2014 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake - Branson, MO, Apr 3 - 6, 2014

Old dog, new tricks

...is...back.Don Barone...is...back.
I’m good friends with Mark and his wife, Tilly, and it is only because of that, that I can ask him this exact question, “So, what’s up, when did you get good.”

Let me explain.

If you are new to this sport, you know that over the past several years, Mark Davis hasn’t been on your radar, and you may be thinking that the dude is just having a lucky streak, and if you are thinking that,

you would be wrong.

Real wrong.

Dig this, Mark Davis has fished in 246 B.A.S.S. tournaments, and in those 246 tournaments he has placed in the money 167 times. 

Quick to your calculator app and you will see that Mark, against and amongst the best tournament anglers on earth is batting…


For you non baseball types…67% of the time, Mark is in the money.

Dude has won $1,639,202.30 or almost $60-grand a year since he started way back when he was 21 years old.

And if you are surprised to see him holding up big fish on stage…don’t be…in his career, he has managed to catch and bag a little over 3.6 TONS of bass fishies.

Then there’s this, in 1995 Mark won BOTH the Bassmaster Classic and the Angler of the Year race (he’s been AOY 3 times in his career); the only other angler to do that is…KVD.

A career of five 1st place finishes, five 2nds, eight 3rds…Top 10 FORTY-NINE times, Top 20…88 times.

And for all you youngins out there not very impressed yet, the dude sitting next to me on the bench even has two video games named after his ownself: Mark Davis Pro Bass Challenge & Mark Davis The Fishing Master.

So what went wrong.

“I got complacent, db. I knew what it took to be good, to get a paycheck, and that’s all the effort I put into it. You get comfortable.”

Comfortable would be a 4-letter word in my book except it actually has 10 letters, so for the sake of argument let’s just say it’s a 10-letter, 4-letter word.

Great, don’t do comfortable. Great is anything but comfortable, and for a while, Mark gave up great.

“I was fine with just doing the minimum. I was tired of the grind; it takes a whole lot of work out here to be great – all the prep, all the practice, all the time all that takes. You know, I just got plain out set in my ways.”

In my career, I have interviewed dozens of champions in sport, and I have asked this one question over and over: “What factor led to your championship here?”

And, trust me, none of them ever answered: “Well, db, I think looking back, being set in my ways lead to this championship.”

Nope, no one ever told me that.

So what changed in Mark, what thing made him not be set in his ways,

ah, that would actually be

two things.

“…It's never too late to get back up again…”