BassFIRST.com is kicking off its coverage of the 'Bubble Boys' of the Bassmaster Elite Series season with Bass Pro Shops pro Ott DeFoe. What is a 'Bubble Boy'? That description is of an angler in the Elite Series who is positioned in the Angler of the Year points to either be able to make a run at qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic or, with a bad event, dropping out of the points race to make it to the championship.
DeFoe sits in 29th heading into the final two events, the Saint Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, too, and the Detroit River, think Lake Saint Clair and Erie as well. A couple of solid money finishes with a Top 20 thrown in and he will secure a shot at the Bassmaster Classic title in February.
DeFoe's confidence is building on northern fisheries.
'When I fished the northern events in the FLW, I was not all that great,' said DeFoe. 'Last year fishing Oneida and Green Bay I learned a lot and those were my best two events.
'I'm not the greatest northern smallmouth fisherman, but I do have a better grasp on what they are about and what I need to do to catch them.'
Ott's tactics will focus on plastics.
'It's likely going to be a tube or a drop-shot bite on both of the remaining fisheries,' said DeFoe. 'That is what works on the clear northern fisheries those times of the year.'
'You may get a crankbait bite or possibly a topwater bite too. I may look at some largemouth during practice and fish some docks or grass, but even if you catch the biggest largemouth limit that usually won't crack the Top 12 compared to the smallmouth. They just seem to grow bigger.'
DeFoe plans to stick to his guns.
'I'm not in the position right now where I have to win to make it to the Classic,' said DeFoe. 'But I can't have a bad day during the first two days of either. I'm gonna fish like I always do and try to catch as much as I can.
'When we are in New York and if we have a good weather day, I may head out of the river onto Lake Ontario, but if the weather isn't good it's not worth the risk.'
'That is the great thing about fishing out of a Nitro. If the weather is good, I can run 100 miles if I want to because my boat holds so much gas. That allows me to make the long run and take a necessary risk.