Monday Trivia – Name That Angler Answer and Winner

Youth Pic

A five-year-old Mark Davis seems a little shy holding this big trout. Photo courtesy of Tilly Davis.

Congratulations to JWM for winning this week’s trivia contest! This makes it his third win! To see the answers to this week’s contest, read below.

The picture is a little bit grainy, so it may be a little tough to decipher, but if you look closely the five year old pictured here with his prized catch resembles the professional angler he’s become decades later.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, you’ll need to answer the following three questions:

  1. Who is the angler pictured above?
  2. What lake did he guide on before embarking on his pro career?
  3. What lure did he introduce to the public in his first B.A.S.S. win?

Here are the answers.

The young man staring at the camera like a deer in headlights went on to become the first angler in B.A.S.S. history to win the Angler of the Year title and the Classic in the same season. It’s Mark Davis of Mt. Ida Arkansas, who achieved that feat in 1995.

He now has five B.A.S.S. wins under his belt, but the first came on the biggest stage of all, the Bassmaster Classic. Davis won the August 1995 Classic on North Carolina’s High Rock Lake with a three day total of 47 pounds 14 ounces.

That week Davis showed the world that he was one of the best post-spawn and summertime anglers in the world. He’d largely developed those skills by guiding on Lake Ouachita, beginning in his teenage years. As he told the Strike King Journal:

When I was a youngster, my dad had a boat on the lake. He also had a motorcycle that I could ride back-and-forth to the lake. So, as soon as I was big enough to ride the motorcycle, I went fishing almost every day. I’d even play hooky from school and go fishing.

I had a friend who was a guide, and he told me one time, “Mark, why don’t you start guiding fishermen?” I really didn’t have any confidence in my ability to guide people to fish but this gentleman just told me, “Mark, all you’ve got to do is to take folks fishing, let them catch most of the fish and when they get through fishing, clean the fish for them, and then send them on your way. You need to take care of the folks, make sure they have a good time and be safe with them.”

Well, a few days later, he gave me my first guide trip. I took some folks crappie fishing for four hours, and we caught 24 crappie. At the end of the trip I got two, $20 bills. Remember, I was 15-years old, and $40 was more than most men made working all day long at that time. I said to myself, “This fishing for money is the life for me.”

I guided all the way through high school. Then my dad had a heart attack at the end of my senior year, and I put off plans for college for a year. Guiding fishermen proved to be so profitable for me that I never went to college. Next I started fishing tournaments every time I could get enough money to enter one. I became a professional angler when I was 21, and I’ve been fishing for a living ever since.

His Classic win was also notable because it introduced the fishing world to one of the most celebrated deep diving crankbaits in history, the Bomber Fat Free Shad. He’d caught many of his fish on a topwater lure, but when his water muddied up, he had to hit some deepwater spots. There he caught a few fish on a 1-ounce spinnerbait, but also did a great deal of damage with the not-yet-on-the-market crankbait.

While the lure had Bill Dance’s signature on its side, it quickly became associated with Davis. Not only did he earn his career-defining victory with it, but it also became intertwined with his own personal story – before his breakout season he’d dropped 100 pounds and credited his reduced weight and increased stamina with his improved abilities.