Author: Rob Belloni
Despite the fact that Roland Martin was once a hall of fame member of the Barni Zone I have to confess that I actually bought this book after leafing through it at the book store. Roland Martin has won more Angler of the Year titles in the Bassmasters than anyone so I was curious to see what he had to say, even if the book was a bit old school and focused mainly on southern and eastern fishing.The book is divided into several sections covering topics such as bass feeding behavior, how to pattern fish, lures and techniques, live bait fishing and more. When you read the book though you quickly lose track of what section you are in because the book is a rambling mix of advice and stories that blend together and occasionally overlap between sections. This sounds bad, but what’s fun about this book is that you can pick it up and start reading anywhere in the book and you won’t be missing anything from earlier on. If you’re just starting out in bass fishing, there is some good basic advice in this book as far as lures and techniques to try. Roland is big on spinnerbaits and he talks at length about what blades, sizes, and colors are best for various situations. He also talks about how to work the spinnerbait and “bump the stump” etc. There’s a good chapter about burning the spot, which is in reference to high speed fishing with rattletraps. He also talks about bed fishing although his methods are strictly geared toward sight fishing in shallow water (he uses floating rapalas for example). The live bait sections are detailed and probably still valid today. If there was a way to catch bass before the early 80’s, Roland probably tried it and wrote about it in the book. If you’re an experienced fisherman, there’s probably not a lot of specific technique advice in the book that is going to be useful to you, but it is fun to read about the origin of techniques that are still popular today. Roland started bass fishing in the 60’s and being the gregarious guy that he is Roland was always hooking up with guys who had just invented various lures. It’s fun to read about the first Lowrance units, the first chartreuse spinnerbait skirts, or how guys used to rent Rapalas at tackle shops because they were so hard to get.Speaking of stories, boy there’s no shortage of stories in the book. If there’s a chance for Roland to talk about some time in some tournament when he did something or other, it’s in the book! Like the time he rigged 5 spoon rods because he wanted to get the fish in the boat as fast as possible when he got into a school, or the time Bill Dance charmed him out of a spinnerbait and beat him with it in some tournament, or the time he was jiggerpoling and hauled a 14lber in to the boat only to have it bounce back out and into the lake and … ok you get the point. The stories are probably embellished a little here and there but hey they’re fun to read. There’s a little something for everyone in Roland Martin’s 101 Bass-Catching Secrets and even if Rolands larger than life personality is a bit overwhelming, it’s still an enjoyable read. I’ve read the book 3 or 4 times now and will probably read it again. Just remember to keep bumpin that stump son!