Fishing / POSTED 04-Jun-2024

Hilary Martin’s Take On Carrying On A Family Fishing Legacy

Hilary Martin represents the next generation of a rich family bass fishing legacy. The Martin family story began with her grandfather, the legendary Roland Martin, the first professional bass angler to be inducted into all three Halls of Fame (IGFA Hall of Fame, Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame®). Her father, Scott Martin, is also a successful professional angler who is currently fishing the B.A.S.S.® Elite Series in addition to hosting his own television show, The Scott Martin Challenge, on ESPN2®. Hilary, a rising sophomore at the University of Alabama, is charting her own course in the world of professional fishing – and her father and family are her biggest fans. 


“I didn’t really take fishing all that seriously until I was about 14 when I fished my first tournament with my dad on Lake Okeechobee - my home lake,” said Hilary. “I fell in love with it and with the competition side of the fishing. I was hooked.

“My dad loves to tell this story. One day when I was about 13 or 14, I was out on the lake with him all day. It was one of the hottest days of the year and I caught nothing. The next day, I was ready to go again even though the day before had not gone well. He knew then I shared his passion for fishing.”

During her junior year of high school, Hilary became a little more serious about fishing competitively taking on high school derbies. Then she took things up a notch and began participating in the Florida Bass Nation® tournament circuit, traveling throughout the state, and competing in at least one tournament per month. She quickly began to understand the rewarding feeling of competing on her own and figuring out how she was going to fish during each competition. “I’ve never fished a tournament totally on my own, but the first time I fished with someone my age was my junior year in high school,” she said. “I had never had to really figure things out myself – and I loved that feeling for being responsible for the success of my day on the water.”


How does she go about “figuring out” how she will fish? 

“That’s a good question,” said Hilary. “It changes for every tournament and depends on the time of year, the weather and which structures the fish will be on given those circumstances. Fish will always be on structures; the goal is to figure out which ones and then follow that pattern. I do something different every time I compete. Something always changes and I learn something new every time I am out there – I love that about this sport.”


Now a member of the University of Alabama® fishing team, Hilary continues to compete while she pursues a degree in Business Marketing. She hopes to use that degree to build a career in the competitive fishing industry one day.

“Marketing and communication strategies are a big part of being a professional angler, especially when you are working with sponsors,” she said.  “My hope is that when I graduate, I can start my own business that will advocate for an increased number of women in fishing. That might include apparel or rods designed specifically for women. I believe we have a lot to offer to the sport and I hope to play a part in helping grow the number of women competitors.”


When asked about her personal biggest influencers, she responds, “Well I wouldn’t be here without my dad and granddad. My dad has truly been my backbone. When I started the high school derbies, I was terrified to be one of 200 or 250 boats in the field, mostly guys. It was intimidating but my dad was right there, teaching me to be confident in the boat and in myself. He helped me stay focused and taught me that a good mindset goes a long way in achieving success on the water.” 

Hilary’s Memaw, her dad’s mom, also serves as a major inspiration for her competitive spirit as well as her work ethic.

“My Memaw remains one of my biggest influencers, and I truly aspire to be just like her,” she said. “She was an incredibly respected female angler in her prime, she always works her tail off, and she’s always full of positivity and encouragement. She shows me every day that I can do it,” she said.

Does the future hold Bassmater® Elite aspirations for Hilary?


“It’s hard to say. Right now, I am doing the best I can to fish competitively and lay the groundwork for a solid future career in the industry,” she said. “I would love to fish the Elites, but you do have to crawl, walk, run when it comes to fishing at that level.  Once I graduate, I may try to grind it out in the Opens for a year and see where it goes – who knows! For now, I am happy to spend as much time on the water as I can and work hard to graduate in the next few years.”

With her family at her side, she will no doubt accomplish great things and continues to be a rising star in the professional fishing industry. Follow Hilary’s adventures on Instagram:
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