This is coming from a fisherman who at one point was that fired-up younger guy. He knows how that feels, and how winning feels.
"When you're young, there's a built-in hunger," he said. "It really is a hunger. You're hungering for success. You feel like you have to prove yourself. You have to forge your career.
"Then, once you accomplish those things in the sport, it's easy to get complacent, or sort of comfortable. Then that hunger is gone, and there's no replacement for it. Experience, knowledge, talent – nothing out there can replace that hunger.
"You're there, you still can do well, but you don't excel anymore. That's sort of where I've been the last few years. So I had to find a way to get that hunger, that drive and desire – to get all of that back where I can compete at a real high level."
What does that look like? Some of it is focusing down to "the smallest details," he says, like spending more time working on tackle. Some of it is changing how you're comfortable fishing, like at the St. Johns River.
"That was a place I did not look forward to fishing," Davis said. "You're fishing in a crowd; your options are very limited. So mentally, going into an event like that, I really had to reach way down deep inside and have some discipline.
"It's easy to say, 'I don't want to fish in a crowd, so I'll try to make something happen somewhere else.' But the bottom line is those fish live in Lake George and everyone knows it. So you just have to get down there and do a better job fishing than your competition."
So far he's been doing that because the fire is back. "I can remember the day I looked forward to every single tournament," he said. "When you lose that mindset, you don't do as well. But, right now, I've got it back. I couldn't wait to get to Table Rock. I can't wait to go to Toledo Bend.
"Whether or not my finishes will reflect that fire, we'll have to wait and see. But the mental mindset for me is good. That's half the battle. The other half is execution, and you have to have some breaks, you have to find some fish that you have basically to yourself – all those things have to happen to have those top five finishes.
"But so far, so good. I feel better about my fishing now than I have in a long time. Can I can parlay that into another AOY title? Who knows? It's way too early to even think about it."