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Lake life

BASS Masters not far away…

For you bass tournament fishermen out there, don’t forget that the biggest tournament of the year is coming up – the annual BASS Masters Classic. And one angler that has his sights set on the title is Aaron Martens, the 2013 BASS Angler of the Year. The tournament will be Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville near Martens home in Birmingham, Ala.

“I feel very fortunate to have come that close four times. It makes me feel like I can win. You’re that close in a short period of time; the odds are with you; it’s going to happen,” said Martens, who is looking for his first Classic crown. He has a solid track record in Classic competitions. He’s competed in 14 Classics

Aaron Martens waves at the crowd at a recent Classic in Shreveport, La.

Aaron Martens waves at the crowd at a recent Classic in Shreveport, La.

since 1999, missing only in 2003 after an uncharacteristic off year. In nine of the 14, he scored a Top 12 finish. In only three of those 14 did he fail to advance to the third-day finals.

In his Bassmaster career, he’s won six times (and placed second a dozen times). One of those wins was in the Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Guntersville in May 2009.  And now the world championship is coming to a lake he’s not only won on, but competed on eight times since 2002. Martens has been doing his Classic homework. One priority has been keeping himself in top physical condition.

“I’ve been training so I can try to spank everybody. If I can get into phenomenally good shape, maybe it will help that much,” he said. Martens is a runner — a marathoner. For him a 10-mile run is a warm-up. Unless he’s laid up in bed sick, he’s out running every day. In the same dedicated way, he cares for his tackle, boat, clothing and any other gear and tools he relies on.

“I work on it all the time. I put in eight hours a day in the off season, sometimes more,” he said. “I’m getting ready for the Classic and for the whole season. I start over every year and go through everything to make sure it’s perfect.”

When you make it to the top, bass fishing isn’t easy physically or mentally. And as you can tell by Martens’ comments, it certainly isn’t easy.

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