Clent Davis of Montevallo, Alabama has successfully pulled off a historic comeback to win the Fishing League Worldwide’s (FLW) 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the first angler to start the final day in 10th place and finish in first.
Davis came into the live weighing event Sunday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces – the heaviest limit weighed in the three-day event.
“I fished awful all week, losing fish, but I caught enough to squeak into the top-10 by 1 ounce,” Davis said. “I’m not supposed to win coming out in 10th place, so I went out today and just had fun. I had an incredible day on the water today and finally got lucky, catching my 5-pound kicker. I guess it was just my time.”
Davis also amassed 15 fish, totaling 36 pounds, 13 ounces, seven pounds better than second-place James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas, to win the $300,000 top cash prize.
“I don’t believe that I just won this,” Davis said on winning the entire competition. “I almost walked away from professional bass fishing last year. I was burned out on fishing. I sold all my gear – my boat, all of my rods, my reels, every piece of equipment I had. It wasn’t from failure. It was because I was burned out.”
Davis returned to the world of competitive fishing when he was invited by FLW Tour Senior Tournament Director Bill Taylor.
“Bill Taylor called me in November and asked me if I was interested in rejoining the Tour,” Davis said on the invitation. “I decided to pay my deposits, but I was still on the fence. I decided that if I wasn’t fired up to go fishing by the time the season started, I would forfeit my deposits and go to work at the power company. But, I started getting the itch back around Christmas time and I decided I was going to get back out and just have fun, again. That’s what fishing is all about. It’s supposed to be fun.”
It’s no surprise that Davis’ decision to rejoin the Tour was the correct one as he went on to finish the season ranked No. 25 in the Angler of the Year race – his best finish on the Tour since his rookie season.
The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas was hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs. Total attendance for the three-day event was 66,293 fishing fans.
The Bank of the Ozarks Arena was at 100-percent capacity on Sunday and an overflow of fans watched the Justin Moore concert and final weigh-ins on a big screen at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Here is a list of the Top 10 finishers in the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita.
1st Clent Davis of Montevallo, Alabama, 15 bass, 36-13, $300,000
2nd Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops pro James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas, 14 bass, 29-9, $60,000
3rd Berkley pro Justin Atkins of Florence, Alabama, 15 bass, 28-12, $50,000
4th Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Lousiana, 12 bass, 28-6, $37,500
5th Jason Lambert of Michie, Tennessee, 15 bass, 27-15, $30,000
6th Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, 15 bass, 26-13, $24,000
7th Wes Logan of Springville, Alabama, 11 bass, 25-9, $23,000
8th John Cox of DeBary, Florida, 13 bass, 24-7, $22,000
9th Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, South Carolina, 12 bass, 23-1, $21,000
10th Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina, 9 bass, 20-8, $20,000