Lake Oahe couldn’t have come at a better time for Mark Daniels Jr. Last week at the Elite tournament on the Mississippi River Daniels finished 88th, the worst finish of his two year Elite Series career. It caused him to drop to 40th place in the Toyota Anger of the Year standings. But Lake Oahe has been very good to him. Currently holding the lead here, Daniels has moved all the way up to 26th place in AOY. And he’s one or two good fish away from earning a check for $100,000.
Daniels has had his best Elite finishes catching smallmouth bass up north. He finished 3rd at Michigan’s Lake St. Clair and 10th in Minnesota at Mille Lacs.
When asked why he has done so well on smallmouth fisheries, the Tuskegee, Ala. resident, who grew up in Northern California, expressed puzzlement. “I really don’t know,” he said. “Smallmouth are kind of random, and my style is kind of random too.”
Daniels is 36 years old, turning 37 on July 24. He has fished 25 Bassmaster tournaments, finishing 16 times in the money. He has 11 top 30 finishes, and made the 2018 Bassmaster Classic after one year on the Elites Series. Before joining Bassmaster, Daniels had a successful career with FLW.