U.S. Open Blog

Click here for U.S. Open Bio

Friday, September 07, 2012
Just Updated 2012 U.S. OPEN Video part 2

Aaron Marten Wins Third U.S. Open In Dramatic Style

Aaron Martens joins the elite ranks of three-time WON BASS U.S. Open winners


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Until this U.S. Open officially ended on Wednesday evening, there had only been one legendary angler who had ever managed to win not one, not two, but three Open tournaments over the course of his fishing career, and that man was none other than Mike Folkestad. After this week's tournament, however, Folkestad isn't the only member of the three-peat club, as Aaron Martens emerged victorious in this year's Open; besting a large field of 224 anglers.

It was almost as if it was a foregone conclusion, with Martens bringing the biggest bag of the three-day tournament - 12.89 pounds - to the scales during the first day of competition. Even Pro John Morrow said, "You watch... This will be Martens' tournament."

As it turns out, Morrow couldn't have been more accurate in his assessment, as Martens took the trophy, $39,000-plus in cash, and a brand-new, fully-rigged Nitro Z-8 for bringing a combined 33.11 pounds of fish to the scales over the course of the grueling three-day event.

Martens' victory was no doubt aided significantly by his day-one partner, 13-year-old Carson Sims of Texas. Carson not only had a 4.4-pound fish, but he also caught a 3 1/2 pounder to supplement the quality limit. In fact, he was partnered up with third-place finisher Shawn Lee on day one, and thanks to another heavy bag, Carson rested comfortably in fourth place amongst his fellow AAA's going into the third, and final fishing day.

Unfortunately, there were some boat problems on day three and things didn't go as well as they might have gone for Sims. Carson only got one bite for the day, dropping him out of the money. But as a testament to the character of the young (yet unbelievably mature) angler, the $1,000 check he was given at the awards show for his day-one big fish was donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, which was also the beneficiary of an ongoing raffle during the event, raising $2,800 (plus Carson's $1,000) for the organization. In short, if all anglers, all people for that matter, could act in such a benevolent fashion, the world would be a better place.

In terms of the top finishers at this year's Open, it was a true nail-biter. Martens, of course, took the win; however, there were indeed a few heavy hitters nipping at his heels. David Peltier took second with 31.26 pounds, Shawn Lee landed in third with 30.51 pounds; longtime WON BASS angler and supporter, Boris Antolos, secured a fourth-place slot with 30.09 pounds; and rounding out the top five was none other than Gary Klein with 29.85 pounds.

On the AAA side, Ryan Yamagata took first for his 32.92 pounds, Tyler Vanderhorst finished in second for 30.62 pounds, Paul Hemsley landed in third with 28.12 pounds, fourth went to Joe Gunnells with 26.99 pounds, and Roger Cummings took fifth with 26.69 pounds.

It was arguably one of the best U.S. Opens in the history of the event, as anglers couldn't stop complimenting Egan and his staff for executing a smooth, trouble-free tournament. There wasn't a single instance during the course of the three-day event when more than two or three anglers were ever waiting in line to weigh their fish; and the high release rates certainly reflected the efficiency of the process.

Everyone arrived and left with a smile on his or her face, and even Carson Sims (despite enduring a sub-par finish due to circumstances well beyond his control) assured everyone at the awards ceremony that both he and his father would be back for next year's event. The same could be said for most everyone fishing this year's Open, and WON BASS looks forward to seeing some familiar faces in 2012.

Reader Comments
I Robert Adams Would like to say this was my first u.s open. I fished as a pro and just the excitement of launching with the top dogs of the world sent a chill down my spine even though it was well over 100 outside.So if you were ever thinking about fishing it but said it's to tuff. It's worth just meeting all the guys from around the world and trust me it will make you become a beter angler. O ya free stuff and more free stuff. Special thanks to: Bill Egan ,Rich Talber ,and all staff for making me and my partner fill at home .
Robert Adams
Great event, however, I would like to see who is the current leader and bumped off as a new one weighs in like the Elite and FLW series. I think it makes it more enjoyable for the fans. Contenders, need not handle any bags after they have been handed to the person weighing the sack. I would also like to see the AAA contenders walk across the stage as well, not just some of them. I think Bill Egan and his staff performed with exacting professionalism and he as well as his staff deserve all the accolades on a U.S. Open well run. Great Job Bill. Hooah!
David J. Burns
I attended the award ceremony and as always it was great. My aba partner Paul Hemsley took third place in his first open. I especially like when Gary Klein got up and talked aboput what really is special about the US OPEN. He summed it all up perfectly. I missed this years event, but next year i will be there for sure. COngratulations to Arron Martens he is an awesome fisherman. Also congratulations to Ryan Yamagata heis our best competition in the team events, good job.
alan zamora
Carson had an awesome tournament, but he didn't fish with Aaron the first day, I did. Thanks for the report, just make it accurate. Tyler Vanderhorst
why are the payouts not posted for the pro and aaa.
won bass and the open are really sliping used to be firt prize was 50.000 a new ranger and a ford truck then it went to 70.000 boat and no truck now aron didnt even make 50,000 and it is a week later and where are all the pics of the winners and where are the the ways they used to get them real shoty won
why dont you put the pay outs of how much the anglers won
why is ther no [ics or real infpormation and years before the open paid 50.0000 new boat and truck now then it went to seventy grand and new boat now look aron did not even get the 50 and they messed up by tryiong to get as few big names in july for the icast when most people want to fish the open but why risk your health i bet more than 309 people did not fish just because of that ans as i say its almost a week and no pics or real information just my 2 cents
First of all, congrats to Carson. There is a slight correction though - Carson donated the money to Military Warriors Support Foundation and our Purple Heart Ranch program. Wounded Warrior Project is a seperate and unrelated organization. Thank you, Josh Kinser Field Activities Director Military Warriors Support Foundation www.militarywarriors.org 910 364 4225 josh@militarywarriors.org
Josh Kinser
"Does making money and fiihnsg these tours take the passion out of fiihnsg??"I have heard horror stories about professional tournament fishermen who failed to make enough money and ended up divorced, broke, and hating fiihnsg.I have also heard about guys just getting burned out do to the stresses/As for Professional Anglers, don't forget about Professional Fishing Guides and Charter/Launch Captains.
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:

Advertise with Western Outdoor News