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Ott DeFoe's Bad Weather Bass Fishing Tactics

Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, has been bass fishing professionally since 2006 and is ranked in the Top 20 Bass Anglers in the World. 

Ott DeFoe MLF fishing

To be a well-rounded bass angler, you must fish in all types of weather. When Major League Fishing (MLF) schedules a tournament, the organization doesn’t know what the weather will be on the practice days or the tournament days. Over the course of a season, we bass fishermen usually will fish at some point in pouring-down rain, high winds and rough water. So, for me, fishing bad weather is just another day at the office. 

Several things that you can do that will be extremely helpful when you’re fishing bad weather for bass include:

Being prepared. You must have the best rain and wind clothing that you can purchase. I wear an Onyx rain suit in the Mossy Oak Elements Agua pattern. My rain gear serves two purposes. It not only keeps me dry, but it also stops the wind. It prevents me from getting cold or wet. If you don’t have a good rain suit, within about 30 minutes of being in a pouring rain, you’ll be soaking wet and not able to fish at your best. 

Understanding the factors that determine how to fish bad weather. If I’m fishing up north, primarily for smallmouths, those bass like bright, sunny days with clear skies. So, if the day is going to be nasty and cloudy, I realize before I even go on the lake that bass fishing will be tough. I know I’ll have to fish much slower than normal and will have to make every bite count. I’ll generally drag the bottom or fish just above the bottom with a drop-shot rig, a tube jig and other soft plastics that I can fish slowly. 

If I’m fishing southern lakes on a cloudy, windy, rainy day, I’ll fish just the opposite. Those weather problems may cause the bass to turn on, and you’ll enjoy a great day of fishing. I’ll fish topwater lures, spinner baits close to the surface, square-billed crankbaits and bladed jigs – all tactics known as power fishing. 

Remembering that bass use several senses to find, hone in on and take a bait. On bad days, the bass will be listening for the sounds of the lures more than looking for the lures with their eyes. 

One of my favorite lures to fish then is a Storm Top Walker, a top-water walking bait. A buzzbait also will be one of the lures I’ll fish on rainy days, since it will churn the water. Just remember that the type of bass you’re fishing for on a rainy day determines the tactic and the type of lure you need to use to catch those bass under those conditions. 

To increase your bass knowledge and learn to locate and catch bass under any conditions, don’t stay at home on bad-weather days. Go to the lake or the river, fish hard, and learn to catch bass when most anglers won’t even put in their boats on the water.

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