Mark DavisEditor’s Note: Strike King pro Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas, won the Bassmaster Classic and Angler of the Year in the same tournament season in 1995. Davis also won Angler of the Year in 1998 and 2001 and has participated in 15 Bassmaster Classics. More than a professional angler, Davis is a nice guy. Sometimes we don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. One of the questions being asked is why Davis isn’t competing in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. This week, before Davis tells us how to catch bass in hot-weather conditions, he’ll tell us how he was “locked out” of the Classic.

Part 1: How to Catch Bass Now with Mark Davis

Mark DavisQuestion: Mark, what kind of year have you had this season?

Davis: I’ve had a very-disappointing season. I made six out of the eight cuts on the BASS Elite Series this year and got locked-out on the second day of the Elite Series tournament on the Arkansas River in June, which caused me to miss the Classic and ruined my entire season.

Question: Tell us what happened at the tournament on the Arkansas River.

Davis: A number of anglers got locked-out of the tournament. Most of us went through one or two locks to reach the places where we wanted to fish. We had a schedule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the times when we should have been able to go through the locks. Mark DavisWhen I reached the lock on that second day, I was in the first flight that was supposed to lock-through with several other tournament anglers. But there was a barge in the lock, and the lock operators couldn’t get us in and out of the lock in time for us to reach the scheduled weigh-in.

Not getting back in time to weigh-in caused me to lose my entire catch for the day. Five other competitors got locked-out, and we all lost our day’s catch. If I could have weighed that day’s catch, I would have been in the top 15, possibly even the top 12, and made the Classic. I would have had a pretty-good year or at least a consistent one.

Question: What did it feel like when you knew you wouldn’t be able to weigh-in that day’s catch?

Davis: I felt like I’d been robbed. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but we always know that when we go through locks, there’s always a chance of getting locked-out. Mark DavisDenny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, nearly lost the tournament, because he was locked-out downriver. I was locked-out upriver. Although we all knew we’d have to go through locks to win, when I couldn’t weigh-in my bass, I felt like someone had broke-into my house and robbed me. We had one other tournament after the tournament on the Arkansas River, and although I finished in the money, I couldn’t recover from those 10 pounds of bass I couldn’t weigh-in from the Arkansas River tournament.

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