DeFoe’s final attack

Ott DeFoe never gave up on the final day of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville.

Ott DeFoe’s first stop on the third day of the Classic was a riprap causeway in Mink Creek. A small crowd of fans was watched him.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Ott DeFoe’s first stop on the third day of the Classic was a riprap causeway in Mink Creek. A small crowd of fans was watched him.
As DeFoe fished a shallow running crankbait tight to the bank, fans pulled over and watched from the highway.
Photo: Mark Hicks - As DeFoe fished a shallow running crankbait tight to the bank, fans pulled over and watched from the highway.
DeFoe ground his crankbait slowly over the rocks, pausing often to let the lure float free of snags. Even so, he snagged frequently because he was so intent on grinding the crankbait into every crevice.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe ground his crankbait slowly over the rocks, pausing often to let the lure float free of snags. Even so, he snagged frequently because he was so intent on grinding the crankbait into every crevice.
Fans intently watch DeFoe, cameras ready for action should he catch a bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Fans intently watch DeFoe, cameras ready for action should he catch a bass.
After two passes on the main lake side of the causeway, DeFoe had only one 2-pound bass in his livewell. He passed under the opening to fish the riprap on the other side.
Photo: Mark Hicks - After two passes on the main lake side of the causeway, DeFoe had only one 2-pound bass in his livewell. He passed under the opening to fish the riprap on the other side.
Note that DeFoe’s Talon anchors are folded down. This feature allowed him to pass under the low bridge.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Note that DeFoe’s Talon anchors are folded down. This feature allowed him to pass under the low bridge.
After fishing the riprap, DeFoe fished a shallow flat in the back of the creek without success.
Photo: Mark Hicks - After fishing the riprap, DeFoe fished a shallow flat in the back of the creek without success.
The fans gave DeFoe plenty of room.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The fans gave DeFoe plenty of room.
The bracket on which DeFoe’s Talon anchors are mounted folds over to allow passage under tight bridges and culverts.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bracket on which DeFoe’s Talon anchors are mounted folds over to allow passage under tight bridges and culverts.
The Talon anchors drop well below the top of the outboard.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The Talon anchors drop well below the top of the outboard.
The bite was so tough DeFoe even tried finesse fishing with spinning tackle at one point.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bite was so tough DeFoe even tried finesse fishing with spinning tackle at one point.
Casting under the bridge also failed to draw a strike.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Casting under the bridge also failed to draw a strike.
DeFoe makes one last pass along the causeway throwing a swimbait. No takers.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe makes one last pass along the causeway throwing a swimbait. No takers.
After a long dry spell, DeFoe changes tactics and fishes grass on shallow humps and ridges on the main lake. His primary lures were a jerkbait, a shallow crankbait and a swimbait.
Photo: Mark Hicks - After a long dry spell, DeFoe changes tactics and fishes grass on shallow humps and ridges on the main lake. His primary lures were a jerkbait, a shallow crankbait and a swimbait.
After putting a solid bass in the livewell, DeFoe boats a short fish.
Photo: Mark Hicks - After putting a solid bass in the livewell, DeFoe boats a short fish.
DeFoe sets the hook into a good bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe sets the hook into a good bass.
The bass lets DeFoe know it is in no hurry to lose its freedom.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bass lets DeFoe know it is in no hurry to lose its freedom.
DeFoe works the bass around the trolling motor.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe works the bass around the trolling motor.
This is one stubborn fish.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This is one stubborn fish.
Easy now.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Easy now.
DeFoe walks the bass back toward the passenger seat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe walks the bass back toward the passenger seat.
He reaches for the bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He reaches for the bass.
And finally gets a two-handed grip on it.
Photo: Mark Hicks - And finally gets a two-handed grip on it.
It’s a solid bass. After such a slow start, DeFoe knows he’s back in the hunt.
Photo: Mark Hicks - It’s a solid bass. After such a slow start, DeFoe knows he’s back in the hunt.
Right after DeFoe’s cameraman gets into another boat, a bass slams DeFoe’s bait.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Right after DeFoe’s cameraman gets into another boat, a bass slams DeFoe’s bait.
He swings it aboard. How’s this for a front row seat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He swings it aboard. How’s this for a front row seat.
It’s another solid bass. DeFoe is beginning to feel it.
Photo: Mark Hicks - It’s another solid bass. DeFoe is beginning to feel it.
After a long dry spell, DeFoe hooks a heavy bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - After a long dry spell, DeFoe hooks a heavy bass.
The bass has no intention of letting DeFoe have his way. DeFoe works to the back of the boat, trying to keep up with the bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bass has no intention of letting DeFoe have his way. DeFoe works to the back of the boat, trying to keep up with the bass.
The bass forces DeFoe to the back deck. Who's playing who here?
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bass forces DeFoe to the back deck. Who's playing who here?
DeFoe has to work the bass around the transom.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe has to work the bass around the transom.
Don’t you dare run the line over the prop.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Don’t you dare run the line over the prop.
That was close.
Photo: Mark Hicks - That was close.
DeFoe finally gains the upper hand.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe finally gains the upper hand.
The bass makes a final hard lunge next to the boat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bass makes a final hard lunge next to the boat.
Almost mine.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Almost mine.
DeFoe bear hugs the bass and hauls it in.
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe bear hugs the bass and hauls it in.
This heavyweight elicits a scream and a fist pump.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This heavyweight elicits a scream and a fist pump.
One more like this one and DeFoe will win the Classic.
Photo: Mark Hicks - One more like this one and DeFoe will win the Classic.
This was a grand moment for DeFoe, but it proved to be his last bass of the day. He needed one more good bite to claim the championship.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This was a grand moment for DeFoe, but it proved to be his last bass of the day. He needed one more good bite to claim the championship.