DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

A-MART WINS AOY/DAVIS LEADS IN DETROIT

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 08/24/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush- Photos by Dave Rush

Detroit, MI – After Aaron Martens took the lead in the Toyota Angler Of the Year race following the first day of competition at the final stop of the 2013 Elite Series regular season on Michigan’s Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, the Alabama pro was reluctant to talk about his chances of winning the Angler Of the Year title for the second time in his career.  

“I don’t want to think about it - I just want to think about the tournament first,” said Martens on Thursday afternoon.  After maintaining his TAOY lead on Friday, Martens reiterated the fact that the Angler Of the Year title wasn’t first and foremost in his mind. “I know that I keep saying that, but I really don’t want to think about it,” he said with a sheepish grin.  

Aaron Martens On Saturday, Martens was forced to talk about the Angler Of the Year race, which officially ended when he crossed the stage with a limit weighing 20-11.  He finished the day in 3rd place with a three day total weight of 62-2.  With a guaranteed top 12 finish already in the bag, Martens was presented with the 2013 Toyota Angler Of the Year trophy in front of the crowd gathered at Lake St. Clair Metro Park.    

Martens still has one day of competition left in Michigan, but after the weigh-in he finally allowed himself a moment to soak in the reality that he is the 2013 Toyota Angler Of the Year on the Bassmaster Elite Series.  

“The Angler Of the Year never really crossed my mind coming into these last two tournaments because I thought for sure that Edwin (Evers) would finish in the top 12 here in Michigan,” explained Martens, who trailed Edwin Evers by 30 points heading into this week on the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. 

“I really felt bad for Edwin when he barely missed the cut on Friday, but that was the first time that I remember briefly thinking, ‘Man, this AOY thing could possibly happen for me,’” said Martens. 

On Saturday morning, there was a moment when Martens was bobbing around on Lake Erie that he realized he had just won the Angler Of the Year title.  “I had four fish for something like 17 pounds, and that’s when I was like, 'Dude, I’m the Angler Of the Year.’"

Martens’ quest for the TAOY title got off to a rocky start.  In the first tournament of the season on the Sabine River this past March, he finished in 85th place.  “I figured that I had no shot at the AOY after that first tournament,” he explained.  “After bombing at the Sabine River, my only thought was making the Classic.”  

After the misstep on the Sabine, Martens went on a tear.  In the next six Elite Series tournaments, he recorded finishes of 24th, 15th, 2nd, 8th, 2nd, and 5th.  He currently sits in 3rd this week with one day left.

“Today is the best day of my career,” he surmised.  “Table Rock was good when I won the Angler Of the Year in 2005, but it was different.  I think this AOY title tops that one.  I haven’t won a Classic yet, but this is probably what most anglers want more than anything – the Angler Of the Year,” he concluded.  

Martens wasn’t the only competitor to pick up some hardware on Saturday.  With a 30th place finish this week, Hank Cherry achieved one of his main goals for the season by picking up the Rookie Of the Year title.  

“I’m just glad that I got the deal done and didn’t screw up the whole thing on the Mississippi River,” said Cherry, referring to his 72nd place finish in Wisconsin this past June.  “The entire rookie class this year was made up of just unbelievable fishermen.  To beat them all is a pretty good way to start things out for me.” 

Over the course of the season, Cherry recorded finishes of 40th, 68th, 33rd, 4th, 20th, 72nd, 31st, and 30th.   Looking back, he said that two things during the season stick out in his mind.  “On the second day at Falcon, I had 15 pounds and I lost about 30 pounds at the boat and kind of panicked.  I learned really fast that you can’t panic out here with these guys because they’ll take you to the cleaners. The other thing that sticks out about the year was the Bull Shoals tournament,” he continued.  “I went against the grain and went up really shallow and caught them on a jerkbait.”

