Davis Classic Bound
Aug 29th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 29th, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Last week’s Bassmaster Elite Series event, held on Lake St. Clair out of Detroit, Michigan delivered plenty of drama. Besides the biggest story of Aaron Martens coming from behind to defeat Edwin Evers for the Angler of the Year title, there were anglers who had to perform and break into the Top 12 just for a shot to make it to the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville in Alabama next February. If you win, you’re in: so Mercury pro Chris Lane, the event champion, made it.
But the angler who finished in second, Yamaha/Skeeter pro Mark Davis also earned a coveted berth into the Classic as well, thanks to his performance.
Davis is a 27-year veteran of the bass wars. His 2013 season was so-so. Davis was outside looking in for Classic qualification. He knew a top finish on what could be a very physically demanding fishery was all that would move him up in the point standings to make it to the championship in February 2014.
“I put myself in a bad position going into the St. Clair event,” said Davis. “I knew I had to do something special. I enjoy fishing the Great Lakes. I had fished Lake St. Clair before. Previously, Lake St. Clair had big healthy bass. I practiced there one day. The bass were thin, poor quality for what I needed to do to make it to the Classic.
“I gave up on St. Clair and decided to practice on Lake Erie. I have had very little exposure to Lake Erie prior to the tournament. On that practice day, I went way out into the lake. The quality of fish to win was there.”
Davis’ experience told him to throw caution out the door.
“I decided to roll the dice,” said Davis. “I’m usually not so gung-ho anymore. I generally fish more doable water, not so risky. That’s probably wrong, but after years of experience, you tend to shy away from risky ventures.
“I took the chance knowing I had to do something big. Going out there was always the uncertainty, weather, rough water, fish moving, etc. It almost ended in a very big way for me. It ended well qualifying for the Classic. My fish finally moved out, but it was worth the risk.”
“I think Guntersville will deliver like it normally does,” said Davis. “It’s everybody’s favorite lake. I’ve always said it’s my favorite lake. It receives a tremendous amount of fishing pressure.
“I think it will deliver everything and more of what we all expect of it, barring some late winter issues or other catastrophe. I think it will take a 5-pound average to win. I’m guessing 75 pounds or better to win the Classic on Guntersville.”