COLLINSVILLE, Miss. — Brock Mosley’s quest to join the Bassmaster Elite Series began at the University of Mississippi, where he combined collegiate angling with an academic major to complement his future career.
A degree in business marketing and competing on the Ole Miss bass fishing team was all part of the plan for Mosley, now 27. Playing outfield for the baseball team allowed him to fish only during his final year of school, but he made it count. Mosley and his partner, Andy Halford, won the 2011 College B.A.S.S. East Super Regional on the Alabama River.
From there, Mosley set out to gradually learn practical fishing knowledge by wading deeper into the nuances of tournament angling.
“I didn’t want to jump right in because the college experience, more than anything, showed me how much being a versatile angler matters,” he said. “I wanted to expand my skills outside of home, learn how to fish clear water.”
Until then, seeing the trolling motor running below the surface defined clear water. Mosley grew up fishing the turbid backwaters of the Tombigbee Waterway, where his shallow-water skills served him well.
Mosley spent 2011 fishing regional events while learning how to find and pattern bass in strange water — clear water included. The greatest benefit to him was that he didn’t do very well.
“I got beat up a lot, and it was an eye opener,” he said. “Just because I was a hot stick in college didn’t mean I had what it took to be consistently competitive.”
In 2013, the turning point came when Mosley took second place as a co-angler in the Forrest Wood Cup. As his knowledge increased, so did his achievements. That year, he fished the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Opens, finishing 10th in the point standings.
“By then, I learned to stay focused on my own business instead of being worried about what everyone else was catching,” he said. “I knew then I had a chance to make my dream reality.”
It was time to make the next move. In 2014, Mosley did just that, fishing in all nine Opens while placing a respectable 32nd place in the inaugural BASSfest.
“BASSfest was huge because it gave me a taste of the Elite Series,” he added. “Catching bass around Boyd Duckett, Chris Lane and some of those top guys showed just how far I’d come in staying focused on myself.”
The momentum carried over last year, when he qualified for the Elite Series through the Southern Opens.
He said he competed like every day is the last of the season, especially because he only had three tournaments in a division to qualify for the top tour. After three years of trying, Mosley adapted and learned to appreciate the narrow road to the top.
“I like how that works because you must fish the same way to compete in the Elite Series,” he said. “Every day counts in the Opens, and it does even more in the Elite Series.”
Fishing success brought him full circle where he started in college. Mosley signed a sponsorship with Bagley Baits, his title sponsor, and the relationship has expanded into other opportunities.
“You can’t just be a good angler and be marketable to sponsors,” he noted. “I’m now seeing the rewards of majoring in business marketing by applying my education to the business side of the sport.”
Mosley wants his career to be long-term, and his mind is headed in the right direction.
“More than anything else, I want to be consistent,” he said. “That, and be marketable for my sponsors and help grow their brands.”