Inside Elite Boats

Inside Ott DeFoe’s boat

The boat that Ott DeFoe used to land a win in the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods was a NITRO Z21. Its length overall is 21 feet 2 inches with a beam spanning 95 inches. “It’s a performance-driven boat with lots of design input from the anglers.” The Rapid Planing System (RPS) for quicker holeshots and maximized speed is an example. *This photo gallery was shot in early 2018. <p> <em>All captions: Craig Lamb</em>
Photo: Craig Lamb - The boat that Ott DeFoe used to land a win in the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods was a NITRO Z21. Its length overall is 21 feet 2 inches with a beam spanning 95 inches. “It’s a performance-driven boat with lots of design input from the anglers.” The Rapid Planing System (RPS) for quicker holeshots and maximized speed is an example. *This photo gallery was shot in early 2018. All captions: Craig Lamb
“The layout is designed for serious anglers,” added DeFoe.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “The layout is designed for serious anglers,” added DeFoe.
The front deck is loaded with electronics, including some mounted to the Minn Kota Ultrex 112. A pair of Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI GPS units is used for finding, seeing and locating fish.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The front deck is loaded with electronics, including some mounted to the Minn Kota Ultrex 112. A pair of Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI GPS units is used for finding, seeing and locating fish.
So is the Aqua-Vu HD10i Pro high definition underwater camera with 10-inch screen. “It’s rigged for plug-and-play instead of having to dig everything out of a storage compartment,” explained DeFoe.
Photo: Craig Lamb - So is the Aqua-Vu HD10i Pro high definition underwater camera with 10-inch screen. “It’s rigged for plug-and-play instead of having to dig everything out of a storage compartment,” explained DeFoe.
“I like this remote switch for the Talons. Those deploy in seconds when I spot fish on the Aqua-Vu or Humminbirds and need to quickly anchor the boat.” A foot tap on the switch is all it takes to raise or lower the dual shallow water anchor systems mounted at the transom.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I like this remote switch for the Talons. Those deploy in seconds when I spot fish on the Aqua-Vu or Humminbirds and need to quickly anchor the boat.” A foot tap on the switch is all it takes to raise or lower the dual shallow water anchor systems mounted at the transom.
Mounted to the Ultrex 112 is the transducer for the Humminbird 360 Imaging. DeFoe gets a detailed, 360-degree view extending 150 feet to either side of the boat. The 300-foot circle allows him to see detailed bottom structure and even fish swimming around the boat.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Mounted to the Ultrex 112 is the transducer for the Humminbird 360 Imaging. DeFoe gets a detailed, 360-degree view extending 150 feet to either side of the boat. The 300-foot circle allows him to see detailed bottom structure and even fish swimming around the boat.
“Even when wearing gloves I get a good grip on the trolling motor rope,” said DeFoe of the T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Handle. That features a rugged, nylon jacketed stainless steel cable.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “Even when wearing gloves I get a good grip on the trolling motor rope,” said DeFoe of the T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Handle. That features a rugged, nylon jacketed stainless steel cable.
“This comes in handy because of how the HELIX is mounted off the deck.” The T-H Marine Kong Wave Tamer provides a stable, elevated platform in a bridge-style mount.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “This comes in handy because of how the HELIX is mounted off the deck.” The T-H Marine Kong Wave Tamer provides a stable, elevated platform in a bridge-style mount.
Oversized is an understatement when describing the storage compartments. “I like how we designed all of the underneath available deck space for storage. It’s well laid out and the compartments have molded-in drainage channels.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - Oversized is an understatement when describing the storage compartments. “I like how we designed all of the underneath available deck space for storage. It’s well laid out and the compartments have molded-in drainage channels.”
“There is plenty of room for everything and the compartments are easy for me to arrange gear,” added DeFoe.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “There is plenty of room for everything and the compartments are easy for me to arrange gear,” added DeFoe.
This oversized storage is for rods up to 8 feet. “I removed the forward organizers to fit more rods.” Those are about 30 outfits, rigged and ready to be used for the Classic held on Lake Hartwell.
Photo: Craig Lamb - This oversized storage is for rods up to 8 feet. “I removed the forward organizers to fit more rods.” Those are about 30 outfits, rigged and ready to be used for the Classic held on Lake Hartwell.
The storage at left is for hard baits, and the opposite box is for terminal tackle and parts for modifying lures like spinnerbaits, jigs and soft plastic rigs.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The storage at left is for hard baits, and the opposite box is for terminal tackle and parts for modifying lures like spinnerbaits, jigs and soft plastic rigs.
At the bow is a massive storage compartment for storing more hard baits inside utility boxes, about 25 in all. “I can carry everything needed for any situation, nothing gets left behind.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - At the bow is a massive storage compartment for storing more hard baits inside utility boxes, about 25 in all. “I can carry everything needed for any situation, nothing gets left behind.”
DeFoe converted the starboard rod storage into a compartment for soft plastics. He added the optional line spooling station for convenience.
Photo: Craig Lamb - DeFoe converted the starboard rod storage into a compartment for soft plastics. He added the optional line spooling station for convenience.
