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2019 Bassmaster Classic Favorite, Ott DeFoe, Is Optimistic

Ott DeFoe

In the three days of practice before the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, taking place March 15-17, I had to spend some time trying to determine what the bass were doing, and where they were doing it. But I was able to put together a pattern. I don’t want to go over the details, and I’m sure the Mossy Oak readers will understand. 

I think I figured out the regions where the bass wanted to be, and what kinds of baits they would take. I primarily was attempting to learn at what depths the bass would be holding, and what kinds of baits worked at those depths to trigger bass to strike. I felt I was able to accomplish that. I’ll primarily be targeting largemouths during the Classic, but I plan to weigh in at least one or two smallmouths each day.  

Ott DeFoe catchThe first two days of practice, March 8 and 9, this region of Tennessee had quite a bit of rain and cool weather, however, the last day of practice, we had very nice weather. Looking at the weather forecast for the competition days at the 2019 Classic, the weather will be cooler on the second and third days than on the first day of the Classic. I don’t know whether or not that temperature change will affect the bass or not. Our bass here in Tennessee - I live near Knoxville - are accustomed to a number of weather changes at this time of the year. We’ll probably have highs in the 30s and lows in the teens. The problem with this type of weather and water is you may not know how to catch bass until after the tournament has ended. 

I’ve got some places picked out that I’ve GPSed that I call spots, which are locations where I feel  I need to pull into and fish thoroughly for bass. I’ll have other places that I’ll only fish about 50-75 yards of water and then leave. I’ll probably have 25-30 locations where I’ll only fish a small amount of water there. The other 50 sites I’ve located will be where I’ll spend more time fishing than anywhere else. I’ll be fishing lures I can cover a lot of water with, and I don’t plan on doing very much slow fishing.  

I believe to win, an angler will have to average catching 16 pounds of bass each day of the three days of the Classic. But to do that, he’ll have to have a 14-pound day, a 16-pound day and a 17- or an 18-pound day. I think the 2019 Classic will be a run-and-gun tournament, although an angler may identify one spot where he catches most of his bass. However, I don’t believe anyone will weigh in 15 winning bass for three days off one location. I also don’t think one lure will  win the Classic either. I think the winner of the 2019 Classic will have to fish at least three lures  or more successfully during the competition. 

Although I feel good about my chances to win, I’m cautiously optimistic about winning.  Because I’ve  had productive practice days, I feel really good going into this Classic. But having said that, I’ve lost tournaments before after having had good practices. I’m not naïve enough to believe that having a good practice means I’ll have a good tournament with good weights of bass. This 2019 Bassmaster Classic is my eighth Classic to fish, but I haven’t won a Classic yet.

For more coverage of the Mossy Oak Fishing Team at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, read:

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