Professional Bass Fisherman Mark Davis Tells Us How to Improve Our Fishing
Mark Davis Tells the Importance of Making Even Small Differences in Your Fishing and a Video with Davis Shows How to Find Bass before a Tournament
Editor’s Note: Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas, had the worst year in 2009 of his fishing career. But this year, he’s returned to professional bass fishing with a vengeance. In the last two Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments, he took two 8th-place finish checks home with him, one at Clarks Hill and one at Lake Guntersville. Mark has made one of the biggest turnarounds in his professional fishing career that anyone has seen. All of us go through slumps. We all get down on ourselves about bass fishing. We’ve asked Mark Davis how he’s come back from a lousy fishing year to having a great fishing year.
Question: Mark, how did you finish on the Bassmaster Elite Circuit last year?
Davis: I was down in 50th place somewhere. 2009 was the worst year in my entire fishing career.
Question: How did you take a year of professional fishing like last year and make such a major turnaround to be doing as well as you are this year? You can’t come from way back in the pack to placing in the top 10 or 15 bass fishermen in the world just by being lucky. What are you doing this year that’s changed the course of your fishing career to the upside?
Davis: Preparation has a lot to do with it. I believe the more time you spend getting ready to fish, the better you’ll fish. Also, I’ve really been studying the lakes on the schedule this year, and then trying to go pre-fish them. Another advantage I’ve had is we’ve fished quite a few lakes this year where the bass have been in the post-spawn condition. That’s normally a strong time of year for my style of fishing. I’ve also put in extra work effort, and I think all of these ingredients together have helped me this year.
Question: What about the post-spawn favors your kind of fishing?
Davis: After the spawn, the bass move out to deeper water and tend to gang-up and school-up. I’ve been able to catch a lot of bass on crankbaits like Strike King’s Series 6 XD. I couldn’t keep the bass off that lure at Guntersville. I easily could have caught 100 or more bass each day I fished Guntersville. When we went to Clarks Hill, the bite was much-more difficult. The bass just didn’t want to bite a crankbait for me, so I caught them on a lizard.
Question: What are you doing now that you weren’t doing last year with your fishing?
Davis: Well, besides catching fish, I’m making better decisions on the water than I made last year, and I’m able to find fish and stay on them better than I did last year. At the level of bass fishing in the Elite Series now, there’s a very-fine line between fishing in the middle of the pack and fishing at the head of the pack. I know a lot of people don’t realize just how fine that line is. I think I’ve just been able to put the lures, the fish, my depth finders and the lakes together a little better than I did last year, and that “little-bit better” at this level of fishing can make a big difference in the size of check you take home.