- MODERATOR COMMENT - Welcome to FLW Live Reel Chat. Today we're joined by veteran Walmart FLW Tour pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. With just over $1 million in career earnings at FLW Outdoors events, Martin has recorded 20 top-10 finishes as well as three FLW Tour titles including a win at the Pascagoula River (2000) and two Lake Champlain victories (2004 and 2009). Riding a wave of momentum from his most recent FLW Tour win, Martin is now gunning for his fourth title at the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup slated for July 30-Aug. 2 in Pittsburgh.
- MODERATOR COMMENT - Today, Scott Martin is here to take questions from you, the fans. So, without further delay, let's get started.
Q:Scott, congratulations on your win at Lake Champlain. Now that you have three FLW Tour titles, which stands out as the most memorable? -- Jon Stebbins (San Diego, Calif.) A:This one by far simply because it was in memory of my grandmother. It's just special to win it for her. I just really felt inspired. I don't think I'll ever have a win quite as memorable. That win also puts me in a league with a select few anglers who have won three FLW Tour titles and it kind of separates me from the pack a little bit. And I'm very proud of that.
Q:Scott, why do you think you've had so much success on Lake Champlain over the years? -- Eric Holmes (Las Angeles, Calif.) A:I think No. 1 I really like that time of the year. I'm a pretty good sight-fisherman. Secondly, there is a lot of that lake that reminds me of Lake Okeechobee if you can believe it. There are a lot of flat areas of that lake, small depth/contour changes, etc.
Q:When did you know that you could potentially win the Champlain tournament? Did you know your area was capable of producing like that? -- Josh (Little Rock, Ark.) A:When I found the area I felt very confident I could get a number of quality fish there. The mystery for me was whether I could catch 4-pounders in that area. In practice, I didn't catch any of that size but I was confident I was going to catch fish bigger than that and it worked out. I told my wife that if this one spot produces like I think it can, I have a chance to win the tournament. To answer your question, 10 minutes into day one I caught a 4 1/2 and two 3 3/4-pounders and I turned to my partner and said, "Dude, I think I can win the tournament here." I really felt confident then.
Q:Now that you've won three times on the FLW Tour, what are your goals for the future? -- Duane Demers (Charlotte, N.C.) A:Angler of the Year baby. That's what I want to get. Also, I want to win the championship. I finished second to Luke Clausen a few years ago and now I really want to win a Forrest Wood Cup.
Q:What is your confidence level heading into the Forrest Wood Cup? -- Titus Song (New York, N.Y.) A:My confidence level is definitely high. I feel like I could do really well in this tournament. It's going to be a tough event but I do like fishing river systems. I've had good success in river systems before. This place reminds me a lot of Tellico, which I did well at before. The system has smallmouth in it and that's a type of fish I love to catch.
Q:If you like smallmouths so much, why did you go after largemouths on Lake Champlain? -- Mike K. (Tulsa, Okla.) A:Just to prove to everybody I could win with largemouths (laughs). I did have a good bunch of smallmouths and I know I could have done well with just smallmouths. I was excited about catching fish a different way than I normally do. On day three I caught a 6-pound largemouth and there's no way I could have caught a 6-pound smallmouth. So size was definitely a factor as well.
Q:It appears that the fishing conditions are going to be pretty difficult at the 2009 Cup. Any thoughts on your fishing strategy? -- David Perlman (Minneapolis, Minn.) A:Confidence. Just stay confident, keep a pep in my step and grind it out. It's not about the baits you're throwing, it's all about the mental battle. The guy who wins the mental battle in Pittsburgh is going to win the tournament.
Q:How tough do you think the fishing will be in Pittsburgh at this year's Forrest Wood Cup? -- Joseph Marino (Union, N.J.) A:We will have record low weights for sure. The problem here is that you don't have a lot of ground to make up. It's a consistency event, so you better catch fish every day. If you catch five decent keepers each day you'll be fine. You don't need to swing for the fences. If you come up short of a limit each day you're going to have a problem.
Q:What is the Big O (Lake Okeechobee) looking like these days? I know it was seriously low the last few years. Has it rebounded and how is the fishing? -- Ryan (Minnetonka, Minn.) A:Fishing is great and the lake has rebounded 100 percent. It should be the best or one of the top three fishing lakes in the next few years. There are a lot of nice things happening there.
Q:What are your thoughts on the 2010 FLW Tour schedule? Are there any lakes where I should pick you for my fantasy team? -- Steve Davis (Knoxville, Tenn.) A:Yeah, I've looked at it a little bit. I'd say pick me for Guntersville, "Chipmunk" (Chickamauga) and Table Rock Lake.
Q:Scott, how did you work the Chigger Craw? Were you dragging it, slowly hopping it or snapping it? -- Tim P. (Burlington, Vt.) A:I was just slowly dragging it and then hopping it through the grass. I would drag it until I found structure and then I'd hop it through the grass.
Q:Scott, I'm fishing the Detroit River tomorrow for the College Tour. Do you have any suggestions on baits/colors? We are confined to the river itself. -- Kyle (Kent, Ohio) A:Dragging some tubes around drops in the river is a good approach. And throwing a jerkbait trying to locate active fish.
Q:I fish a lot with a spinning rod. Would I be able to manage the 10-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line? I know it is good line, but I am worried about it ripping off the spool and causing bird's nests and backlashes. -- Jeff Henning (Elk River, Minn.) A:I use the 8-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line for spinning reels because it really casts well. The most important thing is putting it on your reel correctly making sure there are no twists. That will save you from getting any bird's nests. If I need the extra poundage I'll use the 10- to 15-pound Spiderwire braid which casts beautifully and put a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader on it.
Q:Scott, what influence has your dad had on your fishing career? -- Scott H. (Orlando, Fla.) A:He's always been very supportive No. 1. No. 2, his successful career has given me something to strive for knowing that I could have that type of success too.
Q:Hey Scott, I need some some help. Do you know of any good products to keep my Ranger looking brand-new clean? A wash and a boat wax? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks. -- Jamison Gott (Georgia, Vt.) A:What I've used lately is Shazzam - it's a one-step cleaning wax. It's worked pretty well for me.
Q:What did you catch your fish on in Missisquoi Bay on Lake Champlain? -- Mark (Jay, N.Y.) A:I used a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Chigger Craw and some medium-diving crankbaits in a shad color.
Q:Sorry for the loss of your grandmother. God's grace is enough. Thanks for your stand for the Lord. -- Scott Loftin (Powder Springs, Ga.) A:Thank you very much for the comment and support. The Lord is very important to me. Even though it was a difficult loss I know I'll get to spend more time with her in heaven.
- MODERATOR COMMENT - Unfortunately, fishing fans, that’s all the time we have to chat with Scott today. Thanks to all who tuned in and participated in today’s Reel Chat. And a special thanks to Scott Martin for giving us his time and insights into tournament fishing. Check back shortly for a complete transcript of today's FLW Live Reel Chat.