When the Bassmaster Elite Series resumes at the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, Mark Davis won’t be fishing. He’s taking a medical hardship to have his hip replaced.
“It started hurting me last summer,” said Davis. “Champlain was the first tournament it started bothering my fishing. Over the winter it went downhill fast. The x-rays showed it was bone on bone.
“I had hoped to limp through the year. But it’s very evident I can’t do that. At the Classic I nearly fell out of the boat getting my fish out of the livewell.”
Davis, who is 54, will have hip replacement surgery this spring. He plans to come back stronger for the 2019 season.
“I might be able to make it a while longer, but fishing these multi-day events, standing on your feet the whole time, I just can’t do it,” said Davis. “If I didn’t fish for a living I could probably put it off for a while.”
Davis said he hoped to combat the pain by fishing sitting down more this year. “I even bought one of those high dollar seats,” he said. “I just can’t fish sitting down. I’ve been doing it standing up for 32 years.”
Davis finished 105th at Lake Martin, the first Elite Series tournament of 2018. He finished 24th at the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Davis is a three-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and the 1995 Classic champion. He lives in Mt. Ida, Arkansas.
Beginning with the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River presented by Econo Lodge the Elite field will drop down to 109 anglers. The Day 2 cut will remain at 51 anglers.