Clent Davis is the 2012 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year and has put together an impressive resume in his young career with 14 top 10 finishes in only 63 events. Clent hails from Montevallo, AL where he has honed his skills for spotted bass on the Coosa River and for largemouth and smallmouth on the various Tennessee River impoundments.
The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup, held at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, will mark his second Cup appearance. We recently spoke with him to see how his pre-practice trip went and how he thinks the tournament will shake out.
Garmin: How did pre-practice go for you?
Clent: Pre-practice went well, but it was hot! I didn’t do much fishing at all. It’s the one thing that hurts you when you’re pre-practicing. You basically just want to drive around and look at your electronics for areas that are holding fish. The majority of what I did was idle around looking for fish and structure with my Garmin units for 12 hours each day. I left with over 470 brush piles marked as waypoints to fish during the tournament. I’ll figure out what baits the fish are biting when I go back for three days of practice right before the tournament. Practice only lasts about 40 hours, and that sounds like a lot, but it’s really not when you’re running around a lake that size.
Do you expect much to change between pre-practice and the tournament?
The fish may move a little deeper from where they were during pre-practice, just because the water is going to get hotter and the thermocline will be deeper. Below the thermocline is where the oxygen decreases dramatically and cold and warm water mix. You can find it with your electronics and see that a lot of fish will be sitting right along the thermocline.
Is this your first time fishing Ouachita?
I fished Ouachita as a co-angler in my first ever FLW Tour event in 2010 and finished 5th. It was a great learning experience and luckily I drew a fisherman with a lot of experience on the lake.
How have your Garmin units helped you this year and how will they help you during the Cup?
My Garmin units have been huge this year, especially during the events that I’ve been fishing offshore. I’ve found every piece of structure that I’ve caught my fish on with my electronics. When finding the brush piles at Ouachita, I’ve been setting my SideVü to shoot out about 100 feet on each side of the boat. When I’m looking for fish, I’ll be zoomed into to 40 feet on each side, just because of the size of what you’re looking for. I will say that Garmin SideVü is without a doubt the clearest and cleanest side imaging picture I’ve ever seen. I can actually zoom out and see further on each side of the boat than I ever could with any other brand of electronics. That’s been one huge key for me.
Reliability is also a big deal to me. I used something different before I switched to Garmin and it was a constant, never ending battle with my electronics locking up, and with my Garmin, I never have anything to worry about. Every day that I get in my boat, I know that my electronics are going to work.
Do you think the Cup will be won fishing deep or shallow? What type of cover are the fish relating to?
Honestly, it’s a crapshoot. I’ll be fishing deep, but this time of year, a tournament can be won in 25’ just as easy as it could be won in two feet, and that goes for just about anywhere in the country. I think it’ll be won deep because that’s where I’ll be fishing, but the guys that think it will be won shallow will be fishing shallow. I honestly wish I knew 100% what the winning pattern would be, because that’s what I’d do!
Will the grass be a factor?
The lake is full of grass right now. I’m sure it will be a factor for somebody, but it won’t be for what I’ll be doing.
Will you be running Panoptix? If so, how will it play into your strategy?
I do, and it’s been absolutely unbelievable! Being able to pull up on a spot and see the brush pile from a long distance away is just awesome. I’ve seen the fish on it and everything, but the biggest benefit of Panoptix for me personally is being able to line up the arrow on my trolling motor and make accurate casts at my target. That’s been absolutely huge for me. But it also drives you nuts when you throw at a brush pile and watch the fish follow your bait back to the boat and not bite! Sometimes I’ll change baits and it works, and sometimes it doesn’t and the fish aren’t interested, but you know they’re there and can come back later and catch them. Panoptix is a game changer in bass fishing, for sure.
What do you think it’ll take to win?
I’ll go with 62 pounds.
Thanks, for taking the time to speak with us, Clent, and good luck at the Forrest Wood Cup!
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