Dustin Wilks, a 14-year tour veteran from North Carolina, confirmed to BassFan today that he's opted out of the Bassmaster Elite Series.
"I've decided to take my career in a different direction," he said in an email. "I'm working on a project that I'll be able to share will you all in the coming months."
The 35-year-old Wilks has earned more than $500,000 in B.A.S.S. competition and qualified for six Bassmaster Classics. He missed all but the first event of the 2006 season and the entire '07 campaign due to a severe case of tendonitis in his casting elbow.
He finished 7th in this year's Classic at the Red River, but fared no better than 30th in any of the eight 2012 Elite events and ended up 73rd in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year (AOY) race.