“My fingernails are chewed off, my eyes are about to fall out my head, my back hurts … I feel like I’ve been fighting Mike Tyson all week.” – Scott Martin
Bass pro Scott Martin makes it all look easy.
15 FLW Cup qualifications, six FLW tour wins, 34 Top 10 finishes and 2.3 million in winnings. Statistically speaking, Martin ranks second for all-time winnings and tour wins—and he’s only 40 years old.
And then there’s TV. Since 2005, Scott has hosted the “Scott Martin Challenge,” a fast-paced TV show that pits Scott against some of the world’s best anglers. As far as fishing shows go, it’s one of the very best in terms of entertainment and production value.
But catch Scott in a rare off-stage moment, and he’ll admit that competing on the FLW Tour and hosting a TV show is like having two full-time jobs. And that doesn’t include guiding, promo work, and duties as a husband and father of four.
“I spend more time on water than I do on land,” says Martin. “And the majority of that is spent competing in bass tournaments with high risk, high reward, extreme conditions and stressful moments. It’s pretty hardcore fishing. So, when I’m not competing, I try to relax on the water.”
At the time of this interview, Martin was driving home from a tournament.
“My fingernails are chewed off, my eyes are about to fall out of my head, my back hurts … I feel like I’ve been fighting Mike Tyson all week. I can’t wait to get out in my Old Town and do some fun fishing,” says Martin.
To be specific, he’s referring to the Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota, a fishing machine that bridges the gap between kayak, shallow-water skiff and bass boat, and is powered by 45 pounds of Minn Kota saltwater-grade thrust.
“You can’t get that kind of quiet intimacy on the water in a big bass boat. There’s just something about being in the Predator that allows you to relax on a different level. It’s super comfortable and the fishability is impressive. Obviously, you can fish places where you can’t even get a big boat. But the tranquility of it, the peacefulness of it, that’s what I love. It’s like therapy for me.”
He continues: “You can throw the Predator in the back of the truck, drive down the road, and be on the water in no time. Where I live in Florida there are canals, retention ponds, and other waters that don’t have a boat ramp of any sort. Now, it’s as easy as pull the kayak out of the truck and start fishing.”
Although an experienced paddler, Martin calls the Minn Kota motor in the Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota “a game-changer,” which puts anglers where the action is faster than ever before.
“It’s a great combination. Both Old Town and Minn Kota stand for quality. The Minn Kota trolling motor has always been the most dependable brand out there, bar none. The efficiency of their motors is huge. I was able to drive the motor in the Predator XL Minn Kota through Okeechobee’s grass with ease, and it’s some of the thickest vegetation on the planet. I didn’t get stuck; I didn’t have any problems. The boat performed beautifully in forward and reverse in all situations in the most extreme situations you could imagine. And the motor’s simple to operate. Great design.”
Another thing that struck Martin’s fancy was the Predator XL Minn Kota’s endless rigging potential.
“Because my boat is my office, it is pretty accessorized with everything I need in my line of work: depth finders, places to put pliers, cup holders, places to secure cameras, etc. That’s what’s cool about the Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota. You can accessorize the boat with all types of products from electronics, to cameras, rod holders, and more. There are endless ways to customize the boat. That’s neat. You can really ‘trick out’ your Predator to exactly the way that suits how and where you fish.”
A ‘Go Anywhere’ Boat
Living in Florida, Martin has opportunities to fish everything from large lakes, farm ponds, canals, marshes, inland waterways, as well inshore and offshore waters. Especially for his locale, he calls the Predator XL Minn Kota a “go-anywhere boat.”
“I wouldn’t be uncomfortable in any way using the Predator in the saltwater environment. It performed well and is very stable. I even stood up in it and fished. Versatile for bass fishing, panfish, inshore, bluewater, you-name-it.”
While Martin enjoys fishing solo, using the Predator XL Minn Kota as a vehicle to decompress from hardcore tournament fishing, he also sees real potential in its family-friendly potential.
“What would be neat would be to have four, five or six Predator XL Minn Kota boats so the entire family can go out and attack a lake. I see that all the time now: four or five kayak anglers fishing together at a time … and way up lakes and places where it’s tough to get to.”
He cites a recent experience on Beaver Lake during an FLW tournament.
“I was way up river where there aren’t any boat ramps for miles, and I come around the corner at 7:30 a.m., and there’s a half-dozen kayak anglers out there fishing down the shoreline. Obviously, these folks drove their trucks down the dirt road and loaded them off the shore. How cool is that? You can drive to where you want to fish, boat ramp or not, and launch your Predator from the shore for quick work right to the best fishing!”
Martin pauses. “You know what that means, don’t you? With the Predator XL Minn Kota you end up with a whole lot of secret fishing holes.”