Scott Martin had a magical year fishing the FLW Tour in 2015. Funny thing. His magical year didn't start in January of this year. Nope. Started at the beginning of the 2014 FLW Tour season.
Martin decided then to focus on becoming a consistent angler. He wanted to put himself in position to have a shot at winning the Angler of the Year (AOY) title each season. That spelled trouble for the rest of the field. Prior to that moment, the former Forrest Wood Cup champ always thought about winning at all costs and not worry about the AOY title.
Then it all changed.
"Over the last 15 years of my career, I've basically been an angler who went out to win at every event. That's what I cared about," said Martin. "I grew up in a household where victories were always talked about, like all of my father's wins and AOY titles.
"I always fished to win. Never thought about the AOY title. If I bombed it was because I went for a win and it didn't work out. Then I thought, I'd like to try for the AOY and becoming a more consistent angler.
"That started at the beginning of the 2014 season and has carried over throughout 2015, and hopefully beyond."
Martin focused on versatility.
He has been honing his craft so he could attack each body of water with an efficient, appropriate effort.
"Living in Florida doesn't offer me the opportunity to perfect a lot of different fishing techniques," said Martin. "So, I've had to attempt to master all sorts of techniques on the fly at different bodies of water.
"I'm not the best there is at any one technique, but I'm darn good at a lot of them. Focusing on becoming more versatile and consistent have really paid off. I learned how to master my Garmin Panoptix. This isn't a plug, but I feel learning how to use them really gave me a big advantage this year. This consistency approach is paying off. Since 2014, I haven't missed a check."
Hard work and focus are what keeps Martin going strong.
"I stick with the mindset of focusing on a goal or an objective and working hard," said Martin. "You can accomplish an awful lot if you just work hard toward a goal. For me, this year, it was the AOY title. Who knows? I may have several more in me before I'm done.
"My Dad has 9 AOY titles. A year ago when I was sitting in Canada with Bill Taylor from the FLW filming a TV show I told him I was gonna win it this year. Now I only have 8 more AOY titles to win to tie Dad. That is a lot smaller number than 9. I don't feel I've reached my potential. This is a game and I am constantly learning how to play it better.
"I still have tons left to learn. If I work hard and pray hard, then God's will can't be beat."
By Pros4- 1Source's Dave Landahl