How to Catch Big Bass on a Buzz Bait in the Fall with Ott Defoe


Feel that bite in the autumn air? That means it’s buzz bait time.

“I catch ‘em real good on a buzzbait all fall long, especially in October,” says Ott DeFoe, a 4-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and the 2011 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

That’s because bass go shallow in the fall, following baitfish and putting on the feedbag.

“When the fish are really shallow – less than two feet deep – man, a buzzbait just catches ‘em better than really any other topwater bait I’ve ever used,” says DeFoe, who lives south of Knoxville, Tennessee, near Douglas Lake. “September and October, where I live in Tennessee River Valley, that’s buzzbait time!”

DeFoe favors 1/2-ounce Terminator Original Titanium Buzzbaits and Terminator Super Stainless Buzzbaits in the Black/Blue and Bright White Shad color patterns. Both are available also in Chartreuse White Shad. He targets vegetation and other visible cover in slightly stained and dirty water.

“If the lake has grass in it, I’m definitely going to fishing around that grass,” he says. “And then any kind of wood – shallow logs, brush piles, that type of stuff.”

Although DeFoe will experiment with retrieve speed to determine what the fish want, “for the most part, a medium retrieve with a buzzbait will always do the job,” he says. A few slight modifications make the job easier.

“I will crimp down to where it doesn’t spin, and that will make it squeak a lot quicker,” DeFoe says. “And sometimes, I’ll reverse the skirt. That puts a little bit less resistance in the water. It doesn’t make you have to reel the bait faster, but if you want to, you can. And it gives it a little bit smaller profile and seems to get more bites.”

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