Ott DeFoe was asked yesterday if the pressure of the AOY race gets in your head. "Absolutely," he said, without a second's hesitation.
In retrospect, DeFoe's 59th-place finish on Day One may have brought him some relief from the bright lights of this Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. It wasn't as if DeFoe bombed Thursday; 12-5 is a good day on Oneida this week. But it allowed him time to step back and refocus. "I was a little bit down [Thursday]," DeFoe said. "I don't know what turned it around. I really just went fishing."
DeFoe is one of the few anglers – and possibly the only one – who hadn't seen Oneida Lake until practice started on Monday. As differently as Oneida has fished from year's past, that might ultimately be another advantage for DeFoe.