5 Bass = 42 lbs. in Falcon Lake Bassmaster Event

Friday, April 04, 2008

ZAPATA, Texas – -- Despite catching 42 pounds on the first day of competition and leading the Bassmaster Elite Series’ Lone Star Shootouton a productive Falcon Lake, Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama, lamented Thursday what could have been.

Leading his nearest competitor, Scott Rook of Little Rock, Ark., by more than 6 pounds, Martens stopped fishing at noon because his trolling motor and livewell batteries were drained by a strong, gusting wind. With a full day of fishing, the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year felt he could have broken the BASS one-day heaviest catch record of 45 pounds, 2 ounces, set by Dean Rojas in 2001 on Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga.

Fishing fans can catch all of the big-fish action on The Bassmasters on Saturday, April 12 at 9 a.m. ET. While Martens missed out on the one-day record, the four-day tournament record for heaviest weight of 122 pounds, 14 ounces, established by Steve Kennedy on California’s Clear Lake in 2007, is well within his grasp.

"“I would have smashed the one-day record if not for the wind,”" said Martens, the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. " “This lake surpasses every other bass-fishing lake in the country. It’'s just incredible."”

Martens played it close to the vest regarding his pattern but did say he was focusing on deep water. He was confident he could catch more than 30 pounds through each of the next three days. To remedy his Thursday problem, he planned on using an anchor or bringing extra battery power Friday.

Although Martens resides in Alabama, he cut his teeth on productive California powerhouse fisheries and said that experience helped him on Falcon.

“This place reminds me of Castaic Lake (in California),” said Martens, who scored a 2007 Elite victory on the California Delta. “But I’m not sure that Castaic, even in its heyday, was better than this.”

Martens has four BASS wins and has earned more than $1 million in career earnings. With a win at Falcon, he would earn $100,000 and also improve considerably on his 37th-place standing in the season-long Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

Despite trailing by a sizable margin, Rook can wipe out the deficit with one Falcon behemouth. With a victory, Rook would push his career BASS earnings to more than $1 million.

The one-time BASS winner caught all of his weight, 35 pounds, 12 ounces, in the first 40 minutes of his fishing day. He caught consecutive fish on his first six casts and spent the majority of his day guarding his productive area from other competitors.

Like Martens, Rook was optimistic he could catch more than 30 pounds a day throughout the tournament. He had located six spots in practice and only visited two.

“"Tomorrow will be a good gauge to see how heavy the weights will go,”" Rook said. "“We should get a little wind again and we will see how some of these spots replenish."”

Another West Coast product, Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., is with 35-6. Mark Davis, a three-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, is fourth with 35-4.

Byron Velvick of Del Rio, Texas, who is sharing water with leader Martens, is fifth with 34-14.

Scott Campbell of Springfield, Mo., took Purolator Big Bass honors with a 13-pound, 2-ounce lunker. The BASS record for largest bass caught in competition, a 14-pound, 9-ounce largemouth, was set in 1999 by Elite Series angler Mark Tyler at the California Delta.

In the co-angler division, Randall Jackson of Broken Arrow, Okla., leads the three-day competition with 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Jackson, who was paired with Martens, leads Kansan Ron Chapman, father of Elite Series angler Brent Chapman, (30-1) and Texan Rick Romane (27-0). Co-anglers are vying for a top prize of $25,000.

The Lone Star Shootout presented by Longhorn marks the first time BASS has visited Falcon Lake in Zapata, Texas. The mainstream reservoir on the Rio Grande River has a surface area of 83,654 acres.

Daily launches Thursday through Sunday will be at 8 a.m. CT at the Zapata County public boat ramp at Lake Falcon Park, half a mile south of Veleno Bridge/U.S. Hwy 83 on County Road. Daily weigh-ins at the park begin at 5 p.m CT. Both are free and open to the public.

Activities at the Lonestar Shootout begin at 1 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday. The Zapata County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the “Taste of South Texas Cook-Off,” set to begin Saturday, April 5, at 1 p.m. Sunday’s activities include dueling mariachi bands at 3 p.m., as well as the live taping of Hooked Up, hosted by ESPN Outdoors personalities Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona. The show, which airs on Bassmaster.com on Sunday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m. CT, will preview Sunday’s final weigh-in. Live, streaming video of the Lonestar Shootout’s daily weigh-ins are also available atBassmaster.com.


Gear Closet Extends Hours; Supports Clean Water Initiatives, Locally And Globally

The Gear Closet, in North Chattanooga, is extending its hours. It will be open six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday from 12-6 p.m. each day. Earth Day gear drive can encourage the public to do some spring cleaning and donate or consign your old gear and clothing. There will also be a drop off available at Recycle Signal on Signal Mountain as part of the Recycle Challenge ... (click for more)

Kentucky Lake Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament Scheduled For May 17

Registration is underway for the Fifth Annual Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament to be held at Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake, Saturday, May 17. The tournament format will be a three-fish limit with a guaranteed first prize of $2,000. The cost of the tournament is $110 per boat (two anglers maximum). Entrants who register by the end of the day on May 1 will receive a free ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)