Thanks in part to a Mister Twister Mag 12 BUZZ worm, FLW Tour pro Clent Davis found himself on the right side of bass fishing history a few days ago.
In fact, Davis used the foot-long plastic worm to go from actually thinking of walking away from the sport late last year to claiming one of bass fishing’s biggest paydays and most prestigious trophies only a few months later.
According to a FLW Tour news release, Davis’ run to becoming the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup champion this past weekend actually commenced last fall when FLW Senior Director of Tournament Operations Bill Taylor called about him returning to FLW after competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series the previous two years.
Despite being on the edge of competitive fishing burnout, Davis returned to FLW Tour competition this season and the rest is now professional angling history.
Davis’ claim to newfound bass fishing fame started last Sunday, when the Montevallo, Ala. pro surged a record nine spots up the final day leaderboard despite beginning the third round on Arkansas’Lake Ouachita mired in 10th place.
Battling tough summertime conditions, Davis brought home a 17-pound, 13-ounce limit of five bass to top the scales and win the $300,000 top prize. His three-day total of 36 pounds, 13 ounces was more than seven pounds better than Van, Texas’ James Niggemeyer, who claimed the $60,000 second-place prize with a three-day weight total of 29-9.
“I don’t even know what to do or what I’m feeling,” Davis stated on the confetti-covered stage after the final weigh-in. “This is incredible.”
Mixing a big plum-apple colored Mister Twister plastic worm with a hollow belly swimbait and a Yo-Zuri 3DR Pencil Topwater, Davis focused on running dozens of brush piles in 22 to 30-feet of water.
He admitted that he learned his winning tactic on Ouachita from one of the sport’s best, Arkansas pro Scott Suggs.
Suggs, who is also a Major League Fishing Summit Cup champion, won the Forrest Wood Cup title and its then $1 million dollar winner’s payday while fishing at Ouachita back in 2007.
“My first event as a co-angler in 2010, I drew Scott Suggs,” said Davis. “I got a good lesson. I have no clue where we fished. I just understood he threw a big worm and a swimbait.”
When Davis qualified for this year’s Forrest Wood Cup, it didn’t take him long to figure out what he was going to do.
“I’m a decent offshore fisherman, but I think I’m a really good brush pile fisherman,” he said. “So that was the only thing I was going to do since day one.”
Niggemeyer, also a former Bassmaster Elite Series competitor, finished in second place despite having no real dominant pattern. The Strike King pro from East Texas grinded his way to his big payday with a KVD Sexy Dawg topwater and a buzzbait.
“I’d catch one off a point and think that was going to be it,” said Niggemeyer in a FLW Tour news release. “Then I’d catch one off a straight bank. Then one in a pocket. One off rock. One off clay. One off timber.
“It was just so random,” he added. “I had to fish with an open mind the entire time and burn the bank.”
Niggemeyer, one of the most humble and likable tournament pros in the business, could have been left wondering about what might have been after he weighed in only 14 of a potential 15 bass over the event’s three days.
In the end, the man of deep Christian faith chose to focus on the positives.
“I was really blessed this tournament,” said Niggemeyer. “I just turned my mind off and stayed on the trolling motor.”