April 18, 2013
By Lynn Burkhead
Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com
For Jack Link’s Major League Fishing pro Aaron Martens, there are two questions to be answered as the final day of elimination fishing begins at the 2013 GEICO Challenge Cup on Florida's Lake Istokpoga.
First, will A-Mart be able to successfully ride the wave of confidence and momentum he built in 2012 on the Bassmaster Elite Series into this event?
And second, what effect will gathering Hurricane Sandy to the south of Florida have on Lake Istokpoga’s bass?
While the answer to the second question remains unknown, Martens hopes he knows the answer to the first.
"I think it might play a factor," said the Californian turned Alabama pro. "I think it (confidence) plays a factor in any fishing event or any event period, like another sporting event."
Martens does admit that he isn't sure how long a boost of confidence and angling momentum can last.
"It's been a good time since I won, almost two months now," he said. "It's a good question, how long does momentum last? I've had some bad tournaments since I won, so is the momentum over or not? (I don't know) but it (success) definitely builds confidence."
Martens also shrugs his shoulders a bit and says that he looks at things a little bit differently now than when he began his career.
"I think for me, with my kids and such and where I am in life, I haven't been fishing as much over the last seven or eight years," he said. "At least as much as I used to. I'll take a month off here, a month off there (to recuperate). A couple of months off is kind of like an offseason, although I guess you could say we don't really have an offseason anymore."
Though Martens may be riding on some advantageous momentum, he and the other MLF pros were casting an ominous eye to the gathering storm system off the southeast Florida coast.
Particularly as to what effect a building fetch of wind will have on the days fishing action in Zone 1.
Zone 1: 7.3 miles primary shoreline, 0.9 miles island shoreline, 5,498 acres
"It will make it tough getting up there, but if I had to pick a spot today with this wind direction, I'd pick that corner of the lake," said Martens. "It should be the most sheltered area here and the water clarity should be better there than other parts of the lake.
"I'd say the fishing should be pretty good in that hole today."
Actually, A-Mart is expecting the fishing to be good for the entire event at Istokpoga, provided that Hurricane Sandy doesn't interfere too much.
"I've fished here in Florida one other time in the fall," said Martens. "I think it was an Open event or something on Toho in either October or November. Since they spawn here in Florida so early, this time of year is pushing into pre-spawn. I remember the bite being pretty good at that event a few years ago and I would expect it to be similar here.
"I think the fishing should be about as good as it gets while we're here."
Especially for Martens, one of pro bass fishing's best, as he surfs a wave of momentum and confidence no matter what Hurricane Sandy may bring.
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