A Star is Born

Photo courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.

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 it was something 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 Ricky Clunn or Roland Martin.”

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Below are 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

Image courtesy of Craig Sutherland ABA Newsletter June 1989.


I would like to thank Craig Sutherland of American Bass Association for allowing the use of the ABA content for this story.