DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

AARON MARTENS LEADS DAY TWO AT WEST POINT

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 05/03/2013

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

LaGrange, GA – The battle for ounces continued on Friday at a stingy West Point Lake that only surrendered two limits surpassing the 15-pound mark in the opening round of competition on Thursday.  

Just five anglers managed limits surpassing the 13-pound mark on Friday, and not a single competitor was able to crack the 15-pound mark.  After a solid 13-5 effort to open the tournament in 4th place, Alabama’s Aaron Martens took the top spot on the leaderboard on Friday with a limit weighing 11-9 to boost his total weight to 24-14.  

Fellow Alabama pro, Greg Vinson, remained in 2nd place in Friday after backing up his 15-10 limit on Thursday with another 9-3.  With a total weight of 24-13, he will enter Saturday just a single ounce behind Martens. 

Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle moved into third place on Friday despite not bringing a limit to the scales each of the first two tournament days.  With four largemouth weighing 10-9, the veteran pro is less than two pounds off of the pace.

The 5 Day Two Facts from West Point Lake:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (May 2-5)
Location:  West Point Lake – LaGrange, Georgia 
Leader/weight:  Aaron Martens (13-5, 11-9: 24-14)
50th place weight: Kelly Jordon (14-3)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place:  3-3

1st Place: Aaron Martens 13-5, 11-9: 24-14)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I was hoping to catch 10-pounds today, because I knew that 10-pounds would keep me in good position to make the final day cut and have a chance to win the tournament.  My main goal was to just try not to stumble and come in with just 7- or 8-pounds.” 

Aaron Martens How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I’m just fishing.  I’m not really sure about anything, and this is one of those lakes that can humble the best.  When you don’t think that it’s going to happen, that’s when it happens.  I probably had 11-pounds today just fishing and not sight fishing.  I caught one good one off the bed one my first cast which was about a 2 1/2 –pounder, and I probably had around 10-pounds in the boat by 8:30 this morning.

“I moved a lot today and fished a lot of different spots both fast and slow.  I caught my keepers on five different baits today.  I had between 40 and 50 bites today with about 25 keepers.   I actually caught a lot of keeper largemouth, but I only weighed-in one largemouth and four spotted bass.  The spots were really heavy fish.  The funny thing is that I didn’t catch a spotted bass over 2-pounds in practice.”   

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I didn’t go back to where I caught them yesterday, and I caught most of my fish today fishing for post-spawn fish.  The one fish that I caught off of the bed bit on the first cast and allowed me to cull up probably 8-ounces.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most challenging part is the fact that I’m fishing between three to 25 feet deep and my keepers came on five different baits. I think that I culled out most of the bites that came deeper, though.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I came here in December for a day and I came here a month and a half ago right before cut-off, which is something that I never do. I feel like I know the lake a little bit now, so I feel comfortable with the changes that I’ve had to make.  Usually when that happens, I usually do pretty well.” 

2nd Place: Greg Vinson (15-10, 9-3: 24-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I knew that this was a pattern deal, so I didn’t feel like the places where I caught them yesterday were going to replenish.  I’m really happy that I caught a solid limit today.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I didn’t get the big bite like I did yesterday, but I ran totally new water all day. I did catch one fish out of an area that I fished yesterday, but everything else was totally new stuff.  I’m starting to run out of places in that area, so I’m thinking about making a change for tomorrow.

“At this point, I’m totally treating this like a new lake.  I went through some areas at 100 percent trolling motor speed and some areas on 30 percent speed depending on what I was seeing.  I had all largemouth today again and probably caught a total of 10 keeper fish over the course of the day.  I kept thinking that I’d get the chance at a big bite at any minute." 

Greg Vinson

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I ran a totally new place this morning and it wasn’t working really well for me.  I made the decision to return to the same general area where I caught some fish yesterday and I started putting them in the boat.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I’m really surprised that I didn’t get a big bite, because I felt like the potential was there for a 3- to 5-pound bite and it just never came.  My pattern was solid and I was getting quite a few bites, so I’m hoping that I’ll get two big bites tomorrow.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I put everything in the boat today, but I know that it’s critical that I put every big bite in the boat during this tournament because it’s the difference between a respectable day and an awesome day.  I had two opportunities yesterday and put both of the in the boat.  I didn’t get that big bite today, but I know that putting a big bite in the boat is critical.” 

3rd Place: Tommy Biffle (12-10, 10-9: 23-3)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really just wanted to catch just enough to make the cut because I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to catch a fish going into the tournament.” 

Tommy Biffle How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“It was probably between 9:30 and 10:00 before I caught my first one, so I was pretty happy just to catch one because I knew that it was enough to make it to tomorrow.  I ended up catching three more over the course of the day. 

“I’ve caught a couple of short fish, but I’ve only had eight keeper bites over the last two days and I’ve put them all in the boat.  I get a bite every two or three hours.  I had four by 12:30 yesterday, but it took me until 2:00 today to catch my four.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“There really wasn’t.  I just caught one here and there. I did go back to the area where I caught my big one yesterday and pointed out to my marshal the area.  I hadn’t turned the handle three times on my reel and caught a 3-pound male within a two or three feet of where I caught the big one yesterday.  I just went back to that area because I had caught a big one there yesterday.”   

