(Aug 30, 2015 - Detroit, MI)
Aaron Martens slept through his alarm clock Sunday morning, got on the water 30 minutes late and still clinched the 2015 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title three weeks early.
By finishing sixth in the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair, the 43-year-old Leeds, Ala., angler built an insurmountable 102-point lead over his next closest competitor. It sealed possibly the most dominant season in Elite Series history. And it made the Toyota Angler of the Year Championship on Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay next month a foregone conclusion.
“Now I feel bad,” said Martens. “If I wouldn’t have done that, (the AOY race) officially wouldn’t have been over.”
Martens was only halfway kidding. There was very little chance anyone was going to catch him, even if it had been mathematically possible, at Sturgeon Bay next month. Now it’s impossible.
In the eight-tournament Elite Series season, Martens won twice and finished lower than 15th only once. His one hiccup came in the second tournament of the year when he was 66th at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. His victories came at Lake Havasu and Chesapeake Bay. He finished second at the Sacramento River/California Delta, third at Sabine River, 13th at the St. Lawrence River, 15th at Kentucky Lake.
“It’s getting better every day,” Martens said of the 2015 season. “I’ve definitely been blessed this year.”
This marked Martens’ third AOY championship. He previously won in 2005 and 2013. He was fourth in 2014.
“It has been an amazing three years,” said Martens, who has won over $2.5 million in his B.A.S.S. career.
It was a sign of how diligently Martens has prepared for every tournament day this season that he slept through his alarm clock and several wakeup calls Sunday morning. From working on tackle and preparing his nutrition shakes each evening, Martens has been averaging four hours sleep per night. Exhaustion may have caught up with him before Sunday’s final day on Lake St. Clair.
“I never heard an alarm go off,” Martens said. “I’ve never done that before. When you wake up and see it’s light outside you know you’re in deep (trouble).”
Even spotting the other 11 finalists a half-hour before he got on the water, Martens still moved up in the standings Sunday, starting in 11th place and finishing in sixth. It was just the latest example of how dominant he has been all season.
The final AOY standings won’t be determined until the Sturgeon Bay event, but going into it, Dean Rojas is second with 601 points, Justin Lucas is third (598), Jacob Powroznik is fourth (565) and Edwin Evers is fifth (564). There will be 35-plus 2016 Bassmaster Classic berths decided by the final AOY standings after Sturgeon Bay.
2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines , Bassmaster website, television show ,The Bassmasters, social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.
2015 Points Report
PROFESSIONAL ELITE SERIES
as of 30-Aug-2015
Angler Points Lbs-Oz
1 Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 703
2 Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 601
3 Justin Lucas Guntersville, AL 598
4 Jacob Powroznik Port Haywood, VA 565
5 Edwin Evers Talala, OK 564
6 Brent Ehrler Newport Beach, CA 548
7 Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 531
8 Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 526
9 Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 517
10 Chris Zaldain San Jose, CA 516
11 Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 513
12 Matt Herren Ashville, AL 513
13 Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 501
14 Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 500
15 Jordan Lee Vinemont, AL 500
16 Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 499
17 Keith Combs Huntington, TX 495
18 Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 493
19 Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 489
20 Alton Jones Lorena, TX 483
21 Randy Howell Springville, AL 480
22 John Crews Jr Salem, VA 468
23 Bobby Lane Jr. Lakeland, FL 464
24 Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 462
25 David Walker Sevierville, TN 451
26 Russ Lane Prattville, AL 437
27 Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 432
28 Boyd Duckett Guntersville, AL 429
29 James Elam Tulsa, OK 428
30 Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 423
31 Brett Hite Phoenix, AZ 417
32 Chad Pipkens Holt, MI 415
33 Brandon Card Caryville, TN 414
34 Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 413
35 Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 412
36 Josh Bertrand Gilbert, AZ 407
37 Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 407
38 Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 404
39 Brandon Coulter Knoxville, TN 404
40 Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 403
41 Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 402
42 John Murray Phoenix, AZ 401
43 Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 400
44 Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 398
45 Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 396
46 Morizo Shimizu Suita, Osaka, JPN 392
47 Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 388
48 Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 385
49 Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 381
50 Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 380