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Fans know Ott DeFoe as a competitor on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Here is how he got to that point…

Arthur (Ott) F. DeFoe was born on September 17, 1985 to Bud and Erieka DeFoe in Knoxville, TN. When he was 9 years he took a trip to Okeechobee, FL and that’s where his love for bass fishing began.

Ott fished his first tournament that fall with his dad and they did not catch a fish! From that next spring til fall they fished in over 50 tournaments. They did not have a lot of success but that did not stop him from trying. It took over two years of fishing local tournaments before they ever got their first check. When Ott turned 12 he joined the East Tennessee Bass Anglers club. It was there that he learned most of the skills he possesses today.

Jason Nichols, whom he still fishes local team trails with today, was an important part to Ott’s success. Ott started fishing the BFL Mountain division when he was 16 and still in high school. At 17, Ott finished 13th in the points in the Choo Choo division. That next year he moved up to the Stren level and success kept exceding his own expectations. When the FLW Series started up Ott fished those. He had just turned 21 when he qualified for the FLW Tour. 2009 and 2010 were solid seasons.

By finishing 5th in the 2010 Bassmaster Southern Opens Ott qualified to fish the prestigious Basssmaster Elite Series. He became the first Tennessean in the Elite Series when he accepted the invitation to fish against the top 100 Bassmaster anglers in November 2010. Ott won the 2011 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year award, finished 4th in the points and then ended the season by winning the Toyota Trucks All Star Week. He finished 2nd in the AOY standings in 2012 and followed up with a 13th place finish in 2013. In 2014 Ott won the Bassmaster Northern Open event on Douglas Lake. Earlier in the year he finished 4th in the Bassmaster Classic on Guntersville.

Ott lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife, Jennie, daughter, Abbie and twins Parker and Elizabeth. His family travels to most of the tournaments with him in support. If it weren’t for all the support his entire family shows him this would not be possible. While Ott is at home he actively participates at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and fishes the local lakes and rivers. In 2013 and 2014 Ott has hosted the Goodwill Industries Knoxville Bass Tournament to raise awareness for Goodwill.

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