When Brock Mosley registered for classes at Ole Miss in his home state, he based his education around the goal of becoming a professional bass fisherman. He graduated three years ago with a degree in business marketing.
“I believe it will help me be the best promoter for any company willing to sponsor me,” Mosley said.
The bass tournament bug bit Mosley early in life. His father, Danny Mosley, owned a Ranger dealership in his hometown of Collinsville, Miss. Young Mosley would spend hours hanging around the dealership and the anglers that frequented it.
“Ever since I set foot in my dad’s dealership, bass fishing is what I’ve wanted to do for a living,” Mosley said.
While growing up, Mosley fished often with his father and his uncle, Hank Perkins. If one of them couldn’t take Mosley fishing, the other one would.
Mosley competed in his first official bass tournament when he was 12 years old. It was an annual youth event that his father’s dealership promoted. Young anglers were paired with an adult that had a boat. The experience kindled a fire in Mosley.
That fire was fanned into a roar when Mosley’s father took him to the 1997 Bassmaster Classic at Logan Martin Lake. The crowd’s enthusiasm when Dion Hibdon claimed victory in Birmingham started Mosley down the yellow brick road to what is now the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Mosley’s early fishing trips with his father and uncle Hank often took them to 3,800-acre Okatibbee Lake near Collinsville and the Tombigbee River.
“I grew up fishing muddy water,” Mosley said. “I’m talking 3-inch visibility. You couldn’t see the trolling motor in the water.”
Fishing shallow with Bagley balsa crankbaits is Mosley’s strong suit.
Playing outfield for the Ole Miss Rebel’s prevented Mosley from fishing as often as he would have liked. However, he did make time to fish two events in 2011 as part of the Bassmaster Collegiate Bass Fishing Tournament Series.
Mosley and his Ole Miss teammate Andy Halford won the Eastern Super Regional on the Alabama River by fishing shallow. They had never seen the river prior to that tournament.
While fishing the collegiate tournaments, Mosley befriended brothers Matt and Jordan Lee who represented Auburn University in the Bassmaster Collegiate Series. Matt qualified for the 2013 Classic through the series. Jordan followed suit by qualifying for the Classic the following year.
Mosley nearly qualified for the Elite Series when he fished the Bassmaster Central Opens last year. His best showing was fifth place at the Arkansas River.
Heading into the second day of the final Central Open at Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mosley was in third place in the AOY standings. His dream of becoming an Elite Series pro was practically in his grasp. However, a small limit that day dropped him to 10th place in the overall point standings.
Although Mosley was disappointed at his near miss, he was encouraged by his overall performance. This year he is competing in all nine Bassmaster Open tournaments. At this point in 2014, his best finish is 15th at the recent Douglas Lake Northern Open.
A drop shot rig produced most of Mosley’s bass at Douglas Lake, which indicates that he is becoming a more versatile bass fisherman. He credits the Lee brothers for helping him with this tactic.
“They helped me set up my graph at the Amistad Open so I could tell when I was looking at a bass,” Mosley said.
Mosley and the Lee brothers have been traveling together to the Bassmaster Opens this season to share companionship and expenses. They also share information — to an extent.
“We don’t share holes because we’re all trying to qualify for the same thing,” Mosley said. “But we’re not afraid to tell each other what we’re catching them on.”
Mosley’s strong showing last season, along with his marketing skills, helped him garner several sponsors. They include Bagley Lures, Phoenix Boats, Mercury outboards, Power Pole, Costa Del Mar, Eco pro Tungsten and Phoenix Rods.
With his strong start at Douglas, the two remaining Bassmaster Northern Opens are Mosley’s best chance to qualify for the Elite Series. He has never been to Lake Champlain or Lake St. Clair where the other Northern Opens will happen this year, but he’s not discouraged.
“I had never been to Douglas before either.” Mosley said.
A huge boost to Mosley’s confidence happened at the recent Bassmaster BASSfest at Chickamauga Lake. While competing against the Elite Series pros and a host of other top bass fishermen from across the country, Mosley finished a respectable 34th.