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Fisher Davis joins ETBU fishing team

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online

MOUNT IDA – Fisher Davis took the next step in fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional angler Monday when he signed a letter of intent to join the bass fishing team at East Texas Baptist University.

Fisher Davis brings a wealth of success at the high school level with him to ETBU with a string of state titles under his belt, as well as a Junior World Championship. Davis set the bar high early in his career when he travelled to Lake Gunterville, Alabama in the summer of 2016 for the BASS Federation Junior World Championships. He overcame a tough first day of fishing to win the tournament and become a Junior World Champion.

Davis and his partner Fisher Bissell, known across the state as “Team Fisher” have been a vital part of Mount Ida’s fishing team’s success and have set the bar high for the next generation of young anglers. The pair have won consecutive state titles and have competed in multiple national tournaments.

He joins the ETBU Tiger Fishing Team as an exciting time for the program. Assistant Coach Bryan Thomas was on hand for the signing. He explained that the program is expanding to 16 members as it enters their fifth year of competition. Davis will be one of six incoming freshmen on the team and is expected to contribute on day one.

Pictured left to right: (Seated) Fisher Davis; (Standing) Hunter Davis, Tilly Davis, Mark Davis, Derek Sandlin, Bryan Thomas. – Photo by Dewayne Holloway

One of the things that attracted Davis to ETBU is the fact that the program is a school owned and sponsored program. Many college fishing teams are club sports which operate with little to no school support. Thomas stated that school administration felt it wasn’t fair for anglers to represent the school and not receive school funding.

Currently the school owns four FX Model Skeeter boats and a truck. Team members can receive a $5,000 per year scholarship for participating on the team. Thomas added that ETBU is one of only a dozen or so schools who support their fishing team. Doing so is an excellent marketing tool for the school. He shared that he has talked to prospective students as far away as Colorado who were aware of the school because they had seen the team’s boats on TV at fishing tournaments. The small school, which is located in Marshall, Texas, competes regionally and nationally which gives them an opportunity to recruit through the fishing program.

The team is more than a marketing program. They were most recently named the FLW Circuit Southern Conference School of the Year. The program started small with eight members, grew to 14 and now expands to 16 with the current class. Davis will be joined at ETBU by fellow Arkansan Ty Gentry from Lockesburg.

Thomas shared that the bass fishing team is a big part of the school’s campus. He stated that the bass fishing program brings in 16 kids to school that averages around 1,500 students per year.

He’s excited about adding Davis to the team and admitted that he has been on the team’s radar since junior high.

Davis is the son of Mark And Tilly Davis. Mark casts a long shadow in the professional fishing world. He is a recent inductee into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Hall of Fame this year. Mark has had and continues to have a lot of success as a professional fisherman.

While some sons might feel intimidated, Fisher sees his father’s legacy as an example to follow. He will be pursuing a mass communications degree while attending ETBU, but his goal is to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a professional angler.

Fisher stated that he was looking forward to joining the team at ETBU and continuing his path to become a professional angler. He was surrounded by family and friends at Tilly’s studio in Mount Ida for the letter of intent signing Monday.

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