Cherry said that the ROY title was one of three goals that he set for himself at the beginning of his rookie season.  “My goals were Angler Of the Year, 2014 Classic qualification, and the Rookie Of the Year title.  I achieved two out of my three goals, so I’m satisfied.” He concluded. 

Amidst the Angler Of the Year and Rookie Of the Year trophy presentations that took place on Saturday, Mark Davis sent a message to the rest of the field by retaining the tournament lead for the second consecutive day.  After opening round efforts of 22-1 and 20-10, Davis turned in his third consecutive 20+ pound performance on Saturday.  With 20-15 on the day, Davis opened up a lead of just over a pound with a total weight of 63-10. 

Chasing Davis is 2012 Classic champion, Chris Lane.  Needing a strong finish this week to move into qualifying position for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, Lane has remained near the top of the standings all week.  After leading on Thursday and dropping to 4th place on Friday, Lane moved into 2nd place on Saturday with a limit weighing 22-15 for a three day total weight of 62-9.  

Aaron Martens sits in 3rd place with 62-2, and is looking to claim the Toyota Angler Of the Year trophy and his third Elite Series trophy in back-to-back days, and Derek Remitz sits in 4th place with 57-14.

Needing a victory to qualify for the seventh Classic of his career, Kota Kiriyama hurt his chances on Saturday with his lightest effort of the week weighing 17-6.  Kiriyama slid to 5th place in the standings and will enter the final day of the 2013 regular season just under 6 pounds behind Davis. 

The 5 Day Three Facts from the Detroit River:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (August 22-25)
Location:  Lake St. Clair/Detroit River – Detroit, Michigan    
Leader/weight:  Mark Davis (22-1, 20-10, 20-15: 63-10)
12th place weight: Alton Jones (54-3)
Total weight separating 1st place from 12th place: 9-7

1st Place: Mark Davis (22-1, 20-10, 20-15: 63-10)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I know that I have all my eggs in one basket and that I am too deep in to what I am doing to change it now. I was just hoping that there was just a little something left for me.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I did exactly the same thing today that I have been doing the first two days.  It was a lot harder today than it had been for me.  I caught seven fish today, but I knew that if you could catch those seven you'd average over 20 pounds.

“The conditions in the lake today were a lot better, but that Detroit River was bad.  I know why they call it the ‘miracle mile’ now.  I had to stop every few minutes to put fresh water on my fish because it is so rough the water was coming out of my overflow valves.

“The fishing was actually really slow for me, and it literally took me until the last minute to catch my last good fish. I saw a fish on my graph late in the day and dropped on him and that was my biggest one."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Seeing that fish on my graph late in the day and catching it was key. I missed it the first time, and dropped back down and ended up catching it.  It allowed me to cull out a 2 pound fish for a 5 pounder, so that was a big help."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"The trip back when I got to the river was horrendous.  I mean, it just beat me to death. You just can't see those big waves coming between all of the freighters and the big pleasure boats."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I am just as happy as I can be about my decision making today, and really the entire week.  I was able to capitalize on all my bites today and make the most of the opportunities I was given."

2nd Place: Chris Lane (22-9, 17-1, 22-15:  62-9)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I was expecting to have to go out there and just soak a bait until I found them.  I knew from the first couple of days that the fish were moving a lot, so I was expecting to have to drift around out there and find them."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"It took me a while to find them this morning.  Alton Jones was fishing down from me and was really catching them.  He invited me to come in and we were both catching them  good at that point. That was a pretty substantial point in my day, and I want to thank him for that.  I caught quite a few fish today, and was able to get dialed in on them throughout the day.  If the fish don't end up moving a lot, it might end up being a pretty good tournament for me tomorrow." 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Just finally getting dialed in on the fish today was huge.  The area I am fishing is pretty big and those fish just keep moving around, so you have to find them all over again every day."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Probably trying to land a fish in five foot waves out there with all of those yachts.  I hope I can catch them early tomorrow and run back up that river and not get beat up too bad."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I dumped one big one today, but I am not going to complain one bit.  I am sticking with the same set up again tomorrow because everything has been working good.  A lot of guys have been losing fish this week, and that is just part of it out here."

