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Ott DeFoe’s 5 Go-to Lures for Spring Bass Fishing

Pro bass angler Ott DeFoe prides himself on keeping his bass fishing “uncomplicated.” When it comes to spring fishing and the prespawn in particular, he relies on a handful of proven power fishing baits to catch bass everywhere throughout the country. We caught up with Ott for a quick rundown on his top bait categories for finding and trigging bass when water temperatures range from the mid-’40s on up to the 60-degree mark. For many of us, this spring temperature range represents the best bass fishing encountered throughout the year. *Product links at the bottom.

  1. Jerkbaits. Ott relies on suspending jerkbaits in cold, clear water. Whatever the reason, the bass can’t resist a minnow profile suspended in the water column. He always carries shallow and deep-diving models.
  2. Crankbaits (billed). Perhaps his favorite category from the lineup, DeFoe keeps 3 crankbaits tied up; one to cover the 2- to 4-foot depth range, another for 4- to 6-feet, and a third to reach the 6- to the 8-foot mark. He’ll experiment with a mix of flat-side and round-bodied crankbaits, some heavy on finesse attraction like the Rapala Shad Rap and others more aggressive. 
  3. Lipless crankbaits. A lipless crankbait was a huge part of Ott’s 2019 Bassmaster Classic win on Fort Loudoun and his go-to crankbait for fishing big flats and areas with grass. 
  4. Spinnerbait. In the era of the ChatterBait craze, it’s refreshing seeing high-quality spinnerbaits rebound in popularity. A hard-thumping double willow spinnerbait gives off a ton of flash and vibration, making it an excellent performer in dirty water, around cover, or when bass are feeding on schooling shad. 
  5. Jig. Lastly, no bass bait list is complete without a jig or two. Ott keeps a conventional flipping and pitching jig at the ready when targeting bass in target-rich environments such as around brush, docks, and rocks. He reaches for a swim jig when swimming a jig or fishing around heavy grass

JERKBAIT GEAR (as shown)


SPINNERBAIT ( 3/8- and 1/2-ounce)

JIG ( 3/8- and 1/2-ounce)