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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Ott DeFoe, a B.A.S.S. Elite Series rookie and Berkley pro team member, looked at his competition for the first ever Bassmaster Elite Series All Star event. The list was a who’s who list of former Classic champions, Anglers of the Year, Elite tournament victors…names like Reese, Iaconelli and Van Dam. All vying for the $100,000 top prize, DeFoe was fishing among the sports biggest names, and won.
DeFoe claimed his first Elite Series victory on the Alabama River this past weekend. DeFoe isn’t the typical Bassmaster Elite Series rookie.
As a 25 year-old, DeFoe won the Rookie of the Year title and qualified to fish the unique Bassmaster Elite Series All Star event, which placed him in elite company. The All Star tourney was spaced over two weekends. The first weekend competition included the top eight points earners from the regular season plus four anglers selected by a nationwide voting from the fans. The twelve competed against each other with the top eight moving on to the bracket style “lose and go home” finale.
“I can’t think of a better way to end a season,” said, DeFoe. “When you think about the big names in bass fishing they were here fishing this event. I was fortunate to come out on top when things were all said and done. Of both stops on the All Star series, this was by far the most nerve racking. I’ve never fished a bracket-style fishing tournament before and not to mention there wasn’t a single angler in the field that didn’t have a legitimate shot at winning this whole thing.”
DeFoe ousted fellow Berkley pro Iaconelli in the first round, Gerald Swindle in the second and topped Edwin Evers by a scant 5-ounces to claim the check.
“My sponsors were a huge help,” said DeFoe. “Without Berkley this dream of fishing professionally wouldn’t be possible. They make quality products that keeps me in the fight from start to finish.”
Many of DeFoe’s fish came on a 5-inch soft jerkbait tied on an 18-inch leader of 15-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. He worked it in a fast, erratic retrieve around schooling fish and on points. The clear fluorocarbon was ideal for the water DeFoe was fishing and the line’s strength and manageability offered exceptional casting accuracy and reliable hook sets.
Berkley anglers fishing the All Star week included: Ott DeFoe, Skeet Reese, Michael Iaconelli and Casey Ashley.
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