DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

MARTENS LEADS ON TABLE ROCK

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/03/2014

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

Branson, MO – A late morning hail and lightning storm did little to slow down Aaron Martens on the first day of competition at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO.   The Alabama pro brought a limit to the scales weighing 18-11 that was anchored by an 8-0 largemouth to take the lead heading into cut day on the Ozark fishery.  

A decade after winning the 2004 Bassmaster Tour event on Table Rock, Toyota Angler Of the Year leader, Mark Davis, is back in position to take a run at another title on The Rock.  Davis’ 18-8 limit is just 2-ounces behind Martens.  

Fresh off the second Elite Series win of his career two weeks ago on the St. Johns River, Chris Lane surprised everyone when he crossed the stage with 18-5 to finish the day in 3rd place. Ozark fisheries have not been kind to Lane, who has finishes of 86th (Bull Shoals, 2012), 78th (Bull Shoals, 2011), and 90th (Table Rock Lake, 2006) over the course of his career.  

Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers returned to form on Thursday, finishing in a tie for 4th place with Jamie Horton after each angler weighed-in 17-4.  

Overall, 13 of the 108 anglers crossed the stage with at least 15-0 on Thursday, and 49 anglers reached the 12-0 mark.  96 competitors weighed-in a limit.

Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (Stop #3)
Location: Table Rock Lake – Branson, Missouri
Day One Leader: Aaron Martens (18-11)
50th Place: Keith Combs (11-15)
Total weight separating 1st from 12th: 3-5  

1st Place: Aaron Martens (18-11)
Martens on his tournament leading day on Table Rock:
“It was a picture perfect day for the most part.  I lost another big one that was 5- or 6-pounds.  I only lost a few fish today, but that was a fish that I never saw but I could tell that it was another big one. I have some subtleties figured out and the bait that I’m using is pretty phenomenal, even though I’m sure that at least half the other guys are throwing it.”

Martens on catching an 8-0 largemouth on Thursday:
“I really don’t want to say too much, but I knew that it was big right when it bit.  I pulled it between three or four trees, and it wasn’t on heavy line, so I got fortunate.  It was definitely a blessed day.

“That 8-0 was a huge fish for me and made my limit.  Without it, I would have still had a decent bag, but it made tomorrow a lot easier.  This lake is notorious for leading the tournament for one or two days and then suddenly blank.  There are all kinds of stories about that happening – Kevin (VanDam) did it in 2005 here when I won Angler Of the Year.  I think he was 2-ounces out of the lead and blanked on the second day.”  

Martens on what he figured out during practice:
“This is a huge lake and I probably only covered about half of it (during practice).  I fished as hard as I could, but the stuff that I fished today was stuff that I didn’t pre-fish.  I know the lake well enough that I can just go fishing.  I spent my whole practice looking for stuff that was better or looking for new stuff.   I’ve been here a lot of times and I still haven’t even seen half the lake.  The old stuff is sometimes the good stuff, though.”  

Martens on how the weather will affect Friday:
“I don’t know what’s going to happen out there with the weather.  The warm water is getting pushed around, and you can go in one pocket that’s warm one day and 5-degrees cooler the next day.  You just have to go by feel and you have to be tough.  I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, dude.  I don’t think that things will be affected that much.”

2nd Place: Mark Davis (18-8)
Davis on Thursday on Table Rock:
“I was committed to a big area for the first two days of practice.  Yesterday, I decided that I’d caught plenty of fish and had that deal figured out so I decided to go look at something else.  I caught bigger fish there the last practice day, so that’s where I started today and I didn’t catch anything.  At 1:00, I had a limit that weighed 10-pounds, so I just went fishing.  I let my intuition lead me to where I thought I needed to be.  You have to have the confidence to make it work, but that’s fishing on Table Rock.”

Davis on his strategy moving forward:
“Once you fish an area and catch a good stringer out of it, going back the next day is usually not going to work.  That’s pretty much specific to a lot of clear lakes where there are just a few fish moving up and once you’ve caught them, you’ve caught them.   Going back the very next day usually will not work.  When I won here in 2004, I had to fish new water each day.  If you have something figured out, you just have to keep hunting and pecking away.”

Davis on catching his 7-3 largemouth on Thursday:
“I was so surprised to catch that fish.  I was making repeated casts to a specific spot where I’d caught a couple little spotted bass that didn’t keep.  I really thought that was all that was there, but I kept getting bites and missing fish.  I probably missed a half-dozen bites, so I decided that I’d let the next fish that bit really eat my bait before I jerked.  I got a bite that felt like a little spotted bass, let him have it, and when I set the hook it was a 7-3 largemouth.  He was in there with those little spotted bass, so I was really surprised.”  

Davis on maintaining his lead in the AOY race:
“Man, I hate to say much about that because I’m afraid that I’ll jinx myself.  With the schedule that we have, I hope that this could be a special season.  I really don’t know what’s going to happen with the last two tournaments of the year, but neither does anyone else.  I really like everything between here and there.  I’m cautious, because the lakes that you really love can bite you in the rear end.  It’s still way too early to know if this is a special season for me.  I just love Table Rock and I wish that we came here ever year.” 

3rd Place: Chris Lane (18-5)
Lane on his overall day one on Table Rock:
“You know it is always fun to come to a place like this where you know you are going to get a lot of bites.  I mean this is what we live for is to be out here catching lots of fish, but sometimes you have to change up.  Today I put three baits on that I really thought would get a bigger bite.  I was able to get two big bites today and caught three other keepers.  It was a fun day, but don't get me wrong it was a grind out there."

