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Brauer's Tips for Bass-Fishing Success

Denny BrauerEditor's Note: Denny Brauer, a member of Strike King's Pro Team, has won Angler of the Year on the B.A.S.S. Circuit, the 1998 BASS Masters Classic, FLW Angler of the Year and just about every major fishing tournament in the nation. He's also the first fisherman to appear on the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions cereal box. This week we'll look at what has made Brauer so successful when bass fishing.

Question: What has been the key to your fishing success?

Answer: Success depends on the amount of work you do and how much you enjoy that work. I don't think you truly can succeed at something if you don't enjoy it because you won't put forth the extra effort needed. I'm more aware of what's going on in the water now than I used to be in the early years when my main concern was how I was going to feed my family. I take in more of what's happening on the water than I once did.

Denny BrauerFor instance, instead of concentrating on my line while I've got a lure in the water, I now can use my peripheral vision to see a bass blowing up on shad either to my right or left. I'll also notice a water bird moving deeper into the water to feed on shad. I've gotten better at feeling the wind change and noticing the sky fill with clouds. I now feel tuned into many of the aspects of fishing that I once overlooked. To become a better bass fisherman, you must learn to be more aware of what's going on around you. If you stay too focused on your fishing, you miss the subtle changes that cause bass to feed differently or migrate to different locations. Many weekend anglers overlook the importance of being keenly aware of all that's happening around you on the water.


Brauer Discusses Success and Stress

Denny BrauerEditor's Note: Denny Brauer, a member of Strike King's Pro Team, has won Angler of the Year on the B.A.S.S. Circuit, the 1998 BASS Masters Classic, FLW Angler of the Year and just about every major fishing tournament in the nation. He's also the first fisherman to appear on the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions cereal box. This week we'll look at what has made Brauer so successful when bass fishing.

Question: Was 1998 your biggest and best year?

Answer: Not really. The media and public focused more on 1998 because I won the FLW Angler of the Year title, the BASS Masters Classic, three B.A.S.S. Top 150 tournaments and earned about $1 million in tournament winnings, all in a single year. However, during the 1993 season, I won the Superstars Tournament, the MegaBucks tournament and another tournament in a very short time. That year, I really should have won six tournaments, but I had bad luck. I believe I fished better and was more tuned into fishing conditions in 1993 than in 1998. During one of the big tournaments I won in 1998, I caught the last bass I needed on my last cast and barely got to the weigh-in on time.

Strike King LuresI try to fish consistently every year. The lakes I fish, the weather conditions I fish in and the schedule I maintain all play a role in my effectiveness. Don't get me wrong, 1998 was a great year. Being on the Wheaties box and making two appearances on the "David Letterman Show" helped build my fishing career.

Question: What creates that kind of winning streak?

Answer: I believe anglers feed off success. When I win a tournament, I get a tremendous confidence boost. Often, that confidence causes me to make bold decisions and take chances I ordinarily won't take. To develop a winning streak, you need to understand the peaks and valleys in your career and how to deal with them. I think anyone can be more successful as an angler if he or she wants to be a professional fisherman. As bass fishing grows as an industry, I think those who have been successful must give back to the industry by doing seminars, promotions and TV shows. Anglers have to work with the media and the general public. I believe I must do certain things to help this industry grow.

Denny BrauerI'd be cheating my family, the sport that has allowed me to make a living and myself if I focused only on bass fishing. I want to do other things besides fishing. I want to hunt in the wintertime instead of staying on the water. Sometimes when I'm on a winning steak, I feel like the world, the public, the sponsors and the press are pushing me so hard I just want to escape. Often, I may even hope I don't catch another fish because I don't need any more pressure. Then, a few minutes later, I realize I've got to get my fanny in gear. Fishing is what I do, and catching bass is what I'm all about.


Brauer's Techniques for Taking Bass

Strike King LuresEditor's Note: Denny Brauer has won Angler of the Year on the B.A.S.S. Circuit, the 1998 BASS Masters Classic, FLW Angler of the Year and just about every major fishing tournament in the nation. He's also the first fisherman to appear on the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions cereal box. This week we'll look at what has made Brauer so successful.

Question: What are your favorite fishing techniques and why?

Answer: Although lake and season conditions dictate the best techniques, I prefer to fish shallow water between 1- and 5- feet deep. My favorite depth to fish is about 3 feet, but I've also caught bass in 50 to 60 feet of water.

Question: What has been your strongest fishing tactic over the years?

Answer: Without question, flipping and pitching has paid the most bass dividends for me. I also love to throw spinner baits, top-water lures and the square-billed crankbaits from Strike King, like the 4S and the Series 1. I have an arsenal of lures to use in shallow water if I find fish and cover in the top story of water. If I can't locate bass in the top story, I move to deep-water areas, crank deep-diving crankbaits and fixed jigs or worms.

Denny BrauerI don't like to stereotype myself as a shallow-water fisherman. I don't go to a lake where I have to fish deep and automatically think I'll have trouble fishing there. I believe I can adapt my fishing to any style required to win a tournament. If an angler doesn't develop that type of positive mental attitude about his fishing, he won't win many tournaments.


Brauer's Best Bets for Bass Baits

Denny BrauerEditor's Note: Denny Brauer has won Angler of the Year on the B.A.S.S. Circuit, the 1998 BASS Masters Classic, FLW Angler of the Year and just about every major fishing tournament in the nation. He's also the first fisherman to appear on the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions cereal box. This week we'll look at what has made Brauer so successful while fishing for bass.

Question: What new baits do you prefer?

Answer: I believe many of the older baits are still deadly effective. I continually look at those old baits and try to improve them. A hot new item this year is Strike King's Quad Shad spinner bait, developed by George Cochran, who's won the BASS Masters Classic twice. This new spinner bait with four blades presents a new look in spinner bait fishing. I've had some really good results with it. Another favorite lure of mine is the 4S square-build, medium-sized crankbait developed by Strike King. I fish this lure on heavy line in shallow water. This is my form of power bait since this bait adds another tool to my arsenal of shallow-water lures that I like to fish.


Brauer's Bass-fishing Future

Denny BrauerEditor's Note: Denny Brauer has won Angler of the Year on the B.A.S.S. Circuit, the 1998 BASS Masters Classic, FLW Angler of the Year and just about every major fishing tournament in the nation. He's also the first fisherman to appear on the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions cereal box. This week we'll look at what has made Brauer so successful while fishing for bass.

Question: What does the future hold for Denny Brauer?

Answer: I've asked myself that several times since I injured my back a couple of years ago. I haven't been able to compete at the level I've wanted. I sometimes wondered if the time has come for me to retire from the bass-fishing circuit, but tournament fishing is what I really enjoy doing. I believe I can compete at the top of my sport for the next several years. If I ever get to the point where I'm about to start a tournament, and I don't think that I can win, I'll probably leave the sport. I do believe that in the next several months, I'll be back in the physical condition to compete at the highest level. I plan to stay in the sport of bass fishing as long as I can be competitive.