Thirty-two-year-old Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, fished his first bass tournament when he was nine, and he’s continued to fish bass tournaments for 23 years. He first started fishing on the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2011 and won the Rookie Of the Year award. He won the All-Star Tournament, and in 2016, he won the Elite Series tournament on the Mississippi River. He’s won several Bassmaster Open tournaments, and he's qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics
When you think about the outdoors, you think about Mossy Oak. The company has been in the outdoor industry over 30 years. When I had the opportunity to wear Mossy Oak’s fishing pattern, Elements Agua, I knew that it would be a pattern what would fit well with anglers. I also was convinced that Mossy Oak would make the best patterns that a fisherman could wear, because the company has made the best hunting patterns a hunter could wear. So, when I had the opportunity to work with Mossy Oak, I jumped at the chance.
I've been asked, “Why have tournament fishermen started wearing long-sleeved shirts, hoods and masks in the summertime?”
Over the years, anglers have learned how important protecting their skin is from the harmful rays of the sun. We’re out on the water all year long. One thing that fishermen tend to forget is that the sun comes from two directions - from above, and then as it reflects back off the water. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt in the Elements Agua high-tech material helps me be more efficient as a tournament angler. I also wear the neck gaiter that some people call a mask. It protects my face, my neck and the back of my head from the sun. I also wear gloves. I want to be as completely covered as I can be.
For me, wearing this lightweight, breathable, extremely comfortable clothing is much more efficient and much less time consuming than putting on sunscreen three or four times during a day of fishing. To be efficient and to perform at my best in a tournament, I have to spend as much time as I possibly can with my lures in the water. Therefore, when I don’t have to continually reapply sunscreen, I'm picking up minutes fishing. When I started wearing long-sleeved shirts, one thing that really surprised me was how cool they kept my body and how comfortable they were in very hot weather. The new Elements Agua pattern that Mossy Oak produces from the high tech-material that Huk uses and will producing in Elements Agua is very breathable and comfortable, and provides the sun protection pro fishermen need.
My favorite way to fish for bass is to fish in shallow water. If I'm fishing a fairly clear lake, I am convinced that the fish can see me. So, being able to camouflage myself against the sky and against whatever background I'm in gives me an advantage over the anglers who don’t wear a pattern that mimics the natural environment.
Watch Ott DeFoe on Mossy Oak's original digital series "Elements."