South Side Social
From Hobby to the Biggest StageMonday, January 23, 2012 By Wesley Jones
Sitting on the lake catching bass all day sounds like a great hobby, but it can be a great profession. Ott DeFoe is now in his second year on the Bassmaster Elite Series. The Knoxville native, finished fourth in the overall standings last year. “I love the outdoors and I am a competitive person,” said Ott. During his rookie season Ott wonthe Rookie of the Year award. “I was always testing the next level to see if I could compete,” said Ott. Professional anglers travel all over the country and win money, boats, trucks, and free gear. “Number one would be getting to fish new places all the time,” Ott said when asked about what he likes best about professional fishing. Going from fishing for a hobby to a profession takes a lot of work. “Read, practice, and spend as much time on the water as possible,” said Ott. Ott started in the FLW Outdoors series and worked his way up through the leagues to the top. If you want to become a professional angler you should find a local club and work your way through the circuits. One club around here is the West Tennessee Elite Bass Club in Memphis. Another way to make it is to go through the collegiate tour. If your high school has a fishing team you should try to make the team. If they do not have one, try to get into a college that has a fishing team. There are colleges all over the country that have fishing teams. Bethel University is one example from West Tennessee. If your high school has a team your team would enter the state tournament and if your team wins then you could win scholarships. Once you graduate from the collegiate level, you have most likely made a name for yourself in the national bass fishing community. If you have made a big enough name for yourself you may be invited to tournaments all over the country. Bass fishing is one of the best, if not the best hobby. “It’s a great sport that teaches you about all aspects of life. It can also keep you out of trouble in your free time,” said Ott.