Although a decade ago, Davy Hite fondly recalls his big doings in northwest Alabama, site of this week’s Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake, where he expects more big doings.
Hite won going away in the 2011 Elite tournament, his eighth in B.A.S.S., then competed five more years before becoming a Bassmaster TV analyst. The win came 17 years after his first, with a Classic title and two Angler of the Year titles in between. Hite spoke on stage then how much the victory meant, and he reiterated that this week.
“You remember all your Bassmaster victories and don’t take any of them for granted, but even at that point in my career, they started meaning more,” he said. “I certainly appreciated it. People who saw the show, you could see my emotions on the stage. They were even greater than some emotions earlier in my career.
“Your first victory means so much — I’m not downplaying any victory — but at that point I was thinking, ‘Wow, you never know when it will be your last one.’”
Pickwick would be his final victory in a Bass Fishing Hall of Fame career, so as time marched on, it’s taken on more meaning. He still espouses shooting for the win, which at times left him outside the cut or down in points. At Pickwick, Hite was near the top early then put his foot on the gas, weighing in three bags of more than 20 pounds to win with 84-9.
“When you’re on the Tennessee River, and especially Pickwick, you have to have 20-plus pound stringers to win,” Hite said.
More than that will be needed this week, Hite believes. Before the season began, he made a bold prediction that the Pickwick winner might eclipse 100 pounds. Noting a recent tournament where it took almost 28 pounds to win and with five bags topping 25, he’s not backing down.