Sturgeon Bay, WI is known for its smallmouth bass fishing and MLF Bass Pro Tour anglers will be looking to the smallie bite to keep them above the elimination line during Stage Five. Ott talks about the habitat preferences of smallmouth bass and the way they use structure and grass. Not all grass is created equal, he says, noting that different species of bass use grass differently. Specifically, he talks about cabbage and the reasons smallmouths gravitate toward it, whereas largemouths prefer milfoil and other vegetation that mats up instead. As it relates to finding and fishing structure and vegetation like the cabbage beds Ott refers to, electronics play a big role in effectively pinpointing that structure and efficiently covering water. Side imaging, down imaging, 360 imaging - they all play such a big role in the professional and average angler's game today. Combine that with how far maps have come and Ott says these tools are game changing. It makes it much more difficult for fish to hide and it also gives anglers far fewer excuses for mediocre days on the water. 360 Imaging has been a very eye opening technology, Ott says, noting how great of a tool it is when fishing submerged grass. Yes, it's good on rock, brush and other structures, he says, but the clarity it provides when following a submerged grass line and allowing anglers to make pinpoint casts is unbelievable. Everyone has an "ah-ha moment" when fishing electronics at some point and Ott highlights the way these tools can boost an angler's confidence and overall success.
Not everyone can be a professional angler and not everyone has pro grade tools and equipment. For those anglers who don't have a bass boat and are instead fishing from the bank, Ott says there are a couple things that will really help improve your game. The first is stealth - be mindful of how you move down the bank or shore. Being loud, stomping, kicking rocks and more will alert the bass to your presence. Whether you're in a boat or on the bank, Ott says, shallow water fishing requires stealth. The bass not having any idea you are there will make them much easier to catch, he says. The other factor to consider is your shadow and keeping it off the water. When working the shoreline, look at where your shadow is being cast and change directions if necessary. While he will chase the bass offshore into deep water if necessary, Ott says he generally prefers shallow water fishing and whether it's from his boat or the shore, stealth is crucial.
Listen in as Ott DeFoe, MLF pro angler and host of "The Hunt For Monster Bass" joins The Revolution this week for a wide ranging conversation about smallmouth fishing, effective use of electronics, the upcoming ICAST fishing show, his humble beginnings in the professional fishing world and much more. Watch Ott on "The Hunt For Monster Bass" on Outdoor Channel, Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. ET and on WFN, Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can also watch him fish Stage Five of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, LIVE at MyOutdoorTV.com or at MajorLeagueFishing.com.