Mossy Oak Fishing Team member Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, has been bass fishing since he was nine years old and has fished professionally since 2006. He’s won a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament, the Bassmaster All Star tournament and several Bassmaster Opens and finished in sixth place at the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. During the spring of the year, depending on where you’re fishing, you may be fishing for prespawn, spawning or postspawn bass. These are the five lures he’d take to fish in the spring.
I’d take a jerkbait like a Rapala Shadow Rap in the Elite Blue color, which is especially productive for prespawn bass, since it’s a suspending lure. It catches bass that are staging before the spawn.
Bass Pro Shops Bomb Craw
This new soft-plastic lure is one I like in green-pumpkin with blue flake. I’ll put a 3/8-ounce Swagger tungsten sinker rigged Texas style up the line with a No. 4/0 VMC heavy-duty wide-gap hook. I’ll fish this lure and rig in whatever cover – grass, wood or docks – that I find available. I also can fish this lure for bass on the bed. The Bomb Craw will catch prespawn, spawning and postspawn bass.
1/2-Ounce Terminator Spinner Bait in the Hot Olive color
I’ll target docks, cypress trees and laydowns in lakes that have them with this lure. This bait will produce best on prespawn and spawning bass, but you can catch some postspawn bass with it too.
Rapala DT6 Crankbait
This crankbait that runs from 2-6 feet deep is a favorite in the Disco Shad color that imitates just about every bait fish I believe bass are eating in the spring. I’ll fish this crankbait around any type of hard cover – wood and primarily rocks, gravel, chunk rocks or manmade hard cover, including bridge pilings.
This 6-1/2-inch worm made by Bass Pro Shops is my favorite lure to fish for spawning bass. I prefer to fish it in the green-pumpkin color weightless wacky-rigged. When the bass are cruising around, looking for a place to spawn, or they’re actually spawning, or the time is immediately after the spawn, I like this bait that falls naturally and isn’t an aggressive lure. I have confidence in this worm because I’ve caught so many bass and particularly so many big bass in the spring with the Fin-Eke worm. I like a No. 2 VMC Weedless Neko Hook that I put right in the middle of the worm and fish the worm on a spinning rod with 10-pound test braided line and a 6-8 feet long 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. I attach the leader to the braid with an Albright knot.
Many anglers will say that I’m using very light line to catch big, spawning bass. But I’m not throwing the Fin-Eke Worm into the center of a big, gnarly tree. I will throw the worm to the outer edges of a tree to pull the bass out of the tree to take the worm. Then when I hook a bass, I take my time getting it to the boat.