Davy Hite Wins Alabama Charge!
Article Courtesy of BASS.
Davy Hite earned the toughest and sweetest victory of his career Saturday.
Someone else who already owned seven Bassmaster titles maybe wouldnâ€™t have shown such emotion. Hite did as he took the Alabama Charge trophy.Â
â€œI donâ€™t take for granted winning No. 8, I promise you,â€ he said. â€œThis is as meaningful to me as the first one I ever won. Itâ€™s like a drug; I canâ€™t describe the way it feels to win one of these things.Â
â€œI wanted it really bad. Iâ€™m just going to be honest here, although I hate to admit it: Probably at No. 4, 5 or 6 â€” somewhere in there â€” I kind of took it (winning) for granted. I wanted this one as bad as the first one I ever won.â€
Hiteâ€™s latest victory was worth $100,000 and an instant entry into the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, his 14th qualification and first since 2009.Â
He said the Classic qualification, his 13th, makes him rest easy on that score for the rest of the season.
â€œItâ€™s huge for me,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve missed one or two, barely missed them, and I donâ€™t feel like Iâ€™ve done my sponsors justice if I donâ€™t qualify each and every year. It starts to wear on me mentally, so it means a lot for me to be there for them, thatâ€™s their showcase.â€Â
After leading for two days, Hite won the Pickwick Lake event with a four-day total of 84 pounds, 9 ounces. He ended with 8 pounds more than Bobby Lane, who totaled 76-9 for second place.
Hiteâ€™s wide margin of victory was deceptive. He had to fight all week, staving off hard-chargers that included Poche in the No. 2 spot for two days running.Â
Falling water levels changed the game at Hiteâ€™s primary area, the tailwaters of the Wilson Dam. He said he knew the water had dropped even before he arrived at the dam Saturday morning. He had marked an object at the waterâ€™s edge Friday, and checked it Saturday morning before takeoff. Thatâ€™s how he knew the bite was not going to be quite the same for the final round.
The tip-off helped him quickly adjust and decide to stick with the dam.Â
â€œI went there and knew thereâ€™d still be fish there, that Iâ€™d just have to learn how to catch them with slower water. I knew it would be harder and I wouldnâ€™t get as many bites. It had worked for three days, I couldnâ€™t go looking for flipping fish the last day.
â€œIt was a grind. I knew God shined on me bright when I heard that horn go off at 11 oâ€™clock. I knew then I had a real chance.â€
Hiteâ€™s first fish of the day came to him at 9:30 a.m., a short distance downstream from the dam. It was a 14-incher. When the horn blew at 11 oâ€™clock, Hite positioned himself close to the dam and got ready to key in on bass after the shad that the dam water was producing.Â
â€œWhen the water started moving, I grinned from ear-to-ear. I knew I had a great chance to make it happen. They (bass) sit in the slack water, and those shad come by, just thousands and thousands of big shad. (Bass) sit at the buffet, and when the filet comes by, they eat it.â€
But it took him almost four hours, until 3 p.m., to fill his livewell, an average of one bass an hour. Just before he had to call it a day and head back to the docks, he was able to cull the first squeaker with a 4-pounder.
Every fish he weighed in was on a 5-inch Berkley Hollow Belly, he said. He rigged it with either a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce Gary Yamamoto swimbait head with a 5/0 hook, using glue to secure the bait to the lead.Â
The rotating action of the out-of-bait weight was a key to his bites, Hite said. Lure size was important, too; he matched his lure to the average size of the shad he was seeing.