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Ott DeFoe on His Bass Fishing Faults and Attributes

Ott and Parker DeFoe

Sometimes instead of fishing the way I need to fish to catch bass, I try to make the bass bite in the places and on the lures I want to fish. One of my faults - yet one of my strengths - is being hard-headed. I won’t quit when I think that I can make some pattern work. Another fault of mine when fishing for bass is I’m not patient enough sometimes to fish slowly enough to get the fish to bite. 

People wonder how I make the decision to leave bass to go find bigger fish, and that’s a very hard question to answer. Often, I’ll get a gut feeling that I need to be fishing somewhere else or perhaps fishing a different lure. Learning to trust my gut when I get that feeling often can cause me to win or lose a tournament. But I’ve had enough experiences on the water to know when to trust my gut feeling, and when to keep on doing what I’ve been doing. You can be wrong about following your gut feeling as many times as you can be right. I guess knowing when to move and when to stay where you are is based on experience, and what you’ve got to win and what you’ve got to lose. 

For instance, at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic that I won, I made a couple of right moves, but I also made some wrong moves. I think that the reason I won was due to my making the right moves at the right times. When I made the wrong moves, they didn’t affect the outcome of the tournament negatively. 

I’m convinced that experience on the water and spending time in a boat will help you make better decisions on when to move and when to stay where you are. As I’ve mentioned earlier, one of my problems is that I’m not a patient fisherman. So, I may move when I should have stayed. Other times when I’ve moved, I’ve moved at the right time to the right place with the right lure. So, nailing the answer is hard. I think the correct answer has a lot to do with the amount of confidence you have with your decision-making powers.

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