UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

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Reel Chat with SCOTT MARTIN

Reel Chat with SCOTT MARTIN
Scott Martin proudly displays his trophy after claiming victory at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Welcome to FLW Live Reel Chat. Today we're joined by bass pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., who recently took home the top prize of $600,000 after winning the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. The National Guard pro also has three other FLW Tour wins to his credit (Pascagoula River in 2000, and Lake Champlain in 2004 and 2009), and he scored an FLW Series win on Lake Okeechobee in 2010.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Martin is the son the famous television personality Roland Martin, and with nearly $1.9 million in winnings and 24 top-10 finishes since he began his career with FLW Outdoors in 1999, he also will be one of the heavy favorites during the Sept. 15-18 FLW Tour Open on Lake Champlain - the second-to-last Tour event of the season.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Today, Scott Martin is here to take questions from you, the fans. So, without further delay, let's get started.

Q: Scott, congrats on you win! You're the man! What was your No. 1 bait, and where did you fish it? Thanks for being such an ambassador to our sport.
-- Cody Hanley (Utopia, New Brunswick, Canada)
A: Thanks, Cody, for the compliment; it means a lot. My swimbait was my big-fish bait, and it got me to the finals, no doubt. I would fish the swimbait through brush and baitfish in 20 to 25 feet of water. The swimbait was the Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin matched up to a 3 1/2-inch paddletail swimbait body.

Q: Hi Scott! Congrats on the Forrest Wood Cup win! Hey, I am thinking of buying a Lowrance HDS unit. Is the side-imaging feature useful? Is it worth the price? What features would you recommend as a must get? Thank you sir!
-- Rick Cruz (Beaverton, Ore.)
A: Well, Rick, there are a lot of good GPS fish-finder units on the market. I use Garmin and I have for 13 years. They currently don't have a side-imaging feature, just a really good traditional down sonar. That's what I used to find all my fish in the Cup. The Garmin 740S is a phenomenal unit; it's my favorite one right now.

Q: Of all your wins,was this the most satisfying? And what was your dad's reaction when you won?
-- Chris (Benton, Ark.)
A: By far, the Forrest Wood Cup is the biggest thing I've ever been a part of. To win in Arkansas, to win around family and friends was special. I have two memories burned in my brain from the event. When I first went onstage on Sunday and greeted the crowd, I saw my dad stand up firmly and give me a solid thumbs up. And later after I won, he was a big teddy bear with tears. I want to give Johnny Morris a special thank you for flying him out. It made a special moment that much more special.

Q: What about the Fish Head Spin makes it such a productive bait? I think that's two Forrest Wood Cups in a row where it has played a major role.
-- Danny (Durham, N.C.)
A: The Fish Head Spin is such a unique lure. There's not another lure on the market like it. It has a great, realistic swimbait head, and the swivel and blade create great flash and vibration. That combination is absolutely deadlly. Again, there's nothing else on the market like it.

Pro leader Scott Martin smiles after weighing in his 16-pound, 1-ounce limit Saturday afternoon.Q: When you see bait on your graph, describe what you see. I see bait in a ball frequently, but can bait be scattered and what would that look like? Also, once you see bait, how do you find fish and how do you fish for them?
-- Ed Knight (Little Rock, Ark.)
A: Bait, to me, always looks like a cloud on the screen, usually detached from the bottom. Most of the time shad are in schools or pods, so I don't look for scattered bait. I want to find the solid red marks on my Garmin that are in and around the bait; those are game fish that are feeding. Bass are typically undernearth these schools. But I won't start fishing until I see those solid red marks on my screen.

Q: What has the post-Cup experience been like? Has it all set in yet with the media appearances and everything?
-- Grant (Jackson, Tenn.)
A: The post-Cup experience has been quite a whirlwind. Being that I've won four other Tour events, the magnitude and coverage has been amazing. It's been one phone call, text message and Facebook post after another. But at the same time, I've been trying to manage my family as school started this week. The interviews are great, but we've still got to get the kids out the door.

Q: Scott, what rods did you use to feel those soft bites with? Do high-quality rod materials really make a difference?
-- Billy (Magnolia, Texas)
A: Absolutely, yes, high-quality rod materials make a difference. Feeling bites is the difference between winning and losing. I currently use a Kistler Z-Bone, which has the highest senstivity and the lightest materials used in the rod industry today. They're the best I've ever used, bar none. No matter what brand you buy, I recommend having a highly sensitive rod. Without it, I wouldn't have felt those light bites on Ouachita.

Q: What are your thoughts on Major League Fishing? How come only one FLW pro (Brent) is competing?
-- Ryan (Huntsville, Ala.)
A: I don't think much about it, to be honest. But I applaud any effort to grow the sport of bass fishing. But since I don't know much about it, it wouldn't be fair to comment. But since Brent is the only FLW pro competing, I say, "Go, Brent!"

