Fishing confidence baits are a key focus for Ott DeFoe at this year’s Bassmaster Classic.
Fishermen will be running and gunning all over Lake Hartwell, South Carolina during this year’s Bassmaster Classic, trying to find active bass on a variety of different lures, locations, and presentations. It can be a frustrating day when everything an angler tries just doesn’t seem to work.
However, we recently were able to talk with Ott DeFoe as he prepares for his fourth trip back to the Classic, and asked him his thoughts on this very topic and what he does to consistently find fish, as well as tournament success.
There comes a time for every fisherman that they throw their hands up in the air and just have no idea what to tie on to find a bite. Now, imagine that same frustration when face to face with the biggest tournament in all of bass fishing. DeFoe has a method to handle this situation pretty effectively, not only at the classic, but on most lakes around the country.
“Of course bait selection is going to depend on the weather, but I can definitely tell you four bait types that I’m going to have tied on, and will have tied on at the end of the tournament,” DeFoe said. “Number one that time of year is a Rapala Shad Rap. Even if I don’t catch any bass during practice on a shad rap, which would really surprise me, I will still keep one ready during the tournament.”
What else do you normally throw? It sounds like these are going to be pretty big confidence baits for you.
“The next, of course, will be a Terminator football jig for me, and probably a lot of the contenders” DeFoe continued. “After that will be a jerk bait – those are always a big factor for me. After that would be Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper on a shakey head.”
Out of those four different styles, what do you find yourself tied on the most?
“The locations we fish are all so vastly different, it’s so important to be able to fish multiple styles,” Defoe said before pausing, “But I do love shallow cranking. However, you have got to be able to do it all, all the time. I don’t feel there is any one style that particular stands out, and that is probably one thing that someone might say I’m good at. You’ve got to be able to lay 10 or 12 rods, tied with different techniques, out on the deck and be able to go catch a fish on all of them. When it comes down to it, my favorite way to catch a bass is probably just on a hook.” DeFoe said laughing.
Ott Defoe’s tournament history backs up everything he just said, too. Just this year alone, DeFoe has one tournament win under his belt, with multiple finishes in the top 25. Overall, he has 17 top 10 finishes and one other tournament win to his credit.
DeFoe finished 2011 as the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year, 2nd in the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, 13th place in the Angler of the Year for 2013, and fourth place in the Bassmaster Classic last year. As you can see following those yearly trends, adding Bassmaster Classic Champion to his 2015 credit wouldn’t be that far out of the question.