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John's Journal... Entry 243, Day 3


Throw It All Out The Window Again

Editor's Note: The most-difficult question for a bass fisherman to answer is, "How do you know when to change lures, when to change water and when to change fishing techniques?" Often the difference in catching bass and not catching bass is your ability to know when to change. Making the right decisions at the correct times will spell victory or defeat for a tournament bass fisherman or a weekend angler. On Table Rock Lake in Missouri, during the second week of March, Mark Davis' ability to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em was the reason he won $100,000 in the BASS tournament there. If you'll read each day's upload this week, you'll see how Davis made those critical decisions at the right time each day to catch more bass than the best 150 fishermen in the nation. This week's information may be some of the most important you'll learn about catching bass. So, don't miss a day this week.

Question: Mark, on Day 2 of the tournament, you were sitting in second position. You had a pattern and a technique that was producing some of the biggest bass in the tournament. What did you decide to do?
Davis: On the second day of the tournament, I saw that the water had cleared-up and that the little feeder creeks that had been bringing in warm, muddy water were now running clear water. The weatherman had predicted that we would get more rain on this day, but he was wrong. We didn't get a drop of rain. I knew that after those Ozark Mountain creeks ran muddy water for about 24 hours after a rain, they'd start to clear up. Since those creeks were moving clear water out into the lake instead of muddy water, I knew the pattern I'd used the day before wasn't going to work.

I realized I had to back off the heads of these creeks, find some stained water and continue to fish stained water. I needed to find different creeks from the ones I'd fished the first day of the tournament. I still believed the bass would be in the stained water. I also knew that I needed to lay down the spinner bait and pick up the jig to fish that stained water away from the heads of the creeks. I decided to use the Strike King 3/8-ounce Premier Elite Jig in the black and blue color. I also returned to the Series 3 crankbait. However, instead of fishing the brown-crawfish color, I wanted to use the chartreuse root beer color. I would cast the jig, fish it on the bottom and cast and retrieve that little crankbait.

Question: How were you fishing the jig?
Davis: I was casting the jig straight to the bank, crawling it and hopping it right on the bottom and fishing it really slowly, much like you would fish a plastic worm. But I was hopping it a little bit more than you'd hop a plastic worm.

Question: How and where were you fishing the crankbait?
Davis: I was paralleling rock bluffs the same way I was in practice. I'm paralleling the rock bluffs and covering a lot of water. I'm fishing the crankbait slow and trying to keep it in contact with the bottom. I try to hit rocks with it and pause it after it hits the rocks.

Question: So, how did you finish the second day of the tournament?
Davis: I had 14 pounds 9 ounces, which kept me in second place. I felt that I knew how to catch the bass that would win the tournament if I could continue to make right decisions every time the water and weather conditions changed. I knew that I had to treat each day as a new day. I also realized that although I might be able to use some of the knowledge I'd gained from the previous day of fishing, I might have to completely switch my tactics if fishing conditions changed. I had confidence based on having to go to new water to find fish the first day of the tournament after my practice and having to change and go to new water the second day of the tournament. So I knew that if I had to change water and patterns on the third day I could make right decisions. That confidence factor and my ability to make right decisions were two of the most-critical ingredients to finding fish, catching bass and winning tournaments.

Question: How did you finish day two?
Davis: I had made the first cut. I was tied with Roland Martin for second place.

Visit the Strike King Web site to learn more.




Check back each day this week for more about MARK DAVIS - BASS FISHING'S TOUGHEST QUESTIONS ANSWERED ...

Day 1 - Establishing the Pattern
Day 2 - Throw It All Out The Window
Day 3 - Throw It All Out The Window Again
Day 4 - Having To Share Water
Day 5 - Knowing When To Hold 'Em And When To Fold 'Em Pays Off

John's Journal