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Rogers: Social media connects outdoorsmen, too

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:40 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:46 p.m. CST

Social Media is an amazing phenomenon. For all of the problems that it creates, it does do a wonderful job of connecting people. Just as a small example, back when I was doing television, I had met a great videographer that worked for Strike King Lure Company.

He had helped us on several different shows we were putting together. He would also just spend time with us talking about the television world, equipment, shooting techniques and a whole lot of other “industry stuff.” Years passed, and I lost touch with him.

You guessed it, I have reconnected with him through social media. I enjoy following his posts and seeing what he is up to. A post he had this last week took me right back down memory lane. He is producing a new fishing show, Catch ’Em Lane. The show features bass angler Mark Davis. It is going to highlight this personable professional from Arkansas and highlight many hilarious stories as well as his fish catching techniques.

When I saw that Mark was going to be the focus on this new show, I couldn’t have been happier for him. You see, I once had the opportunity to fish with Mark.

One hot summer’s day, my partner and I were filming some segments at a local rod manufacturer in central Illinois. While we were there, my cell phone rang. It was a friend from Strike King.  He asked, “Hey, how would you like to film an episode with Mark Davis?”

Let me think about that a moment. Uh, yes. Mark had just won the Bassmaster Classic recently as well as the coveted Angler of the Year award. He was a hot commodity on the circuit so this was a golden opportunity for us to spend time with him. Just a few days later, we had the boat hooked up and were headed to Mt. Ida, Arkansas. Mark grew up there and cut his fishing teeth on the infamous Lake Ouachita.  

The next morning at the boat ramp we waited. Soon, we saw his pickup truck pull in and he stepped out. It is a strange sensation when you have only seen someone in pictures or on television and then meet them in person for the first time. He had on that same, infectious smile that he always wears. His sun-soaked skin matched his reddish brown hair and his gait announced that, yes, this is someone who has spent a lifetime on a trolling motor pedal and has a sore back.  

He approached and greeted us with an open hand and that famous, thick, southern drawl of his. He said we were going to catch some fish on a deep diving crankbait. Got it. Then he said, “It may take a while to find them, but when we do, we’ll catch them good.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant by that until we hauled empty water for half a day without a bite. We were searching an old creek channel and it was hot with no breeze. The water was calm like glass. I’ll be honest, I was focused more on something cold to drink than catching fish. Then he caught a little one. The next words out of his mouth were, “Steve, get ready.”

I thought that was odd. He just caught a pound nothing with fins, and he wants to get ready? Boy, was he right. For the next forty-five minutes we caught fish on nearly every cast. I had never experienced anything like it. There were no back-breaking monsters, just lots of quality fish in that 2-3 pound range. What I couldn’t get over was the vast amount we were catching. It seemed to be endless. When we wore them out with a crankbait he told me to put on a Carolina rig and we continued to catch them.

When I saw the name of Mark Davis’ new show, Catch ’Em Lane, I couldn’t help but smile. You got that right. That boy can catch them. I look forward to seeing the show and not only watching him teach us how to catch more fish, but also listening to all of his endless tales and misadventures from his years as a professional angler.  

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