SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — While he played some of his success off as luck, Davy Hite always seemed to have a well-orchestrated plan for success.
With two event wins in his early career, Davy Hite became a well-known commodity in the bass fishing world when he claimed the 1997 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year title, his first of two. He credited a pair of red boxer shorts he wore for bringing him luck much of that season.
“I eventually wore the elastic out of them, ‘rebuilt’ them with more elastic, then when the second elastic wore out, I had a piece of them on me when I won my second title in 2002,” he said for a 2010 interview. “It's funny that I’d say this when you consider I have a lucky pair or underwear, but I don't believe in luck. I really don't. I think that good and bad things happen in our lives, and what you make of them is your luck.”
Hite made plenty of his own luck, winning eight Bassmaster events, including the 1999 Classic, to stand tied for ninth all-time in wins. In 253 events, the angler from Ninety-Six, S.C., was also runner-up nine times and had 114 top 30 finishes. He retired from competitive fishing in 2016 just $10,000 shy of the $2 million in B.A.S.S. earnings for a move to the other side of the camera.
As one of just 11 anglers with multiple AOY titles, Hite was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF) this month alongside David Fritts and Mark Davis. Those three are among the 12 anglers with both AOY and Classic crowns, and he said he was honored to go in the hall with them, Zoom Bait Company founder Ed Chambers and longtime Bassmaster Magazine illustrator Chris Armstrong.
In his induction speech, Hite often referred to a P.D. James quote used when his co-host Tommy Sanders spoke at his induction a year earlier:
“The world is changed not by the self-regrading, but the men and women prepared to make fools of themselves.”
“The more I thought about that — Tommy has some wisdom — it’s really true,” Hite said. “We all as fishermen have foolish dreams. To be a professional fisherman was just absolutely crazy for me.”