Mark Martin Crowned Rapala Angler of the Year for 2001

Minnetonka, MN:Professional walleye angler Mark Martin of Twin Lake, Michigan, has been named 2001 Rapala Angler of the Year by the Rapala VMC Group.

The award recognizes Martin's role in fishing with and promoting Rapala lures in In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) tournaments, in Operation Walleye's RCL tournament series as well as in seminars and clinics. For his efforts, Martin received $5000, and the company placed a plaque with his name on it in the lobby of Rapala VMC headquarters.

Above Photo is of Mark Martin (left) and Mark Fisher, Rapala's director of field promotions.

"Rapala's attitude toward the professional fisherman is great," Martin said. "They know there's a working relationship between us and them. They have lures they want us to test and give the feedback to the people in Finland, who need a staff who fishes as hard as they do. The Rapala family has done the same‹they've carved out lures and fished every day for pleasure and sustenance."

In 2001, Martin placed seventh in the RCL tournament on Devils Lake, North Dakota, with the new jointed Shad Raps and located walleyes with the same lure during the PWT Championship in Bismarck, North Dakota, a tournament in which he placed fifth. In 1999, Martin took third on Lake Erie with the Down Deep Husky Jerk, a lure he helped design, and over the years has scored three PWT Big Fish Awards with Rapala products. Martin's relationship with Rapala dates to the early 1980s, when Martin guided at night, fishing with Original Rapalas, on his home waters of Muskegon Lake.

Along the way, Martin has tested new lures, colors and finishes, contributing valuable design input. "Whenever I've made suggestions, my voice has always been heard," Martin said. "Rapala has also been behind me when I've needed anything."

In other capacities, Martin supports sales efforts with appearances at retail outlets, sports shows and seminars; contributes to public relations efforts by fishing with the media and teaching kids fishing clinics; and acts as an ambassador and spokesman for the Rapala brands.

Over the course of his career, Martin has won two tournaments: the 1990 PWTbChampionship on Lake of the Woods and the 2001 PWT event held in Chamberlain, South Dakota.


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