3rd Place: Aaron Martens (21-14,19-9, 20-11: 62-2)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"Actually, they were pretty good. I knew it was going to be a lot calmer and the wind was going to be blowing from a direction that I had caught them before.  So I was feeling pretty good about it, and the fish really ate a lot better."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I caught two or three pretty quickly, and ended up getting my limit early which was good.  The water I am fishing has probably cleared up 50% from yesterday, and if it keeps clearing and the conditions get right, you could catch a 20 to 25 pound bag out there.  The fish are out there to have a really big bag, so hopefully I can catch that tomorrow.  Everything actually went pretty smoothly.  I just kept moving around and it was like clockwork when I was catching them." 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"I really didn't have a key moment today. Pretty much the entire day was key, but getting my limit early took a lot of pressure off."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"There really wasn't much that was too challenging for me today.  Nothing really crazy happened today, which is good."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I lost a 4 pounder first thing this morning.  I hooked it and it just came straight up jumping and came off.  Other than that everything went pretty good."

4th Place: Derek Remitz (19-10, 15-15, 22-5: 57-14)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I had pretty high expectations headed into today.  I was just trying to catch up as much as I could, and thought that I could go out there and catch 20 to 22 pounds."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"The conditions finally got right on the spots I was fishing today.  I just went back to the places that I had confidence in and was able to fish them like I wanted to.  I was able to fish about four hours today, and ended up getting eight to 10 bites, but they were all good ones." 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"No, not really. The weather getting right was the biggest deal for me today, and then just capitalizing on every opportunity I had."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Pretty much the entire day was challenging.  I think that is why I like fishing here so much - It is enjoyable for me to make it there and back every day.  I don't know what it is about it, but that is why I like fishing up here so much."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I put everything in the boat today that bit.  I was happy with the decision to go back out to Erie even though I had a bad day out there yesterday."

5th Place: Kotaro Kiriyama (20-7, 20-0, 17-6: 57-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I thought that if the conditions were right, the area I am fishing could produce a 24 to 25 pound bag.  Unfortunately, things didn't go as I had hoped they would today."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"It was just a difficult day for me.  I knew when the wind direction changed that I would have to make a change, but I waited too late and just didn't make the right adjustments.   I just didn't have many bites at all today.  I only put five keeper fish in the boat the entire day."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Staying in the area where I had been catching them too long was the key moment for me today.  I ended up staying too long and didn't give myself enough time to go anywhere else and locate the fish."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Not getting as many bites as I had been getting was challenging, but the main thing was the way the wind was blowing.  The fish I had been catching wouldn't bite with the wind blowing from the direction it blew today."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I ended up losing two fish today which ended up costing me.  Waiting too late and not making the proper adjustment for the new wind direction also hurt me today."

