Pro-File: Casey Martin, FLW Pro Angler

I recently made a connection with FLW Pro Angler Casey Martin through some work I had done with Anglers Access Magazine, where the rookie angler is featured for the cover story of the current December issue. Being asked to write the article was an honor after listening to James Smith interview Casey on Fish Bait Radio following Casey?s recent top-five finish at The Ever Start Series Championship. This young gun is one to watch in coming years, his education has been driven by his passion to fish and his experience as a co-angler in the FLW program. In this post I will share Casey?s story with you as it appears in the article I submitted to Anglers Access Magazine, be sure to visit the Anglers Access Magazine?s web site to read other articles, some of which were written by fellow WFN Ambassadors who have provided great content to the fantastic ?free? on line publication.Casey Martin was born in Windsor, ON, Canada where he lived and finished high school before moving to St. Louis, Missouri where he earned a college degree in Electrical Engineering. During his time in the Mid- West, Casey began fishing legendary reservoirs such as Lake of the Ozarks, Kentucky Lake and Table Rock where he schooled himself as an angler. Feeling that he still needed to learn a larger number of lakes and techniques Casey then made his way to Huntsville, AL and it was in that area of the south where he learned to fish grass lakes like Guntersville. Casey has since made New Market, AL his home and has been known to fish reservoirs throughout the Southeast as he invest his time to his education as one of the top up and coming professionals in the bass fishing industry. Casey?s recent top-five finish at The Ever Start Series Championship has paid him back for his hard work and the winnings were enough to cover his entries for the 2013 Wal-Mart FLW Tour as a boater in 2013 Casey admits that there will be a learning curve as a rookie, but he is looking forward to fishing from the front deck his own boat.Casey credits his success to fishing as a co-angler where he learned much from the back deck. ?Fishing as a FLW co-angler is a great way to learn new techniques and to find out how the pros make decisions during a tournament day. ? Casey reports. ?Co-anglers come with different skill sets, goals and reasons for fishing from the back deck. ?The Ever Start Series Championship was held on the Ouachita River in West Monroe, La. October 31 ? November 4th, 2012. Casey made these comment in his recap of the tournament, ?Having looked at past events there I knew the bite was going to be extremely tough. I left Friday morning and after a quick stop to get my fishing license at the local Wal-Mart I checked into my hotel. The weather was changing drastically when I filled up in Meridian, Miss. The weather was 82 degrees and hot and sunny. Two hours later I pulled into West Monroe and the temperature had already dropped into the 40s ? eventually dropping into the 30s overnight.??The first day of practice was brutal on me to say the least. I ran as far up Bayou D?Arbonne until I made it to the dam and worked my way back down the Bayou. In 14 hours of practice I had two bites flipping, an 8-pound mudfish and a swing and a miss on the other.??On day two of practice I decided to change up and try some stuff on the main river. Prior to the tournament a couple sponsors had sent me some new baits to try out. One was Picasso who had sent some prototype Alabama rigs called the ?Bait Ball,? a finesse rig with some blades added. The other was a Boing topwater lure custom painted in a snakehead color. The second day of practice I started throwing the Bait Ball and immediately caught three fish at the first stop on the main river. Although they were just barely keepers it was something I needed to expand on. On this day I covered most of the river down to about 50 miles south where the other dam is. I found the bite to be tough everywhere but the only thing I could really get bit on was the Bait Ball and a drop-shot.??On day three I decided to expand upriver from Monroe and actually caught them decent on the Bait Ball running a pattern and thought this was my best opportunity to get a limit. I never thought a limit of 12-inchers would be so hard but on the Ouachita River it was. I got off the water at dark and headed back to the hotel. On the way back to the hotel a car pulled out in front of me and hit my truck causing a bit of a hassle; I had to take the truck in for some minor repairs and had to start looking for a truck to borrow for day four of practice. Luckily the co-angler that was practicing with me had a truck and was able to tow the boat to the ramp for me.??Day four of practice was real tough; the weather was warming and becoming stable so I decided to try the Bayou again thinking maybe the fish would turn on. The only thing I found was that the bite was still tough and everyone that caught them in there in the tournament had aluminum boats and had to access areas that my Ranger Z520 couldn?t get into. With about two hours left of