FORT MADISON – Mike Mertens, a Salem Iowa auto service center owner drops his rachet wrench and grabs his seven-foot hi tec bass rod at every available moment he can.
Mertens learned to fish at an early age and fished with friends and family for outdoor recreation. He now trades that type of fishing for the hyper-chase for excellence, as he qualified for a national bass tournament championship to be held in Tennessee on Douglas Lake.
Back in the days Mertens was always a pretty decent angler, but strived to be better. Joining the Lake Cooper Angling Assoc. a few years ago set Mike on a trajectory to fish with different anglers, learning different techniques to achieve the same goal. Soon the bass club was chasing Mike, as he went on a tear for a long period of time finishing in the top three more often than not.
Mertens takes what he has learned and put in a huge amount of time perfecting his craft.
On June 3, 2021 Mike will realize the result of all those years of hard work as he has qualified for the national BFL Phoenix ‘All American’ on June 3-5. Tens of thousands of anglers competed to be where Mike has found himself – he will be one of only 53 anglers to qualify for the nationwide championship event.
A gold trophy, sponsorships and a six-figure cash prize for first place is on his mind- here’s hoping “Best Fishes!” for Mike.