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If you were to ask ten anglers to name the gear that they cannot leave home without, you would likely receive ten completely different answers.
Every angler has their own particular preferences regarding what gear they consider “make or break” items, with the nation’s top pros being no exception.
When asked for insight as to exactly which items he considers to be essential, current MLF pro and 2019 Bassmaster Classic Champion Ott Defoe was quick to emphasize the value that several pieces of gear offered to his efforts on the water. The following is a rundown of Defoe’s essential gear that he never hits the water without.
Every angler has that one particular lure which has paid dividends time and time again. When we tie on such a lure, our confidence automatically peaks, knowing fully that the lunker we have been hoping for awaits us on the next cast.
For Ott Defoe, there is no question as to exactly which lure he feels most confident toward. “I always get asked what bait I would use if I could only choose one. Anywhere around the country, at any time, it would definitely be a ½-ounce Terminator Pro Jig,” said Defoe.
A Number of Crankbaits
Those that have followed Defoe’s career have likely noticed a pattern. Throughout the years, Defoe has gained notoriety for his substantial crankbait use. This is an approach that Defoe has hung his hat on more than once, and has employed during the course of many tournament wins.
So it might not come as a surprise to most that Defoe always takes to the water, armed with a variety of crankbaits.
“I always have several crankbaits in the boat, no matter where I am at. One that I always have with me is a Rapala DT6, although I typically have more than just those running that depth,” said Defoe.
Defoe is also quick to express his intent to never leave the ramp without at least one spinning set up by his side. It makes little difference to Defoe where in the nation he is fishing, as he feels that bass can be caught under a wide range of circumstances with the use of spinning tackle.
“I always make sure that I have a spinning rod with me, no matter where I go in the country. Up north, a lot of people expect you to have one in the boat. But even if I am in Florida, I am going to have a spinning rod. It’s typically a Johnny Morris Platinum, medium action, with ten-pound braid, and a 10-pound leader,” continued Defoe.
Like most competitive bass anglers, especially those fishing at the sport’s highest level, Defoe finds much merit in the use of his electronics, when seeking pockets of fish, and assessing the structure below. This allows him to make the most out of his time on the water, even on unfamiliar lakes.
“The biggest thing on my boat anymore is my Humminbird 360 imaging. It is so impressive to see what is out in front of you when you are fishing. If I could only have one graph on the boat, it would definitely be the 360. That is the one that I couldn’t live without. It is incredible,” said Defoe.
Gear That Makes You A Better Angler
While the list of gear that is considered essential can differ greatly from one angler to the next, we all have those particular items that we do not wish to be caught on the water without.
The reason that we hold these items in such high regard is often derived from a blend of past history and personal preference.
Much like Ott Defoe, we all tend to gravitate to that gear which we feel has the potential to make us better anglers.