just a few years ago before we had GPS, SideScan or DownScan. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-10-relaxed-but-reloading

Relaxed, But Reloading

READ MORE »

/tips/2014-09-26-the-realities-of-sponsorships

The Realities of Sponsorships

Right now a lot of tournament fishermen are trying to land sponsor deals for 2015. Consequently, I guess it’s pretty accurate to say that the No. 1 question any long-term pro angler gets asked this time of year is, “How do I get sponsors?” READ MORE »