Evan Martin has been on a big fish streak this spring. He calls it luck, but you have to wonder. What is this avid catfish angler doing that led him to his big fish catches, that included three Big Fish awards during his tournament fishing?
“I’ve been getting lucky in the tournament’s,” stated Martin. “We fished the Santee Cooper Monster Cat Quest and our team took Big Fish with a 54.16-pound blue. Ben landed the fish, but it came on my rod. Ben should get credit for that fish.”
Martin fished that tournament with Ben Billingsley, who willingly shared that honor with his team mate, along with the coveted Championship Belt. It was the inaugural Santee Cooper Monster Cat Quest event, so the honor of being the first Championship Belt winner is a special accomplishment.
Next up on the tournament trail was Cabela’s King Kat at Lake Wateree. Martin was fishing with Larry Godwin in the two-day event. He rolled up his sleeves and worked hard to catch his Big Kat on day two of the tournament. The fish weighed 42.54 pounds and earned his team $1,180.00, plus a 30 gallon X-treme Bait Tank. Martin seemed to be on a roll!
Martin’s next stop was the Southeastern Catfish Club event on Lake Wylie, fishing again with Larry Godwin. The team pulled out a second-place finish with 73.11 pounds that included, one more time, Big Fish of the tournament. His big Lake Wylie blue weighed 51.44 pounds. They probably would have won it if they could have caught a smaller fish. Sometimes those unders will get ya’.
“We had a chance to win on Wylie,” said Martin. “Department of Natural Resources rules only allow one fish per person over 32 inches long. Out third fish was 32.25 and we couldn’t weight it. We still got second, with only two fish.”
So, was it luck, superstition, or skill? You can choose for yourself.
When queried about his streak, Martin replied. “Well it all started about a month before the Santee tournament. I was fishing at Badin Lake, late at night, pulling anchors to move. I felt like my anchor was hung up. I finally got it loose and when the anchor came up there was a really old horse shoe hanging on anchor. I’ve never been a superstitious kind of guy, but this was something else.”
Martin has had the horseshoe in his tackle bag at every tournament since. “I also have a lucky pair of jeans I wear to every tournament. That’s the truth,” added Martin.
Maybe more importantly, Martin changed his fishing strategy a little. “I’ve really started going back to basics,” declared Martin. “I am fishing travel routes for the fish, anchoring on edges and ledges and structure. You hang up a couple rods here and there, but it ends up paying off in the end.”
“I also ride around looking at my Humminbird 998 graph,” offered Martin. “I am looking for groupings of fish to mark, so that we can come back to the mark and fish them. I may spend a couple of hours marking spots. If I’m confident in a spot I may sit on it for two or three hours without a bite. When the bite comes, it’s the one that counts!”
That’s Martin’s story and he is sticking to it. Luck, superstition, or skill, you be the judge. Either way, he has been on a phenomenal run and we hope he can keep it up. Congrats Even Martin. Good luck in your future tournaments.
For you anglers fishing a tournament soon, check the list of entries. If you see Martin’s name on the list you better be on you’re A-game. That includes the King Kat Classic on Wateree this fall. He is looking forward to that one.
Fish with passion!