I met Dick and Dawn Ottman at the Bassmaster Expo in Palatka on Friday. It turns out there have been many, many other times I could have made their acquaintance on the Bassmaster tournament trail. The Ottmans have attended more than 365 days of fishing tournaments. That adds up to more than 100 tournaments.
What brings them to Bassmaster weigh-ins? "It's the excitement of coming and seeing the competition," said Dick. "You get to meet the anglers, talk to them up close, and you actually get to know them. It's a very exciting thing. If you've never been to one, you need to come out."
The Ottmans are retired with a home in Bridgeport, N.Y., on Oneida Lake, and a winter home in Tavares, Fla., on the Harris Chain of Lakes. They found that one while attending a Bassmaster tournament.
Dick fishes for bass and walleye 60 to 70 days a year. And while Dawn doesn't fish, she's a big supporter. "I support his fishing, I support our son's fishing, and I support some of these pros fishing habits," she said with a smile.
Over the years the Ottmans have become close with several of the Bassmaster pros. "Some of the anglers stay with them and call them 'the parents,'" said Jesse Dolan of the Bassmaster events team. "We see the Ottmans two or three times a year, in New York or down in Florida."
Dick and Dawn Ottman, you are officially Bassmaster Super Fans!