Okeechobee Elite Series
Aaron Martens – Competition Wrapup
Friday, March 23, 2012
> Day 1: 5, 11-10
> Day 2: 5, 12-01
> Total = 10, 23-11
Florida's usually one of my strengths and I don't know what happened this time. The lake fished different and I skipped over a lot of good stuff trying to figure the fish out. I spread my practices out too far.
I did find a good area on the second day of practice and I thought 13 pounds would be a bad day there. I thought I could catch 18 to 22 pounds, but I didn't know a bunch of boats were going to be there on the first day. It was packed there today and it was worthless – I don't think anybody caught them there.
A lot of the traditional areas where I'd done well just had a bunch of little fish in them – the whole place was different than I'd ever fished it. I caught a lot of fish, but I just missed the big ones.
I was punching and flipping reeds, and I also threw a (rattlebait) and a spinnerbait – all the same old stuff. I probably did really good for the areas I was fishing, but I just wasn't in the right areas to catch a big bag. It's really frustrating.
Physically, I feel great – I could go out and flip for 7 days straight. I just haven't been around them. At Okeechobee you can fish some of the prettiest water and there's just nothing there. It's really hit-and-miss when you've only got 2 1/2 days of practice.
I'm looking forward to Bull Shoals – it's more of a pattern lake and it should be easier to figure out.
Brent Chapman – Practice
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
The whole lake looks good – I'd forgotten just how good it all looks – but this wind sucks. We went from a week where we had no wind at all to having it blow 20 mph or more the last 2 days and it's supposed to blow again tomorrow.
A lot of the techniques and patterns are probably going to fall in place during the tournament because a lot of the best water is unfishable. When a place muddies up, you can fish right over the top of a bunch of fish.
I've found a little area that I'm comfortable in and I'll have to hunker down and make the most of it. I've got 1 more day, so I'm hoping I can find something to go with it.
I'm sure there'll be some caught off beds, especially if this wind settles down, but I have a feeling it's going to be more about things like flipping and topwaters.
If you can get out of the wind, there are places where the water is clear and beautiful. I've spent a lot of time driving around and marking places that I'll come back and check during the tournament.
Aaron Martens – Practice
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Photo: TrueImage Promotions
You can find fish, but there's a lot of boats where you find them. You can't get away from the boats. It's typical Florida fishing – they're in the hydrilla or the grass and they tend to be in big groups.
You can fish away from people and catch one here and one there, but that's more sporadic. I always look for a bunch of odd stuff and I can catch them doing that, but I'm probably going to end up in a group like everybody else. The other stuff takes too long to figure out and you only have 2 1/2 days.
I fished like a crazy man all day today – it was full-speed all day long. I like this kind of tournament more than finesse-fishing because it's more of a physical thing.
To me the lake is fishing kind of weird. There's a ton of small ones and you can catch them all over the place – there's a really good population of young bass. I've gotten some of the bigger ones, but not as many as I'd like.
I don't think I can win on what I've found so far and I've got 1 more day to try to find something special. I do feel better about this one than I did about the St. Johns, though.