ALPENA, MI – He has almost as many surgeries under his belt as he has fingers on his casting hand, but MLF Pro Mark Davis doesn’t plan to allow aches and pains to limit his productivity this week on the lakes around Alpena, Michigan.
Davis, a three-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year and the 1995 Bassmaster Classic champion, came into the Alpena event with an achy right shoulder, a condition that the Arkansas native has learned to deal with over the latter half of his 33-year career. He’s had two surgeries on his right shoulder (torn labrum), one on his left shoulder (rotator cuff), and one on his left elbow.
“My right shoulder is hurting me pretty bad right now, but that’s not new to me,” Davis admits. “I’ve had enough experience with these things now that I’m pretty sure it’s a rotator cuff issue. That kind of injury will usually improve a little if I give it some rest, but I know I don’t have much time for that this week.”
Davis comes into the week with a little bit of a chip on that sore shoulder about his performance the last time the Cup came to Alpena in 2014. Davis caught only three fish for 8 pounds, 15 ounces in his Elimination Round at that event, which just happened to be the round that Kevin VanDam obliterated the rest of the eight-man field with 66-14 and a 40-pound margin over Mike McClelland in second place.
“Man, I really stunk it up that day on Lake Hubbard,” Davis admits. “I mean, I had just a terrible round, and Kevin made us all look like we were a bunch of little school children. I feel like I owe him one.”