KNOXVILLE is the capital of the fishing world – March 2019.
More than 153,000 men, women and children showed up at the Bassmaster Classic Expo at the Knoxville Convention Center on the World’s Fair Park in Knoxville. The days began early at the Volunteer Landing docks on the shore of Fort Loudoun Lake with the blast-off at first rays each morning.
Most to the Bassmaster pros charged down the Tennessee River to the area between lakefront communities of Louisville and Friendsville. However, Concord on the North side of the lake was the main focus for all three days.
Day One was cloudy and windy. The conditions along with current on the channel created great fishing for all the anglers.
Day Two offered much less wind and lots of sun. This created a challenging environment for some of the leaders. The day ended with the 52 anglers all having a chance to win it all on Sunday.
Day Three had even less current, blue bird sky and glassy lake surface. Tough fishing with loads of pressure on the leaders.
Acting on a ‘tip’ from another pro angler, Ott Defoe ventured down the lake to Fort Loudoun Dam Marina. He fished the outside of the condo docks. The ‘tip’ was valid since he boated several large keepers. Nearing the end of the day, he ran up the lake to the Concord Yacht Club and the area near the boat ramp on Northshore Drive. A successful day and a fast run back to the finish.
Each day ended with the weight-in at the 23,000 seat Thompson Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus. In the end, Ott DeFoe was the leader after day one and again at the final weigh-in. It was obvious that this was a dream come true for the East Tennessee’s Bassmaster Pro and his family.