Tributes to Aaron Martens

Tributes to Aaron Martens in social media and direct messages to us all resonate with a common theme. Aaron Martens was more than an exceptional angler. He was an even more remarkable human being. Here is a collection of tributes from Bassmaster Elite Series pros, friends and his family. Martens died November 4 from brain cancer. He was 49 years old. 

Matt Arey

There isn’t an angler alive that didn’t look up to this man. An incredible angler, but more importantly an incredible human being. One of the most intelligent and entertaining professionals to ever grace our sport. My heart goes out to the Martens family.

Todd Auten

Aaron, you will be greatly missed by our fishing community. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for the sport with us all. Thoughts and prayers to the Martens family and friends. 

Hank Cherry

“What’s up Bro” will never sound the same again. Aaron Martens was truly one of the greats to ever pick up a fishing rod, but he was an even better person. One of my personal heroes and someone I truly idolized. His personality was bigger than life itself, and he will be truly missed. 

John Crews

Aaron lived life to the fullest and loved everyone. I feel like I just really got him. We always just clicked. From talking about crazy diets to workouts to fishing details, I always knew what he saying. That was not always easy with Aaron, because he analyzed things so differently. We had some amazing times together. He knows I loved him and he loved me. Aaron, rest in peace brother. Pray for his family during this awful time. 

Josh Douglas

With a very heavy heart I’ve been reading through all the posts from so many who knew Aaron Martens. It’s absolutely incredible the amount of support and love that his friends, family and fishing community have for him. I wish that I had gotten more of an opportunity to personally know him. The way he chased his passion made him my favorite angler since the very beginning. Truly one of the greatest ever. I’m deeply sorry for his family who lost their anchor way too soon. There will never be another human like him. 

Darold Gleason

While I followed him through his fishing career, my first in-person encounter with Aaron was in 2015. I had earned the chance to fish in BassFest on Kentucky Lake in a field full of Elite pros. I was a nobody in their tournament, having my entry fee paid by some of my guide clients. There were only a few guys who even spoke to me that week. Aaron spent the last half hour of the weigh-in laid out on the deck of my boat talking about fishing while I rigged tackle. I drove home with a 14th-place finish against that tough field, but more importantly, I was reminded how to treat people that God puts in our path. Aaron could never know how much he impacted so many people, including me. Prayers for his dear family. 

Buddy Gross

We lost a legend today. Aaron was like no other and will truly be missed. Always smiling and never met a stranger. His love for our sport and his family was like no other. 

Chris Groh

Aaron was, and is, an inspiration to so many of us. Not only as a great fisherman, but a father, husband and friend. I idolized Aaron, his ways on the water, and his depth reasoning as to why fish bit a certain way; the way he always fished the moment.

Michael Iaconelli

Yesterday we lost one of the good ones. Aaron was a remarkable, one-of-a-kind angler. But more importantly, Aaron was the nicest guy around. A person’s life is not measured by the number of trophies or awards you win, but by how you impact other people’s lives in a positive way. Thank you, Aaron, for being you, and thank you for being my friend. 

Carl Jocumsen

No words can possibly describe the heart break every person that knew Aaron is going through right now. Such a massive influence in my fishing and fitness life. The world just won’t be the same, seeing you on the water or telling you he “loved you, Bro.” Going to miss you mate. 

Brandon Lester

The fishing world lost one of the greatest ones today. Aaron Martens was not only a phenomenal angler, but a phenomenal human being as well. The world could use a few more like him, no doubt. Rest easy buddy, we’ll see you on the other side. 

Hunter Shryock

We lost a truly great man today. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Aaron was a competitor and arguably one of the best to every compete in bass fishing. I remember going to bed before a tournament and seeing Aaron still working on tackle. I woke up at 1 a.m. and he was still out there doing tackle. He crushed it that day too, with less than three hours of sleep. One of the many things I’ll always remember about Aaron. He never settled and he did it his way. God bless you bro, we’re going to miss you. 

Brandon Palaniuk

One of the best humans to ever play the game. He was one of the first people I looked up to and still do to this day. Not only for his undeniable talent on the water, but most importantly the way he conducted himself off the water. 

Caleb Sumrall

The world lost an awesome human today. Aaron was one of those guys that could make friends with anyone. I’ll never forget we were at Grand Lake my first year on the Elite Series and had just made my first cut. He walked past me and said, “Dude, great job today. I’m happy for you!” For a starstruck rookie like myself at the time it meant the world to me. 

Chris Zaldain

Aaron was the guy that made finesse fishing cool. He always saw things on the water that even the best anglers in the world didn’t see. Aaron was the best human I’ve ever met and always put family, health, morality and ethics first. 

Dave Mercer

Aaron, you made us all laugh more, learn more, think more, see more and do more. I love you bro. 

Mark Zona

The world lost an incredible human being today. One like no other. I was so blessed to call Aaron Martens one of my best friends. He was one of the best fishermen I knew, but what I loved most about Aaron was the person he was off the water. He honestly made me a better person in so many ways, and I will be eternally grateful for that. 

Robbie Floyd, Bassmaster Classic on-water reporter

Yesterday was not a good day. I lost a good friend to brain cancer. My buddy Aaron Martens was one of the best bass anglers in the world, and was an even better human. I will cherish the time we spent together and tell stories of those experiences of a lifetime. The last words he said to me a few weeks ago keep hitting home, because he told his friends these exact words: “I love you Bro.” 

Lesley Martens

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” And what a wonderful light he was. We are heartbroken beyond words. I can’t imagine life without him but we take solace in knowing that he’s walked into glory, the only glory that truly matters. Thank you to everyone that supported us during these 19 months through texts, posts, phone calls, visits and fundraisers. Your kindness, prayers and love encouraged us every day, and Aaron and I wholeheartedly felt your love.