KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville native Ott DeFoe won the "Super Bowl of bass fishing" with a total weigh in of 49 pounds and 3 ounces between 15 fish on Sunday, Mar. 17.
The Knoxville native has competed in the Bassmaster Classic seven times, and finally took home the ultimate prize on Sunday.
"That weigh-in is something I won't forget for a very, very long time," DeFoe told 10News. "I had dreamed about that happening, but for it to finally come true was really special."
DeFoe admitted he didn't realize how much he would cry once he stepped on the weigh in stage in Thompson-Boling Arena.
On Friday, DeFoe took the Day 1 lead in the Classic after he caught eight keeper bass, with his best five weighing in at 20 pounds.
He said he struggled on the second day but made a comeback on the third day to take the win because he was able to "fish freer."
"It was God's plan the whole time, that's exactly what it was," DeFoe said.
He didn't know if he would win when he was on the water on Sunday, but the bass fishing reporters started to stick close to him. He said they usually try to stay with the potential winners.
"I didn't allow myself to take my foot off the gas," DeFoe said. "I just made a really important catch late in the day that added a couple more ounces to my bag."
DeFoe said knowing the waterways was also a big advantage in the competition, and the significance of his win is certainly not lost.
"This trophy, right here, is really the trophy that can make your career for the rest of it," DeFoe said. "That's what so special about that trophy, right there. It's not about the check that comes with it. It's that title and the fact that you're a world champion, a Bassmaster Classic champion."
The only question that remains: If football players go to Disney World after winning the Super Bowl, where do fishermen go after winning the "Super Bowl of bass fishing?"