DAY THREE STANDINGS

 PlacePro Angler Day 1Day 2Day 3#Total Weight
#WT#WT#WT
1 Mark Davis      5 22- 1 5 20-10 5 20-15 15 63-10
2        Chris Lane      5 22- 9 5 17- 1 5 22-15 15 62- 9
3        Aaron Martens      5 21-14 5 19- 9 5 20-11 15 62- 2
4        Derek Remitz      5 19-10 5 15-15 5 22- 5 15 57-14
5        Kotaro Kiriyama      5 20- 7 5 20- 0 5 17- 6 15 57-13
6        Keith Combs      5 20- 4 5 19- 6 5 16-14 15 56- 8
7        Morizo Shimizu      5 17- 0 5 18- 9 5 20-11 15 56- 4
8        Nate Wellman      5 17- 7 5 18- 3 5 20- 8 15 56- 2
9        Takahiro Omori      5 18- 2 5 20- 3 5 17- 0 15 55- 5
    10        Randy Howell      5 20- 4 5 18- 7 5 16- 7 15 55- 2
    11        Jeremy Starks      5 18-13 5 18- 4 5 17-14 15 54-15
    12        Alton Jones      5 16- 1 5 16-10 5 21- 8 15 54- 3
    13        Keith Poche      5 19- 7 5 14- 7 5 20- 3 15 54- 1
    14        Britt Myers      4 12- 5 5 21- 9 5 19- 7 14 53- 5
    15        Yusuke Miyazaki      5 13-13 5 21- 5 5 17- 4 15 52- 6
    16        Bobby Lane      5 15-15 5 18- 9 5 17- 8 15 52- 0
    17        Tommy Biffle      5 17-14 5 16-12 5 16-15 15 51- 9
    18        Jason Williamson      5 15- 0 5 18-10 5 17-13 15 51- 7
    19        Greg Hackney      5 15-15 5 14-11 5 19- 9 15 50- 3
    20        Rick Clunn      5 17-12 5 18- 3 5 14- 3 15 50- 2
    21        Rick Morris      5 16- 0 5 16- 1 5 18- 0 15 50- 1
    22        Charlie Hartley      5 15- 4 5 19- 0 5 15-10 15 49-14
    23        John Crews      5 17- 8 5 15- 8 5 16- 7 15 49- 7
    24        Cliff Pace      5 20- 5 5 14-15 5 14- 0 15 49- 4
    25        Terry Scroggins      5 16- 9 5 17- 7 5 15- 3 15 49- 3
    26        Josh Bertrand      5 18-11 5 14- 3 5 16- 3 15 49- 1
    27        Jared Lintner      5 15- 4 5 15- 9 5 18- 3 15 49- 0
    28        Michael Simonton      5 21- 2 4 15- 3 4 12- 9 13 48-14
    29        J Todd Tucker      5 14- 3 5 18- 8 5 15-14 15 48- 9
    30        Hank Cherry      5 15-13 5 19- 7 5 12-12 15 48- 0
    31        Kevin VanDam      5 15- 6 5 17- 7 5 15- 2 15 47-15
    32        Matt Reed      5 16- 4 5 15- 8 5 16- 2 15 47-14
    33        Michael Iaconelli      5 14- 8 5 17- 5 5 15-15 15 47-12
    34        Timmy Horton      4 13- 3 5 17-15 5 16- 5 14 47- 7
    35        Brandon Palaniuk      5 20- 7 5 13- 2 5 13-13 15 47- 6
    36        Brian Snowden      5 16- 8 5 16- 2 5 14- 3 15 46-13
    37        Cliff Prince      5 15- 3 5 15-10 5 16- 0 15 46-13
    38        Todd Faircloth      5 16- 8 5 14- 2 5 15-15 15 46- 9
    39        Bernie Schultz      5 13-13 5 17- 9 5 15- 2 15 46- 8
    40        John Murray      5 16- 7 5 15-12 5 13-14 15 46- 1
    41        Cliff Crochet      5 14- 7 5 18- 4 5 13- 3 15 45-14
    42        Andy Montgomery      5 14-11 5 15-14 5 15- 4 15 45-13
    43        Ott DeFoe      5 15- 7 5 15- 4 5 14-13 15 45- 8
    44        Greg Vinson      5 15-12 5 15- 2 5 14- 3 15 45- 1
    45        Brent Chapman      5 15-11 5 15- 1 5 14- 4 15 45- 0
    46        Bill Lowen      5 13- 5 5 17- 8 5 13-14 15 44-11
    47        Jonathon VanDam      5 15-11 5 15- 7 5 13- 5 15 44- 7
    48        Byron Haseotes      5 16-12 5 15-10 4 12- 0 14 44- 6
    49        Brandon Card      5 17- 7 5 13- 4 5 13- 4 15 43-15
    50        Pete Ponds      5 16-10 5 14- 0 2 8- 3 12 38-13