Weekend Wrap-Up: Wire-To-Wire Wins For Bassmaster Elites And FLW Series

By on August 17, 2015
Bassmaster Elite pro Aaron Martens captured a wire-to-wire victory this weekend on Chesapeake Bay. (Credit: Steve Bowman / Bassmaster)

It was a weekend of wire-to-wire wins for Bassmaster and FLW tournaments this weekend. Aaron Martens led every day of a tough Bassmaster Elite event on Chesapeake Bay to finish in the top spot, while Jason Lieblong did the same at the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Dardanelle.

Martens was struggling on Sunday after leading the Elites for the previous three days. But a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass bolstered his final limit to 21-5, both of which were good for the biggest fish and biggest bag of the weekend. He finished with 70-2 over four days, giving him a nearly 8-pound lead over second-place finisher Bill Lowen.

A strong start and a 17-8 bag gave Martens the lead on Day 1. Since areas of the bay are declared no-wake zones on the weekend, he made his long runs early in the tournament when he could travel at full speed. The tides are also a factor on the Chesapeake, and Martens said he had a one-hour window where the water levels and flows were just right for good fishing. Luck was apparently on his side, as he told Bassmaster.com that he had seven keepers bite all day, and two of them broke off. But the five that stayed hooked put him ahead of Chad Pipkens’ 16-14 limit. Both faired much better than the 25 pros who caught zero or one fish on the first day.

A 15-pound bag on Friday and 16-5 bag Saturday gave Martens a 5-pound lead going into Sunday. Martens fished docks throughout the tournament, using a drop shot, spinnerbait, vibrating jig and a Chatterbait. The Chatterbait with a pumpkin and blue skirt trailed with a blue gizzard Strike King Blade Minnow propelled him to victory on Sunday. The victory also stretched his lead in the Angler of the Year standings to 69 points over Justin Lucas.

Lieblong’s Wire-To-Wire On Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong from day one at Dardanelle. (Courtesy of FLW)

Jason Lieblong from day one at Dardanelle. (Courtesy of FLW)

Meanwhile, Arkansas angler Jason Lieblong swept the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle, an Arkansas River impoundment. His 46-3 total for the 3-day tournament gave him the victory by a 2-pound, 2-ounce margin.

Lieblong found current on Day 1, sometimes catching fish in open water without even targeting structure. But he also hit classic fish attractors like laydowns, grass, reed lines and brush piles, according to an FLW interview. He stuck close to the banks, but not too close: He kept the boat in 6 to 8 feet of water and casted into shallow water, mostly around 2 feet deep. That plan got him a 19-10 limit to open the tournament with a lead that he never gave up.

Day 2 saw a slight threat to his lead after a slow start full of 2-pound fish. But a 5-12 bass late in the day pushed him to 14-7 for the day and a 14-ounce lead over two days.

Lieblong fished reeds with a Texas-rigged Old Monster worm or Zoom Speed Craw, as well as Chatterbaits trailed with Speed Craws. Around lily pads, he turned to a Koppers Live Target frog and a Stanley Top Toad.

Coming Up

The Walmart FLW Tour’s Forrest Wood Cup begins this week on Lake Ouachita. The Rayovac FLW Series will skip a week before its Northern Division hits Lake Erie on Aug. 27. The Bassmaster Elite takes a week off before opening up on Lake St. Clair on Aug. 27. The B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Divisional will also run that week on Lake Vermilion in Minnesota.

Top image: Bassmaster Elite pro Aaron Martens captured a wire-to-wire victory this weekend on Chesapeake Bay. (Credit: Steve Bowman / Bassmaster)

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