practice I abandoned the Bayou and decided to find a couple of areas on the main river. I found one spot where I caught two keepers and my co-angler had another two in a quick amount of time. There was a bunch of shad in the area and thought this spot could have a bunch of potential.??Day one of the tournament was pretty tough. I pulled into my starting area and the fish weren?t biting. I could see the shad on my graph but there was no activity at all. My co-angler caught two keepers but after two hours on my best spot I decided to run around like a chicken with my head caught off ? hitting every current break on the main river until I pulled into one cut and was able to get five keepers in about an hour. I was spun out for a while because up until 11 a.m. I never had a bite. I caught six keepers from that cut and decided to save some there for the next day. I went back to my starting spot around 1 p.m. and noticed the shad activity had increased and on my first cast caught a pound and a half fish (a decent one there). From there it was on. I caught fish on every cast for the next half hour to 45 minutes. As quick as I could cull and cast the bait ball back out there I would catch a fish. I really wish I could?ve managed this spot but I saw three other boats in the area and I knew if I left they would catch them. I ended up culling up ounces at a time up to 8 pounds, 2 ounces. I just never got a good bite over 2 pounds.??Day two was a big struggle for me. I caught a couple little ones on my first spot but I think those fish were used to seeing the Bait Ball so I switched to the drop-shot with a Zoom finesse worm but again I only had three little fish at about 1 p.m. I ended up heading back to my best spot and every once in a while the fish would come up busting and you would be able to catch a couple but not many. I tried pretty much most of the topwater baits that I had but finally settled on the Boing topwater and was able to get two good bites on it ? a 3-pounder and a 2 1/2-pounder. I only had six keeper bites but they weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and moved me into ninth place and into the top 20 cut.??Day three was my toughest day. I made the mistake of thinking that since there would be less pressure in my main area that the bite would be better. They hardly bit at all; I should?ve adjusted but I just kept trying to wait out the school to show up. Needless to say they never did. I was able to scrape out 6 pounds, 6 ounces and I had one about 2 pounds at the end of the day that really helped on the topwater. That clued me into something. I snuck into the top 10 cut and was given the Chevy boat to use for the final day.??On day four I did the pretournament interview and mentioned I had nowhere to go but up in the standings and decided to throw power baits to move up as much as I could. Towards the end of day three I noticed that the topwater bite seemed decent. I had a couple quick bites and dedicated my day to covering water with that and a crankbait since a front was moving through and thought the bite should be decent, well at least for the Ouachita River. I just covered as much water as I could and every move I made paid off. I caught a couple on a Rapala DT10 and had my biggest bass, a 3-pounder, again on the Boing topwater which hit right at the trolling motor with the camera on cue?, said Casey. He finished the tournament in fifth place with his four-day total of 31 pounds and13 ounces winning $6,600.Casey sounded grateful for his background as a co-angler in the FLW. ?Fishing as a co-angler taught me to focus and never give up; the program prepared me to be able to adjust to extreme conditions and to be able to make the right decisions at the right time.?Casey ended the interview with James Smith by sharing some of his favorite seasonal fishing tips. For late fall and early winter Casey enjoys fishing the diminishing matted grass as the mats fade away in the cold water of winter. He also mentioned punching the mats with soft plastics as well before the mats break up and are gone for the season. Casey also confessed to choosing the Alabama rig in the late fall as the fish move into the creek channels following the shad. Later in winter Casey can be found fishing a ¾ oz Bill Lewis Rattle Trap in a ?red craw? color for the massive Guntersville winter bass holding in the remaining grass.Casey Martin will be one of the young guns to be watching in the years to come. His education on the trail and on some of America?s finest reservoirs has given him a solid foundation in the sport of bass fishing. His experience on the back of the boat has proven that skills and techniques can be acquired by diligent students and with some hard work and perseverance it is possible to move to the front deck.Happy Fishing!>Read More about Casey at Casey Martin Fishing?s web site:  //caseymartinfishing.com/Special thanks to James Smith at Anglers Access Magazine and to Fish bait radio:Visit their site at these links://www.anglersaccess.com///www.fishbaitradio.com/

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