John's Journal...


The Streak

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Davis of Mt. Ida, Arkansas, has won three of the five Bassmasters Elite 50 tournaments with the participants chosen from the top Angler-of-The-Year finishers on the Bassmasters circuit for the past three years, along with the top-10 all-time money Bassmasters winners. Bassmasters has designated these 50 anglers as the best bass professional fishermen in the world. The events of this type of tournament include competition among all 50 contestants the first two days. Then the tournament eliminates all but the top 12 fishermen, who have all their fish weights erased to allow all 12 to compete equally. The course, which originally has included almost anywhere on a lake, also changes. Bassmasters declares six areas off-limits, and the fishermen have to fish the final two days in each ofClick to enlarge these six areas. This Elite 50 competition tests all aspects of bass-fishing skills. For any one angler to win three out of five of these events, he has to know bass inside and out and be doing something different from the other fishermen. This week, I’ll pick Davis's brain to learn how he's beat the best of the best in three out of five competitions and how you can become the best bass fisherman you can.

There's no doubt about the fact that I was on a winning streak last year. But, this year I tore up my shoulder and had to have shoulder surgery. I had an absolutely terrible touring season this year, and after six events, I was in 88th place. I didn't cash any checks from tournament winnings during the first four events and just slowly began to crawl out of the gutter in the last two events. But I wasn't healthy. I'd have to say I was really on a winning streak in the 2003-2004 season. But then this year I seemed to have lost the streak.

Click to enlargeHowever, after winning the $100,000 at Smith Lake in April 2005, I feel that I'm fishing as well as I did last year. I think the way you get into a winning streak in fishing is just like you do in any other sports. You work your way into that streak. You have to fish a lot. You have to work hard when you're fishing, and as you start fishing better and better, your confidence level builds. Then you get in that mental zone where all tournament fishermen want to be. The way you lose the streak is when you get complacent and comfortable and you lose that hunger to win. When you lose that intensity, then you lose the streak and you won't do well. To be a winning bass fisherman, you have to keep the eye of the tiger. I believe, as we get older, keeping that high-intensity level to compete gets tougher. To keep my level of intensity high, I know that I have to fish a lot. When I'm fishing in a tournament and catching a lot of bass, I go straight home to Lake Ouachita and continue to fish. When I'm traveling from tournament to tournament, and I have an off-day between tournaments, I find a lake and go fishing. I fish really hard then because I'm trying to stay focused on my fishing. I keep my casting and fishing abilities sharp and try not to let myself get rusty. When you askClick to enlarge a pro golfer how he stays on top of his game, he simply says "I go play golf." To stay on top of your game as a tournament bass fisherman, you've got fish. The more you fish, the better you fish. I feel really fortunate and blessed that bass fishing is something I never tire of doing. I still fish about 175 days a year, which is the secret of winning I believe. You have to put the time in on the water, stay focused on bass fishing and keep on fishing. The only way you can do that is if you really love the sport as much as I do.


Check back each day this week for more about MORE ON MARK DAVIS AND HIS $100,000 WEEKEND

Day 1: Versatility, Adaptability and Reading Skills - Keys to Success
Day 2: Patience
Day 3: Know When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em
Day 4: Stay in Focus
Day 5: The Streak



Entry 301, Day 5