By Ron Presley
Stories of superstition and luck are not uncommon in the lore of the fishing community. One such story involves a lucky hook. Scott Martin is a bass fishing pro. He also hosts his own TV show, The Scott Martin Challenge. His tournament travels take him all over the place in search of big bags of bass. On one particular tournament trail he was heading toward Washington, D.C. to fish the 2012 FLW event on the Potomac River.
Like many conscientious tournament anglers he spent the evening before leaving for the Potomac in preparation. “As I was packing, getting ready to go to the tournament, getting my
tackle in order, getting all my lures in order, getting all my hooks in order, I realized I was basically out of a particular size hook.” The missing hook was a Trokar TK130 4/0. A little bit of panic came over Scott as he realized he didn’t have a single one of his favorite worm hooks.
Scott immediately called Trokar with an urgent request. “Hey guys, overnight me some TK130’s immediately, I am leaving for the Potomac tomorrow and I am completely out.” The guys at Trokar responded, “no problem,” and Scott thought the dilemma was solved.
Morning came and in anticipation of the tournament he ended up taking off from his home in Clewiston, FL a little early. By the time the package of hooks showed up at Scott’s home he was on the highway travelling through north Florida. Decision making is a prominent part of tournament angling and in this case Scott had to make a decision to have his wife overnight the package again, at a personal cost of nearly $100, or pick up some hooks on the way. “The fact that I even considered overnight delivery tells you just how bad I wanted those hooks,” says Scott.
With that decision made in favor of picking up some hooks on the way, Scott’s thoughts turned to prefishing. “Knowing that I had practice to complete I decided to stop at Bass Pro Shops. They carry Trokar and I planned to buy a couple packages to get me through the week.” Passing a few BPS along the way he waited until Washington D.C., where he walks into Bass Pro Shops the day before practice begins, looking for his hooks.
“I go to the Trokar Hook section,” says Scott, “and they have one pack of 4/0 hooks left.” There are five hooks in a pack, so Scott figures every thing is OK, at least for the next day of practice. “I was happy to find the one pack of TK130’s and I felt ready for practice the next day.”
Scott launched on the Potomac the next morning and wasted no time catching some nice fish. “I was flippin’ a worm rigged on a TK130 and the bass were tearing it up.” Scott likes the TK130 because it is a straight shank hook with a bait keeper on it. The offset hooks will sometimes grab pieces of slime or pieces of grass which fouls the presentation. The straight shank TK130 eliminates that. “It is a very weedless way of fishing a worm and contributed to my success on the Potomac.”
It is on the river that the suspense thickens. If there are two anglers in a boat and one is catching fish and the other isn’t, the one that’s not wants what the other one has, right? “So here we are,” says Scott, “catching some nice fish. My fishing buddy wanted a hook or two so I gave him a couple of hooks.” Scout thinks nothing about it, since he still has some spare hooks.
What he hadn’t planned on was what happened when he met up with his dad. When he did, he mentioned that he was catching a few fish on his worm rig and you guessed it, dad wanted a couple hooks too. Of course Scott obliged. “The next thing you know I am down to one hook. I’ve given all my hooks away except for the original one I tied on that morning. My idea was that I would run back to Bass Pro and hope they have some more in stock. I thought I would be OK.”
The first day of practice ends, but he doesn’t go to Bass Pro Shops to replenish his supply of hooks. The second day of practice ends and he still hasn’t been to Bass Pro. The third day of practice ends without Scott returning to Bass Pro Shops. “I kept checking that point on the only TK130 I had, and it felt super sharp, just like it did when I pulled it out of the package.”
Day one of the tournament starts and Scott has one hook. It is the same “special” hook, on the same exact rod, that he fished all three days of practice with.
Scott goes out the first day of the Potomac River event and catches the biggest bag of the tournament at 22 pounds. He was leading by several pounds over his nearest competitor. “Now, I am getting a little panic stricken over this hook situation. I check the point again, realizing that Bass Pro Shops is an hour drive away; I am tired, the hook feels just like it did when I put it on. At this point it has become my lucky hook.”
So here he is, worried but tired. He caught a big giant bag of fish on his lucky hook. It is still sharp. He decides, “I am not going to change anything. It is kind of like not changing your underwear; I don’t think I changed that or my socks that day either. Call me superstitious.”
Now the one hook saga continues. The second day of the tournament comes around and Scott finished that day with the same TK130. Then the third and fourth day of the tournament come to an end. “At the end of the fourth day I am holding up a trophy with a $100,000 check in my hand, Potomac River champion, 2012. I caught every one of my bass on that TK130 4/0 hook.”
Scott Martin’s lucky hook now resides in a glass case at Eagle Claw headquarters in Denver, CO. Scott sums up the whole story by saying, “That’s why I love Trokar.”
Learn more about Scott Martin and The Scott Martin Challenge by visiting the website at http://www.scottmartinchallenge.com.