Casey Martin is a Canadian, and he blends in as a Southerner about as well as I do. However, when you put a rod and reel in Casey’s hand, you’d think he was born and raised on the banks of the Tennessee River or in the lowland grass fisheries of Florida. Casey fishes the FLW Tour as a co-angler and has won 3 events (the 2011 FLW Tour Open Guntersville “A-Rig” Super Nova Tournament, 2011 FLW Tour Open on Champlain, and the 2012 FLW Tour Major on Kentucky Lake) in the last 12 months. Having a chance to fish with Casey during the off limits time prior to the 2012 FLW Tour Open on Lake Okeechobee afforded me some time to fish with Casey, and this blog post and the adjoining video are the highlights. Casey has been working hard the last 5 years, living on Lake Guntersville, fishing with his pals Derek Remitz and Craig Dowling to hone his tournament and grass fishing approaches. Clearly, it’s paying off.
Casey keeps his grass fishing simple. It goes like this:
- Have a Sweet Beaver and BB Cricket ready to go as your punch baits (a full bodied punch bait on a 1.5 ounce Picasso tungsten weight, and a smaller profile Gambler BB Cricket as your fall back, the fish are pressured and not biting the Sweet Beaver anymore, more finesse punch bait)
- Get in the habit of having perfect mechanics in grass punching. Never waste movements, time or water by making the most precise and efficient casts you can (ie, his sling cast where he never touches his bait and slings an incoming bait back out using the momentum of the incoming pendulum). Keep yourself in position and be ready for a hard upward hookset, get on the reel quickly, and pull fish out from the thick stuff as quickly as possible for the best chances of boating ’em.
- Jig fishing. Use the jig to fish the sparse stuff, where you don’t need punching gear to get thru the vegetation. Sparse reed patches, isolated clumps of grass, and where ever you don’t need punching stuff to get a bait in.
- Keep your hardbait selection simple. Use a Devil’s Horse or gold Rattle Trap to cover water and find fish that are in between your flip and pitch spots. There is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Rattle Traps and Devils Horses in Florida are like drop shots and swimbaits in California. They are proven and work, so just go with it.
Here is a breakdown of the gear Casey was using:
Punching Setup #1:
Reaction Innovations 4.20 Sweet Beaver, Penetration Color
Finesse Punching Setup #2
Gambler BB Cricket in Junebug
Grass Flippping Jigs
Medlock Jigs are difficult to find. The only place I know is: Lorida Bait and Tackle: 863-655-5510
Alternatives to the Medlock Jig are the:
Strike King Hack Attack Jig (1 oz)
Gambler Ugly Otter Trailer for Jig
Devils Horse 3/8oz. (any color)
Rat-L-Trap 1/2 ounce Gold Shad color
15# Seagar Florocarbon (for Rattle Trap fishing)
Follow Casey Martin’s fishing at caseymartinfishing.com. Casey is on his way to a stellar career in professional fishing, and is already competing and winning at the sport’s highest levels and continues to soak up and re-apply information and techniques he is learning with brilliance. Casey works with the best companies in the business like: Omega Custom Tackle, Picasso, Rat-L-Trap, Power Pole, Evinrude Outboards and Ranger Boats. If you have a chance to interact with these companies, let them know Casey is out there not only representing this companies, but showing these products in real world/tournament usage. It’s one thing to talk about products, its another to get film and footage that validates the things you are trying to convey. Casey works hard at his fishing, while still holding down contracted work as an electrical engineer for the automotive industry. Look for Casey to ease his way into fishing from the front of the boat at the FLW Tour level, but what is the rush? Casey has nothing but time and wisdom to make good decisions at the right time. In the mean time, look for him at the top of the leaderboard at the Everstart, BFL, and of course the FLW Tour Co-Angler levels for now.
***The ‘striping’ caused in some clips of the video were caused from a failed hard drive. I went the thru the painful and expensive ‘data recovery’ process, hence the striping and distortion.***
Album: The Left Hand Side
Label: Body Deep Music