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How to Fish Swimbaits Around Mixed Cover

For Ott DeFoe, experimenting with new lure styles is fun and essential for growing as an angler. He takes to the water for the first time with a unique compact swimbait that, although a swimbait, can be fished like a jig in various cover types.

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Starting with the basics, DeFoe identifies areas where compact semi-weedless swimbaits excel. On this day, he focused on areas of transition between grass and hard-bottom edges – typical haunts for bluegills on natural lakes. He delves into the mechanics of fishing the bait like hair jigs for bass by reeling it fast and letting it swim naturally back to the bottom.

As with most swimbaits, DeFoe underscores the bait’s natural appearance, which resembles a range of baitfish, from bluegill to bottom-oriented gobies and sculpins. Unlike most swimbaits, its unique semi-weedless design yet exposed hook allows it to be fished effectively around and through certain grass types with minimal fowling. He uses his suite of sonar technologies, namely mapping, MEGA 360 Imaging, and forward-facing sonar to make accurate casts to the cover, be it weed to rock transitions or isolated grass patches.

In a candid confession, DeFoe, despite being a professional, admits that even he has techniques left to sample and master. As he aptly puts it, adding new techniques to your toolbox can only elevate your fishing game.

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