Photo courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.

[Editor’s note:  It’s been 9 years since this piece was written and a lot has gone on since that time.  Martens’ has racked up four more Elite Series wins, three 2nds, and three 3rds as well as two more AOY’s.  Then less than a couple years ago we all found out that one of the greatest anglers in the world had cancer.  It’s nice to see Aaron back where he belongs, in tournament mode, this week with Major League Fishing but let’s all keep praying for him, his family and his recovery.]

We’ve all heard the slogan, “Take a Kid Fishing.” Well, that’s what this story is about. It’s about a mother taking her son fishing and you’ll figure out what happened next.

First, though, an old friend and fellow competitor, Dennis Taylor, recently sent me a bunch of old southern California magazines and papers. While thumbing through them, a lot of old memories flooded back into my mind of anglers I used to compete against and the fun we had on the water and off. Then, I noticed something I hadn’t forgotten – more so I hadn’t thought about in a long time. The year was 1989 and I wasn’t fishing competitively anymore due to school but I was still entrenched in what was going on.

Team Martens’ first 3rd-place finish of the 1989 season. Photo courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter April 1989.

I’d go by the tackle shop and get the latest scoop and this one specific team kept coming up. Stuff like, “Oh, this kid and his mom are cleaning up at Castaic.” Or, “He’s the wonder kid – he’s only in high school and kicking everyone’s butt.” “Dick Trask say’s he’s the next Rick Clunn or Roland Martin.”

I just shrugged my shoulders and thought it was all hype.

Team Martens’ second 3rd-place Super Teams finish. Photo courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.

But then I’d get the magazines and yes, the kid and his mom were kicking the rears off of the most respected teams in the Southland.

Going back over those magazines that Dennis sent me not only brought back those memories but made me a little proud of “our hometown” hero. They also cemented in my mind why it’s important to take a kid fishing. You never know when the sport will change not only the kid’s life but everyone else’s life involved in the sport too.

Anyway, enough of the dilly-dallying. In case you haven’t already guessed, that kid was Aaron Martens and thanks to his mom Carol, we now have one of the best anglers to have ever graced a tour-level event.

We thought you’d enjoy some early pictures of this “Team” taken in 1989 – only a year after they started bass fishing. In that year they won the American Bass Association’s (Not the ABA that runs the Bassmaster Weekend Series) Super Teams circuit. Also printed is the interview conducted by Craig Sutherland after the event.

Aaron and Carol pose with their Team of the Year trophies and check. Photo courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.
Image courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.