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Davis Prepares For The Classic

Strike King LuresEditor's Note: Thirty-eight-year-old Mark Davis from Mount Ida, Arkansas, has fished professionally for 17 years. He won the BASS Masters Classic in 1995 has won three Angler-of-the-Year titles and ranks as the No. 2 angler in the world on

Question: What do you know about Lay Lake, and how do you plan to fish it in this year's B.A.S.S Classic?

Answer: Well, I don't know how I'll fish it. I don't know Lay Lake all that well. I fished a Classic there in 1996. But I don't have any preconceived notions about how I'll fish it this time. I really won't know my strategy until I get over there and really look at the lake and the conditions. It will be like most every other tournament in the summertime. It may be a deep-water structure tournament, or the tournament may be a shallow fight. I may end up flipping in real shallow water this year.

Question: What do you think will be the winning pattern or patterns and why?

Answer: The winning pattern on Lay Lake will depend heavily upon the water conditions, such as the dissolved-oxygen levels. Early in the summer in most lakes with plenty of oxygen in deep water, the fish will tend to gravitate to that deeper water. Then as the summer wears on, the oxygen level will become low, and the fish have to come back to shallow water to survive. When that happens, bass fishing turns into a shallow-water game. You'd think the hotter the weather, the deeper the fish get, but actually that's only true to a point. When the weather gets too hot, and that dissolved-oxygen level drops, the bass will return to shallow water.

Strike King LuresQuestion: If someone wanted to be a professional bass fishermen or to catch more bass every time he went fishing, what three Strike King lures would you give him to learn to fish? Give me two patterns for each lure.

Answer: I would tell him to fish a 3/8-ounce jig with a pork -chunk trailer like the Baby Bow Hog black-and-blue chunk trailer. An angler needs to learn how to flip and pitch that jig very accurately to shallow-water targets. Next, the fisherman needs to learn to fish slightly deeper structure just off the bank and really learn how to hop the jig. A lot of people drag a jig, but I suggest learning how to hop that jig and make the fish bite it.

The next lure a tournament fisherman needs to learn to use is a Series III crankbait in a watermelon-shad color because the Series III is a great fish-biting lure. Learn how to fish it in shallow-water drops and shallow-water ditches around your flat areas, and around shallow grass and vegetation if it is available. Next an angler needs to learn to use a chartreuse-and-white Strike King Premier Pro-Model spinner bait with one gold and one silver willow-leaf blades. He should learn to fish that bait two different ways -- by slow rolling it and crawling it through cover that you can't see in 5 to 10 feet of water. He also must learn how to fish in shallow water by waking it or buzzing it around shallow cover.

Question: What type of fishing do you most enjoy?

Strike King LuresAnswer: I think one of my main strengths is deep-water bass fishing. In most parts of the country, deep-water fishing for bass involves trying to catch bass in water 15 feet or deeper. In some areas, deep-water fishing may involve fishing in water 30-feet deep. Fishing deep water can help you become a better shallow-water fisherman, too. If you understand the bass' habits and how the fish relate to structure in deep water, you can apply that knowledge to shallow-water fishing as well. Shallow-water fishermen often feel lost when they can't see the bank or the structure around which they want to fish. Finding deep bass can prove more difficult than pinpointing shallow bass because you have to rely more on your electronics and your fish-finding abilities. When you fish shallow water, many times you can see where you need to fish -- for example you can see the cover, the shade, the current, the baitfish and often the bass you hope to catch. But when you fish deep, you can't see any of these features.