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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Berkley pro Ott Defoe created quite an impact in his first year on the B.A.S.S. Elite Tournament Trail. The 25-year old native of Knoxville, TN, captured the 2011 B.A.S.S. Rookie of the Year in strong fashion. Not only did he out fish the other 15 rookies on the trail, he just about beat out the entire lot of the best bass anglers in the world, finishing fourth just 206 points behind the Angler of the Year. Defoe not only qualifies to compete in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, his high finish sends him to the post season to compete against 12 of the very best of 2012 in a two tournament race for $100,000 winner take all.
“To come into this and win Rookie of the Year means a lot to me,” he said. “The winner can always say he was the best in his freshman class of anglers entering the Elite Series. It gives you a lot of credibility. I am extremely proud to qualify for the postseason and the Classic in my rookie year and represent Berkley and their great products.”
Defoe’s successful year included seven of eight top 50 cuts (he missed the cut at the Arkansas River event) and made the top 12 twice. The father of three, including twins delivered in June three days prior to the Arkansas River tournament, accepted the Rookie of the Year award with the entire family on hand on Father’s Day.
Competing in his first tournament at the age of 9, Defoe started competing on the FLW circuit when he was 16. He qualified to compete in four FLW championships. He won his Elite status by finishing third in the Southern Opens, his first year to fish in the B.A.S.S. tournaments.
Defoe is sponsored by Berkley line and baits as well as Abu Garcia and Spiderwire