Strike King’s 5XD crankbait, which digs bottom in 13 feet or more, is Davis’ workhorse. Shad colors are mainstays, but chartreuse with a blue back gets the call in stained water.
“I hold my boat in at least 20 feet of water and crank ledges 8 to 15 feet deep,” Davis says. “Key places are high spots on the side of a creek bank, ledges with stumps and where ditches intersect.”
Davis grinds the bottom with a brisk retrieve. When he finds a school of bass, he stays put.
“That’s when you can catch 20 to 50 bass without moving the boat,” Davis claims.
Davis catches big numbers of bass and the bruisers in wintertime at Ouachita, especially on the middle and lower sections of the lake. He slams the fatties in 25 to 35 feet of water with a 3/4-ounce green pumpkin football jig dressed with a green pumpkin craw. Key spots are deep grass points, bluff banks, bluff ends and the ends of long points that drop into deep water.
A 3/4-ounce jigging spoon on 20-pound fluorocarbon line also does some of the heavy lifting for Davis. He idles into creeks on the lower end of Ouachita that have standing timber and fishes his way out.
“I follow the creek channel and pop that spoon vertically off the bottom 30 to 45 feet deep,” Davis says. “It’s challenging because the creeks are narrow and serpentine.”
The bass typically hang near a big tree on the lip of a ditch or the outside bend of a creek. When you catch one bass, stay put, because they school tightly in the winter. You should be able to catch dozens more from the same spot.
Lake Ouachita helped Mark Davis become a legend of bass fishing. It’s still his favorite lake
Visit Bassmaster.com/Arkansas for more on Arkansas bass fishing.