Q: Now that you've won the Forrest Wood Cup, what's your next goal? I read that you're close to Dudley in career earnings and close to Fritts in career wins.
-- Greg (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
A: I have a lot of goals still left to achieve. I still have a lot of goals left in the family -- 19 wins is pretty tough. Beating Fritts is one thing, but beating my dad is another. But obviously winning tournaments and Angler of the Year titles is what it's all about. I will always continue to fish to win, but that $100,000 for Angler of the Year is impressive. I'd like to improve my consistency while still fishing to win. Those are always my goals, and I feel like the best is yet to come. I honestly think I'll have a shot at winning Angler of the Year here real soon.

Q: Is it ever tough to be constantly compared to your father, Roland? I would imagine it's both a blessing and a burden at times.
-- Ron (Mankato, Minn.)
A: You hit the nail on the head. I've been trying to break out from father's shadow now for a number of years. Early on it was nice. It allowed me to break into the industry, especially with sponsors. But those days are long gone. And I think it took a little while longer to get the respect and recognition that you deserve. Sometimes it takes a few wins to get out of that shadow. My biggest hope is that when we get around people together now, people will say to my dad: "Hey, you're Scott Martin's dad, aren't you?"

Q: Fishing gear is very expensive for folks like myself on a fixed income. I cannot afford to have multiple rods and reels for various fishing conditions. What do you suggest for the best rod and reel combos to cover most fishing techniques without breaking the bank?
-- Brian Curran (St. Louis, Mo.)
A: A good spinning reel is probably your best bet in terms of quality. Match that with a 6 1/2-foot medium to medium-heavy action spinning rod and you can do pretty much everything except flip to heavy cover. But use 15-pound-test braided line (Spiderwire). And if you fish clear water, use a fluorocarbon leader. You should be able to purchase that combo for under $100. The key to the whole set-up is the Spiderwire.

Q: I'm looking for deep fish on Lake Marion for a tournament coming up. What would be the best way to start?
-- John Willocks (Hemingway, S.C.)
A: I would concentrate your efforts on main-lake points in 20 to 25 feet of water. Look for rock piles, brush piles and vegetation. The points near deep water should have fish in and around them. Also, the presence of bait is key as it was in the Forrest Wood Cup.

Q: Should I pick you for Lake Champlain in Fantasy Fishing? And what will the bite be like in mid-September?
-- Hal (Roanoke, Va.)
A: Lake Champlain is one of my favorite lakes, and I've had a great deal of success there in the past. The bite will be different as they should be feeding on baitfish heavily in the fall. I see spinnerbaits and jerkbaits as great choices. And as far as Fantasy Fishing, go ahead and pick me. I'm picking me.

Q: Is the fishing on Lake Okeechobee still insane like it was in February for the Tour event?
-- Aaron (Indianapolis, Ind.)
A: Believe it or not, it is. Lake Okeechobee continues to be the best Scott Martin demonstrates a drop-shot to the cameralake in the country. The bite really hasn't slowed hardly at all. It's now taking 22 to 24 pounds to win a tournament, but pretty much all year long it has taken 30-plus.

Q: I am 17, and I was wanting to try to fish as a co-angler in BFL events or something of the sort. I was wondering if you had any reccomendations for me, and I have tried to get a high school team started at my school, but no one is going for it.
-- Matt Ford (Auburn, Ky.)
A: It sounds like you're going about it the right way. No. 1: Keep trying to get your school team started. But the BFLs and maybe the EverStarts offer great opportunities to get some experience and see the different lakes. Both circuits will no doubt make you a better fisherman. From there, just keep working your way up until you eventually fish the FLW Tour as a co-angler, which is a great way to start your fishing career. That's exactly what I did.

Q: Does this (Cup) win afford an even deeper sense of satisfaction knowing that you were the only one who really had the offshore bite figured out? Say as opposed to a gorilla gun fight, where everyone is doing the same thing and through a big fish bite or two, you simply out-blasted them.
-- Archie Wilson Jr. (Maynardville, Tenn.)
A: It's been such a whirlwind that I haven't had as much time to reflect on how it feels. But now that you've pointed it out, it does give me a greater sense of satisfaction. Thanks for pointing that out -- you've put a smile on my face.

Q: I see bait balls suspended in 20 feet of water not around any cover or structure in the middle of a big pocket or creek. Does that mean bass are nearby? How do you find them?
-- Ed Knight (Little Rock, Ark.)
A: It doesn't necessarily mean they are nearby. There are more bait than bass, so there are times when they just won't be there. I would keep moving until you see the bigger marks. You don't want to waste time if you don't see fish -- keep on trucking. But on the other hand, if you know there is good structure and cover, there are probably bass nearby. I would just idle over it a few times and see if you can find some of the bigger marks.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have to chat with Scott today. Thanks, once again, to all the fans who tuned in and participated in today's Reel Chat. And a special thanks to National Guard team pro Scott Martin, the recent Forrest Wood Cup winner on Lake Ouachita, for giving us his time and insights into bass fishing. Check back shortly for a complete transcript of today's FLW Live Reel Chat.

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