Ronnie Martin – Hook-Eze Pty Ltd

Ronnie Martin

Hello, I am Ronnie Martin, and I am eight years old and I love to fish for bass from my kayak, a Perception Pescador Pro 100. This is my first year in competitive kayak fishing and it has been a blast. My first tournament was the Kayak Bass Fishing Young Guns Shootout on Kentucky Lake, presented by Yakattack during the 2017 KBF National Championship. This summer my goal has been to be the youngest to qualify for the 2018 KBF National Championship.

My summer is halfway over now. I only have about a month and a half before school starts again and I will be a third grader at Southwest Elementary. Since school has been out, I have fished in several fishing rodeos and derbies, but more importantly, I have fished two Kayak Bass Fishing Trail Events trying to qualify for the KBF National Championship at Kentucky Lake.

The first of these events was at Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee after the start of June. My family and I drove up the day before and we camped at the state park by the lake. The night before the tournament I stayed up with my dad and I used my Hook-Eze Multi-Purpose Tool to make sure that I securely tied my Trokar hooks with Primary Tackle soft plastics to my line from K9 Fishing. The next day, my dad and I woke up early at about 4:30 so that we could get on the water slightly after sunrise. I was super tired but I tried to do my best.

Reelfoot Lake is not known as a bass fishing lake but is regarded as a wonderful lake for crappie, bream, and catfish. It is really a beautiful lake that was created by the earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 on the New Madrid Fault. It is a shallow lake filled with cypress trees, which is why the lake is known more for crappie, bream, and catfish. I did get to see several Bald Eagles while I was fishing that day in the lily pads.

The second KBF Trail Event I competed in was at Wheeler Lake in Alabama. Wheeler Lake was created by Tennessee Valley Authority, in the 1930s, when they built a series of dams along the Tennessee River for hydroelectric power. Wheeler is not as well known for bass fishing as Kentucky Lake, Pickwick (ranked by BASS as #5 in the Southeast), Wilson (ranked by BASS as #18 in the Southeast), or Lake Guntersville (ranked by BASS as #9 in the Southeast), but it has been a stop for the Bassmaster Elite Series and was the host of the 2016 FLW Forest Wood Cup. My family and I camped at Joe Wheeler State Park, which made access to the lake easy for the early morning start time. Even though the campground was crowded because it was the weekend before the 4th of July there was still plenty of room and you could see beautiful sights along the shoreline.

The day before the tournament, as we got our tackle ready Chad Hoover, came by our campsite and visited with us, along with his wife Kristi Hoover and his daughter. That evening, after we spent some time swimming, we had the opportunity to visit with Chad and Kristi again and Gene Jensen aka the Fluke Master and his sons.

The morning of the tournament my dad and I did not have to get up as early as we did at Reelfoot, but were on the water by 6 am. I carried three rods with me, a baitcaster setup with a peanut butter and jelly colored jig from Strike King with a Rage Craw trailer, a spinning combo set up with a Trokar Hook and Primary Tackle Brush Hog soft plastic rigged Texas style, and a spinning combo set up with Peanut Craft Lure’s shaky head and a stick bait from Primary Tackle. These setups were tied using the Hook-Eze Multi-Purpose Tool onto K9 Fishing line. I got bites this day but just was not able to get the fish into my boat.

Even though these two outings were a little on the disappointing side, I did have a lot of fun and was able to learn. The summer months can be the hardest time of the year to fish for bass, especially in the south when the water heats up. This year the temperature has been back and forth and we have had more rain, which has created a situation where it is harder to find bass because they are not in their traditional holding spots for this time of year.
The next competitions I will travel to will be Kentucky Lake at the end of July, Guntersville Lake in Alabama in September, in November I will go to Toledo Bend on the border between Louisiana and Texas for the KBF Young Guns and the KBF Open, and will finish the year at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. With the start of school in August, I will fish the KBF State Challenge series.

Thanks for reading and to follow my adventures check out the following links:
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When I am not fishing I can found playing with my sister or training my dog Boomer for the Super Retriever Series Dock Diving – Junior Division, where I hope to keep the Junior Division Crown Championship at Huntsville, AL in October.

Authorship credit – Ronnie Martin & Paul Martin.