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“There just aren’t many fish around, so the most challenging deal is just getting a bite.  It’s also important to make sure that when you do get a bite, you put him in the boat and don’t miss him. 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve caught every fish that has bit.  Usually you’ll miss one every once in a while, but I’m batting a thousand right now.” 

4th Place: Keith Combs (15-14, 7-4: 23-2)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I would have been surprised to catch another 15-pounds, but I thought that I had a shot at catching between 10- and 13-pounds, which is a really good bag here this week.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I caught more fish today and pieced things together a little bit more, but I just didn’t get the big bite. I played it a little conservatively this morning because I just wanted to put a few fish in the box even though I knew they would be smaller ones.  After that, I tried to focus on largemouth and I just didn’t catch any good ones.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I’m surprised that I didn’t get a big bite today because I saw some good fish in the areas during practice.  I think that it comes down to the fact that you have to hit the bass in the head with the bait. When it comes to catching the cruisers, if the bass sees you first, you pretty much don’t have any chance of catching it.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“Tomorrow, I won’t make the decision to try and catch spotted bass early in the morning.  It didn’t work out well for me today, so I’m not going to try it again.  Two or three little spotted bass don’t mean much in this tournament – you really need the largemouth bite. 

5th Place: Skeet Reese (13-0, 9-10: 22-10)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to catch a fish today.  My bigger fish yesterday were bed fish and I knew that a lot were picked off already.  I was really hoping that a lot of new fish would move up.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I was surprised at how few boats were in the area today, but it really didn’t help that much other than the fact that I was able to fish a little bit more water.  I caught three early throwing an LV100 and I thought that I got onto a bite but it died after that.  At 2:00, I had three fish and then I caught two little keeper spotted bass and was able to cull in the last 10 minutes with a decent largemouth.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key moment for me was digging the LV100 out of the rod locker.  I hadn’t thrown it all week and it was a gut instinct thing.  I pulled it out this morning and I caught three right off the bat.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“My biggest fish, which was a 3-pounder, was actually hooked in the tail on the LV100.  I was ripping the bait out of the grass and it just loaded up.  At first I thought that it was a drum, but I was quite the adrenaline rush when I realized that it was a bass. It was a little scary trying to get it into the boat.”  

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I have located two 6-pounders, a 4-pounder, and two little keeper males that I just can’t catch yet.  Maybe tomorrow they’ll be locked on (the beds) and I’ll be able to catch them.  I can see them pretty easily, but I just don’t know if they’ll bite. I spent some time on them today, but I just couldn’t get any of them to commit.” 

