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.
FEATURED PRODUCT (retail links)
- SWIMBAIT – Bass Pro Shops XPS Mean Eye Swimmer, color – Bream: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- ROD – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 Casting Rod: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- REEL – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 Baitcast Reel: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LINE – Bass Pro Shops XPS KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line, 10-pound: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- SUNGLASSES – Costa Del Mar Reefton: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- HITCH – BW Tow & Stow Adjustable Ball Mount: Buy at BW Hitches
*Additional product links at the bottom.
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.
ELECTRONICS (retail links)
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 12 MEGA SI+ GPS G4N: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- MAPPING – Humminbird LakeMaster Premium VX Digital Map Chart Card (Great Lakes): Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Humminbird
- FORWARD-FACING SONAR (FFS) – Humminbird MEGA Live TargetLock: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- 360 IMAGING – Humminbird 360 Imaging: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- SHALLOW WATER ANCHOR – Minn Kota Talon Bluetooth Shallow-Water Anchor: Buy at Bass Pro Shops