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Roland Martin's 101 Bass Catching Secrets

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!  

Average Rating out of 2 voters
Chris( Pearblossom, CA) Aug 13, 2006
Good oldie book... just a bit too old
I had this book for quite a few years now. There is no doubting Roland Martins is one of the best fisherman for the sport. Although I don't agree with everything he stands for, he is definitely one of the catalysts of the sport for what is has become presently.
What I liked about the book was the fact that Roland was one of the frist "big-time" guys out there to cover some of the newer stuff at the time. His chapters on deepwater worm fishing are old-style but still ring true today. He was one of the first to cover exactly how to continously pattern deep bass. His live bait chapters are still useful for anybody who fishes for big bass. But most importantly, this a spinnerbait fisherman's tip book. Almost everything Roland syas about here works today. Read up all the spinnerbait advice here, do some more modern Internet reserach on some of the newer techniques, and you will know how to fish a spinnnerbait.
However, I feel many of the techniques could be updated. Most of the shallow water patterns here have been beaten to crud out West for years now. You simply won't catch that many fish on them. If you want a definitive guide to bass fishing out West, look elsewhere. But the spinnnerbait articles and deepwater patterns still hold today and make this book a good addition to any hardcore basser's library.
Jeremy( Jacksonville, FL) Aug 04, 2006
Roland Martins 101 bass fishing secrets
First off, when I hear the name Roland Martin I think of controversy. I think of a guy who absolutely loves fishing and has made an incredible career out of it. We all know Roland Martin can come off maybe arrogant, or rude, or whatever. That may, or may not be the case. The bottomline is the guy has made a couple casts in the lake for bass. He's seen quite a few things, and hes spent enermous amounts of time on the water for sure.

I definitely enjoyed reading this book. I got it a long time ago. I can definitely sense a bit of passion in alot of the stories that Roland tells. For some reason, they were very interesting to me. I like stories regarding traveling, fishing and meeting new people. Just from that aspect, it was entertaining.

Second issue to think about is information regarding patterns. He definitely seems to release alot of information. Alot of the patterns are kind of obvious patterns that I had already thought about. And some were new to me. I guess if your looking for tons of new and groundbreaking patterns, this might not be the best read. Obviously alot of the patterns and stories are from the long ago past to say the least. But to me, it was fun reading how they used to fish for big bass during the good ol' days.

So from that standpoint, its not the best book. But some of the patterns mentioned in the book are definitely oldy, but goldies. They still work today to be sure. And theres some very good information as well.

If your crazy about fishing, and especially big bass this book would be a fun read for sure. You might also pick up some new techniques that you had forgot about.

You can say what you want about Roland Martin, But hes been able to spend alot more time traveling and fishing the country than I have, so in that regard, I have to say, I am definitely jealous!
Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
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