“That’s my old school plug knocker,” said DeFoe. He dates it at least 20 years old and once used the complete rig for striper fishing.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “That’s my old school plug knocker,” said DeFoe. He dates it at least 20 years old and once used the complete rig for striper fishing.
“I like this is optional accessory so I can spool my reels while seated on the deck,” he explained.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I like this is optional accessory so I can spool my reels while seated on the deck,” he explained.
On the passenger side and below the front deck is even more storage. What’s inside will surprise you.
Photo: Craig Lamb - On the passenger side and below the front deck is even more storage. What’s inside will surprise you.
“That’s my catch-all box for storing loose items, keep them off the deck and from flying out of the boat.” If a bass boat came with an integrated man-purse, this is it.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “That’s my catch-all box for storing loose items, keep them off the deck and from flying out of the boat.” If a bass boat came with an integrated man-purse, this is it.
“I really like these Divide It Organizers because of the sheer size of these massive storage compartments. The dividers allow me to section off specific areas to keep my gear even more organized.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I really like these Divide It Organizers because of the sheer size of these massive storage compartments. The dividers allow me to section off specific areas to keep my gear even more organized.”
DeFoe at work showing just how convenient access is to practically everything inside the storage boxes. “I can sit right here and get all my rigging done.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - DeFoe at work showing just how convenient access is to practically everything inside the storage boxes. “I can sit right here and get all my rigging done.”
Mounted to the dash are Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI GPS units. Also note the T-H Marine Kong Wave Tamer and mounts to absorb shock and firmly secure the units.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Mounted to the dash are Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI GPS units. Also note the T-H Marine Kong Wave Tamer and mounts to absorb shock and firmly secure the units.
DeFoe spends hours at the time in his boat, rigging, tinkering and preparing for tournaments. While doing that he listens to tunes on the integrated KICKER stereo designed for marine use.
Photo: Craig Lamb - DeFoe spends hours at the time in his boat, rigging, tinkering and preparing for tournaments. While doing that he listens to tunes on the integrated KICKER stereo designed for marine use.
“I added the Talon remote switches so when I roll up on a spot and need to quickly stop the boat I can do it from here before stepping to the front deck,” he explained.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I added the Talon remote switches so when I roll up on a spot and need to quickly stop the boat I can do it from here before stepping to the front deck,” he explained.
Behind the passenger seat is storage DeFoe leaves available for a marshal. Handles integrated into the removable box make it easy to carry inside to load and unload gear.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Behind the passenger seat is storage DeFoe leaves available for a marshal. Handles integrated into the removable box make it easy to carry inside to load and unload gear.
DeFoe is all smiles about the SuperStick push pole that is versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. The pole comes with separate attachments for the Aqua-Vu camera, a paddle and the push pole and anchor pin.
Photo: Craig Lamb - DeFoe is all smiles about the SuperStick push pole that is versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. The pole comes with separate attachments for the Aqua-Vu camera, a paddle and the push pole and anchor pin.
B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland gets credit for suggesting this life-saving part. The V-T2 Livewell Ventilation System by NewPro Products keeps oxygen flowing into the livewell. The rear vent releases heat and other metabolic gases that can harm fish. “It’s really easy to install and only took a few minutes,” said DeFoe.
Photo: Craig Lamb - B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland gets credit for suggesting this life-saving part. The V-T2 Livewell Ventilation System by NewPro Products keeps oxygen flowing into the livewell. The rear vent releases heat and other metabolic gases that can harm fish. “It’s really easy to install and only took a few minutes,” said DeFoe.
Behind the driver seat is storage reserved for fighting the elements, including the bottle of vanilla spray in the upper right corner. “I used it last year at Lake Dardanelle, where the bug spray wouldn’t even repel the gnats.” Buff head and neckwear and other related items are nearby.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Behind the driver seat is storage reserved for fighting the elements, including the bottle of vanilla spray in the upper right corner. “I used it last year at Lake Dardanelle, where the bug spray wouldn’t even repel the gnats.” Buff head and neckwear and other related items are nearby.
At center are two Lithium Pros 12-volt, 100 amp hour batteries that are a must for powering the 36-volt Ultrex and it’s 112 pounds of thrust. The batteries also power the electronics accessories. “I practiced three days for the Classic without needing to charge the batteries,” said DeFoe. “It’s hard to believe that one battery can do what three group 27 marine batteries can.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - At center are two Lithium Pros 12-volt, 100 amp hour batteries that are a must for powering the 36-volt Ultrex and it’s 112 pounds of thrust. The batteries also power the electronics accessories. “I practiced three days for the Classic without needing to charge the batteries,” said DeFoe. “It’s hard to believe that one battery can do what three group 27 marine batteries can.”
On the transom is a Mercury Pro XS 250 horsepower outboard and dual Minn Kota Talon 8 shallow water anchors.
Photo: Craig Lamb - On the transom is a Mercury Pro XS 250 horsepower outboard and dual Minn Kota Talon 8 shallow water anchors.
The MotorMate locking system can be mistaken for a transom saver, when in fact the part does otherwise. The part locks the outboard in place to prevent damage to the steering system and keep excess torque off the transom.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The MotorMate locking system can be mistaken for a transom saver, when in fact the part does otherwise. The part locks the outboard in place to prevent damage to the steering system and keep excess torque off the transom.