Forward-facing sonar has upended what we thought we knew about fish behavior. For example, we now know that bass commonly school and suspend in open water, and with forward-facing sonar, they’re findable and highly catchable – this wasn’t the case a few years back. Pro bass angler Ott DeFoe combines the incredible power of forward-facing sonar with jerkbaits to attract and trigger strikes from high-riding suspended bass.
Lure depth control is one of the keys to catching suspended bass or any fish. In this video, DeFoe finds the bass suspended between 3- to 5 feet down and selects a jerkbait that dives to the level or just above the bass. He demonstrates why you always need to scan open water – active schools of bass are often in outer space. These fish are less pressured and catchable if you can put a bait on their nose. DeFoe’s process revolves around monitoring MEGA 360 Imaging and scanning with his Humminbird MEGA Live to pinpoint fish, firing out a cast beyond the bass, getting the jerkbait to depth, then working it naturally past them. Smash! – is how it usually goes.
Don’t stay locked into using a bait if the fish aren’t responding. If they react and eat, you have the right lure. If they ignore it, it’s time to change. Live sonar doesn’t lie. If they’re short striking, it may be time for a color change or lighter and sharper hooks, such as the VMC RedLine Hybrid Trebles featured in this video. DeFoe discusses the importance of using ultra-sharp and lightweight hooks to catch short-strikers and slapping bass.
Lastly, he shares some of his go-to MEGA Live settings for targeting bass near the surface. Sight fishing bass on MEGA Live at over 80 feet is a compelling case to depart the bank from time to time, and the early prespawn is an excellent timeframe to find bass suspended and actively feeding before they make a move shallow. Check out KVD Damiki Rig Spring Bass for a similar scenario.
TACKLE USED (retail links)
- JERKBAIT – Rapala Shadow Rap Shad Deep, color – Elite Blue Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Omnia FishingBuy at Bass Pro Shops
- TREBLE HOOKS – VMC RedLine Series Finesse Treble Hook, size 5 Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Omnia Fishing Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- ROD – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Patriot Casting Rod, 7′ Medium Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- REEL – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LINE – Bass Pro Shops XPS KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon, 12-Pound Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 12 MEGA SI+ GPS G4N Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Omnia Fishing Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird 360 Imaging Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Omnia Fishing Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex Buy at Tackle Warehouse Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- SUNGLASSES – Costa Del Mar Reefton Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- PLIERS – Rapala Fisherman’s Pliers Buy at Omnia Fishing