Knoxville native Ott DeFoe won the 2019 Bassmaster Classic Sunday evening. Over the course of the 3-day tournament, DeFoe caught 15 bass with a combined weight of 49 pounds, 3 ounces.

For a full look at the standings from the tournament, click here.

Fifty-two of the world’s best anglers came to East Tennessee to take part in “the Super Bowl of bass fishing.” 2019 was the 49th year for the competition, the first of which to be held in Knoxville.

DeFoe accepted his trophy while standing on stage at Thompson-Boling Arena. An announcer called DeFoe a “hometown hero.”

“To win a Bassmaster Classic period is absolutely amazing, but to win one at home in front of all my family, my friends – all those people I either fished with or just grew up with makes this event extremely special,” said DeFoe.

DeFoe was the angler in the lead on day one, competing with 52 of the country’s best, but the Knoxville native struggled on day two.

“It was very hard on me and I felt like – mentally, I had given the tournament away a little bit,” DeFoe said. “But when I woke up on that final morning, I’d read a text that Jenny had sent me the night before. She’d sent me the Bible verse that’s on my jersey and told me how much peace she had about this event,and that really calmed me.”

DeFoe credits his family, faith and hometown support for pushing him through to come out on top.

“The Bassmaster Classic for sure is the biggest thing in bass fishing bar none, it’s the one event – that one win – can make your whole career as a professional angler. You win this one event, if you manage it well, you can build a whole career out of that event and it feels pretty good to know that I’ve done that.”

Jefferson County High School staff congratulate Ott DeFoe after winning 2019 Bassmaster Classic

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