Lane on the consistency of his bite:
“I fished where I caught my fish in practice and was very fortunate that the conditions turned out to be perfect for those bigger fish to bite.  Once that front moved through the bite got really tough for me.  I actually was moving around trying to find some new areas when I caught two keepers that were able to cull.  I know it is going to be important for me to find something else for the rest of the tournament.  My brother caught a big one out of the same area I was in, and there are a lot of other guys in there as well."

Lane on fishing within his comfort zone:
“When I get in that clear water like is out on the main lake I just can't catch fish, that's just the bottom line.  I chose to go back up in the creeks where the water is a little stained, and I just feel comfortable back there.  To have a chance to be leading this thing today is just remarkable to me, I just don't know what to say about today really.  I will just be happy to catch five keepers tomorrow."

Lane on riding his big day one weight into the weekend:
“I don't know if I can do that or not.  I think you will have some guys that really capitalize on the clear sunny conditions that are expected for tomorrow.  All I can do is just go out there and make as many casts as I possibly can and hope to put five in the boat again."

DAY ONE STANDINGS   

PlaceNameDay 1
FishWeight
1 Aaron Martens 5 18-11
2 Mark Davis 5 18- 8
3 Chris Lane 5 18- 5
4 Edwin Evers 5 17- 4
4 Jamie Horton 5 17- 4
6 Brandon Palaniuk 5 16-13
7 Fletcher Shryock 5 16- 8
8 Greg Hackney 5 16- 0
8 Jared Miller 5 16- 0
8 Skeet Reese 5 16- 0
11 Kelley Jaye 5 15- 9
12 Mike McClelland 5 15- 6
13 Britt Myers 5 15- 2
14 Billy McCaghren 5 14-11
15 Rick Clunn 5 14-10
15 Jeff Kriet 5 14-10
17 Paul Elias 5 14- 8
17 Bobby Lane 5 14- 8
19 Gary Klein 5 14- 3
20 Brent Chapman 5 14- 2
21 Kevin VanDam 5 14- 0
22 Kurt Dove 5 13-14
22 Casey Scanlon 5 13-14
24 John Crews 5 13-12
25 Randall Tharp 5 13- 9
26 Josh Bertrand 5 13- 7
26 Derek Remitz 5 13- 7
28 Scott Rook 5 13- 4
29 Tommy Biffle 5 13- 3
30 Marty Robinson 5 13- 2
30 Jonathon VanDam 5 13- 2
32 Yusuke Miyazaki 4 13- 1
33 David Mullins 5 13- 0
34 Justin Lucas 5 12-15
34 Matt Reed 5 12-15
36 Morizo Shimizu 5 12- 9
37 James Elam 5 12- 7
37 Kevin Short 5 12- 7
39 Casey Ashley 5 12- 6
39 Randy Howell 5 12- 6
39 Jared Lintner 5 12- 6
42 Todd Faircloth 5 12- 5
42 Terry Scroggins 5 12- 5
42 Brian Snowden 5 12- 5
45 Michael Iaconelli 5 12- 4
46 Hank Cherry 5 12- 2
46 Fred Roumbanis 5 12- 2
48 Gerald Swindle 5 12- 1
49 Jacob Powroznik 5 12- 0
50 Keith Combs 5 11-15
51 Andy Montgomery 5 11-14
51 Kenneth "Boo" Woods 5 11-14
53 Glenn Browne 5 11-12
53 Jason Christie 5 11-12
55 Rick Morris 5 11-11
56 Scott Ashmore 5 11- 9
57 Bernie Schultz 5 11- 8
58 Timmy Horton 5 11- 7
59 Bill Lowen 5 11- 6
60 Bradley Roy 5 11- 5
61 David Walker 5 11- 4
62 Matthew Herren 5 11- 3
62 James Niggemeyer 5 11- 3
64 Tracy Adams 5 11- 1
64 Chad Pipkens 5 11- 1
64 Keith Poche 5 11- 1
67 Ott DeFoe 5 11- 0
67 Charlie Hartley 5 11- 0
67 Brett Hite 5 11- 0
70 Kenyon Hill 5 10-15
70 Joseph Sancho 5 10-15
72 Zell Rowland 5 10-14
73 Brandon Card 5 10-13
73 Takahiro Omori 5 10-13
75 Stephen Browning 4 10-13
76 Stephen Kennedy 5 10-11
76 John Murray 5 10-11
78 Russ Lane 5 10-10
78 Trevor Romans 5 10-10
80 Jason Williamson 5 10- 9
81 Brandon Lester 5 10- 8
82 Shaw Grigsby 5 10- 7
82 Dennis Tietje 5 10- 7
84 Boyd Duckett 5 10- 6
84 Kevin Hawk 5 10- 6
84 Chad Morgenthaler 5 10- 6
84 Greg Vinson 5 10- 6
88 Kelly Jordon 5 10- 5
89 J Todd Tucker 5 10- 2
90 Chris Zaldain 5 10- 1
91 Jeremy Starks 5 9-15
92 Ish Monroe 5 9-14
92 David Smith 5 9-14
94 Joel Baker 5 9-11
95 Cliff Crochet 4 9-10
96 Byron Haseotes 5 9- 8
97 Cliff Prince 5 9- 6
98 Dean Rojas 5 9- 1
99 Mike Kernan 5 9- 0
100 Davy Hite 4 8- 9
101 Alton Jones 4 8- 0
102 Kotaro Kiriyama 4 7-14
103 Pete Ponds 4 7-13
104 Grant Goldbeck 3 6-14
105 Cliff Pirch 3 5-14
106 Nate Wellman 3 5-12
107 Byron Velvick 2 4- 8
108 Michael Simonton 2 3-13