DAY TWO STANDINGS

Place PRO ANGLER
Day 1Day 2 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeight
1 Aaron Martens 5 13- 5 5 11- 9 10 24-14
2 Greg Vinson 5 15-10 5 9- 3 10 24-13
3 Tommy Biffle 4 12-10 4 10- 9 8 23- 3
4 Keith Combs 5 15-14 5 7- 4 10 23- 2
5 Skeet Reese 5 13- 0 5 9-10 10 22-10
6 Casey Ashley 5 8-15 5 13- 8 10 22- 7
7 Edwin Evers 5 7-12 5 14- 6 10 22- 2
8 Dean Rojas 5 10- 4 5 11-10 10 21-14
9 Rick Clunn 5 7-11 5 14- 0 10 21-11
10 Pete Ponds 5 8-11 5 13- 0 10 21-11
11 Chris Zaldain 5 8-12 5 12-12 10 21- 8
12 Cliff Pace 5 14- 2 5 7- 4 10 21- 6
13 Brandon Palaniuk 5 11- 5 5 10- 0 10 21- 5
14 Davy Hite 5 9- 9 5 11-11 10 21- 4
15 Hank Cherry 5 12- 4 5 8-12 10 21- 0
16 Marty Robinson 5 12-10 5 7-15 10 20- 9
17 Andy Montgomery 5 10- 7 5 10- 2 10 20- 9
18 Cliff Crochet 3 10-13 3 9-10 6 20- 7
19 Kevin VanDam 5 8- 3 5 11- 5 10 19- 8
20 Mark Davis 5 9-12 5 9- 5 10 19- 1
21 Fletcher Shryock 5 5- 8 5 13- 5 10 18-13
22 Takahiro Omori 5 9-11 2 8-14 7 18- 9
23 John Crews 4 10- 6 5 7-11 9 18- 1
24 Bill Lowen 5 6- 9 5 11- 7 10 18- 0
25 Jami Fralick 5 8-14 5 8-12 10 17-10
26 Britt Myers 5 6- 6 5 11- 2 10 17- 8
27 Rick Morris 5 7-13 5 9- 8 10 17- 5
28 Gary Klein 5 8- 7 5 8-12 10 17- 3
29 Cliff Pirch 5 6- 7 5 10- 8 10 16-15
30 Ishama Monroe 5 9- 4 5 7- 8 10 16-12
31 Kevin Short 4 7- 4 5 9- 6 9 16-10
32 Brian Snowden 5 8-11 5 7-15 10 16-10
33 Todd Faircloth 5 7-12 5 8-12 10 16- 8
34 Alton Jones 4 4-12 5 11-11 9 16- 7
35 Kenyon Hill 5 7- 1 5 9- 6 10 16- 7
36 Timmy Horton 5 7- 7 4 8-15 9 16- 6
37 Fred Roumbanis 5 8-10 5 7- 5 10 15-15
38 Kurt Dove 5 7-12 5 8- 2 10 15-14
39 Ott DeFoe 3 4- 6 5 11- 6 8 15-12
40 Michael Iaconelli 5 8- 1 5 7- 3 10 15- 4
41 Nate Wellman 5 8- 0 5 7- 1 10 15- 1
42 Scott Rook 5 7-15 5 7- 1 10 15- 0
43 Matt Reed 5 7- 9 5 7- 6 10 14-15
44 Gerald Swindle 4 6- 3 5 8-11 9 14-14
45 Mike McClelland 5 7- 4 5 7- 9 10 14-13
46 Scott Ashmore 5 6- 7 5 8- 3 10 14-10
47 Yusuke Miyazaki 2 4- 1 5 10- 8 7 14- 9
48 Clark Reehm 5 7-11 5 6-10 10 14- 5
49 Chris Lane 5 7-14 5 6- 6 10 14- 4
50 Kelly Jordon 4 5-13 5 8- 6 9 14- 3
51 John Murray 5 7- 3 5 6-14 10 14- 1
52 Jason Quinn 5 6- 3 5 7-12 10 13-15
53 Stephen Kennedy 5 7- 6 4 6- 9 9 13-15
54 Bernie Schultz 4 5- 7 5 8- 7 9 13-14
55 Bobby Lane 4 6- 3 5 7-10 9 13-13
56 Jonathon VanDam 5 5-12 5 8- 0 10 13-12
57 Zell Rowland 2 3- 3 4 10- 7 6 13-10
58 Boyd Duckett 5 8-15 4 4-11 9 13-10
59 Jared Miller 3 5- 7 5 8- 3 8 13-10
60 Casey Scanlon 5 5-11 5 7-15 10 13-10
61 Randy Howell 4 6- 0 5 7- 6 9 13- 6
62 Derek Remitz 5 8-10 5 4-11 10 13- 5
63 Terry Scroggins 5 7-15 3 5- 6 8 13- 5
64 Jeff Kriet 5 5- 9 5 7-12 10 13- 5
65 Matthew Herren 5 5-10 5 7- 8 10 13- 2
66 James Elam 5 5-11 5 7- 7 10 13- 2
67 David Smith 5 6- 4 5 6-12 10 13- 0
68 Cliff Prince 5 9- 5 2 3-10 7 12-15
69 Charlie Hartley 3 3- 0 5 9-14 8 12-14
70 Jason Christie 2 4- 0 5 8-12 7 12-12
71 Kelley Jaye 4 5- 6 5 7- 3 9 12- 9
72 Bradley Roy 3 5- 3 5 6-15 8 12- 2
73 Chad Pipkens 5 6- 9 5 5- 9 10 12- 2
74 Russell Lane 4 4-12 5 7- 3 9 11-15
75 Kevin Hawk 5 7-13 3 4- 0 8 11-13
76 Stephen Browning 5 4-15 5 6-12 10 11-11
77 David Walker 5 9- 7 1 1-11 6 11- 2
78 Jason Williamson 5 7- 0 3 3-14 8 10-14
79 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 6- 4 4 4- 8 9 10-12
80 Jeremy Starks 5 5-11 4 4-15 9 10-10
81 Billy McCaghren 5 7-10 3 2-12 8 10- 6
82 Michael Simonton 2 6- 4 3 3-15 5 10- 3
83 Brent Chapman 5 5-12 2 4- 6 7 10- 2
84 Greg Hackney 5 8- 6 1 1-10 6 10- 0
85 Morizo Shimizu 5 8- 0 1 1-11 6 9-11
86 James Niggemeyer 5 8- 5 1 1- 0 6 9- 5
87 Matt Greenblatt 2 2-12 5 6- 9 7 9- 5
88 Shaw E Grigsby 5 6-15 2 1-12 7 8-11
89 Keith Poche 5 5-10 2 3- 0 7 8-10
90 Josh Bertrand 1 1- 3 4 7- 4 5 8- 7
91 Paul Elias 2 2- 1 4 5-13 6 7-14
92 Dennis Tietje 5 5- 9 1 2- 4 6 7-13
93 Chip Porche 3 4-14 1 2-14 4 7-12
94 Brandon Card 2 2- 8 3 4-14 5 7- 6
95 Jared Lintner 3 7- 4     3 7- 4
96 Byron Haseotes 4 5- 6 1 1-13 5 7- 3
97 Grant Goldbeck 2 2- 3 « Back to THE STORIES