Denny Brauer’s Best Baits for Bass Fishing in the Fall of the Year
Editor’s Note: This week, Bassmaster Classic Champion and one of the nation’s top bass pro fishermen Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, tells us what lures he’ll take fishing with him in the fall, if he can only take five. He’ll also explain why he chooses each lure, and how he’ll fish it.
Part 1: Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait Is Denny Brauer‘s Number-One Choice for Fall Bass Fishing
Question: Denny, in most sections of the country, we’re still in early fall, yet some areas already have had cold fronts move in that impact anglers fishing. If you only can take five lures with you bass fishing in the fall, what will be your first choice?
Brauer: My first choice will be the new Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait. At this time of year, as the water cools down, a large number of bass will be moving-up on the flats to feed. They also will be on the creek channels and in the backs of coves. The bass will be concentrated in those places, because they’re following the baitfish that are moving shallow. Since the water’s cooling down from the hot temperatures of summer and in some places early fall, the bass have become active and are willing to chase bait.
With the buzzbait, you can cover a lot of water and find bass more quickly than you can with slower-moving baits. The buzzbait mimics the shad as good as any bait. I prefer the sexy shad-colored buzzbait, because it more resembles a shad than the standard white-colored buzzbait that most fishermen have fished for years. Later in the fall, if the weather cools down more, you may consider changing to a black-colored Tour Grade Buzzbait. I’ll take a magic marker and darken the blades and the wire shaft that supports the blade to take the shine off the buzzbait.
When the water temperature reaches the mid to low 50s, the bass seem to really like the black buzzbait. If you take a sexy shad- and a black-colored Tour Grade Buzzbait with you, you can fish any water, anywhere at this time of year. Although I like fishing chartreuse-colored buzzbaits, I only fish them in muddy water, which generally is a rare situation in the fall of the year.
Question: What type of retrieve do you use when you fish the buzzbait?
Brauer: Most people just cast-out the buzzbait and reel it back in to the boat. But to get the most strikes, you have to experiment with different types of retrieves. You don’t want to get into that robot mode where you just throw-out the bait and reel it back. The bass may have taken that buzzbait, if you’d reeled it really fast or very slowly, or made it spit water by giving it an occasional quick jerk. The speed of retrieve is very important when fishing the buzzbait. So, experiment with your retrieve, and let the bass tell you by the number of strikes you get which type of retrieve they prefer on the day you’re fishing.
A retrieve that works well for me at this time of year is to run the buzzbait fairly fast, until I reach a piece of cover. Then I slow-down the bait as I go by the cover and speed-up the bait as I leave the cover. The secret to catching bass on a buzzbait at this time of year is to fish the buzzbait with a wide variety of retrieves and not to just cast out the bait and use a single retrieve.
Question: What’s another important clue to catching bass with a buzzbait during the fall?
Brauer: The Strike King buzzbait comes with a trailer hook on it. Don’t take off that trailer hook. The trailer hook is an important piece of equipment, because you’ll get short strikes at this time of year, and the trailer hook drastically will increase the number of bass you hook. You won’t get hung-up any more using a trailer hook than you will if you don’t have a trailer hook. Strike King has added the trailer hook to the bait to help you catch more bass.
Question: What line and tackle do you use when fishing the buzzbait?
Brauer: I prefer 17- or 20-pound-test monofilament line. If you like to fish braided line, you can. However, I’ve found that braided line, because it doesn’t have any stretch, tends to cause me to pull the bait away from the bass more often than monofilament line does. So, if you’ll be using braided line, use a softer-tipped rod. I like to fish the buzzbait on a long rod. My favorite is the American Rodsmiths’ 7-foot, 4-inch flip-and-pitch Denny Brauer Wreckin’ Stix rod, which has a fairly-soft tip, yet has enough backbone to hook the bass, even at the end of a long cast. I like an Ardent XS1000 6.3:1 casting reel. I like a fast-retrieve reel, because it makes buzzbait fishing much easier, without having to turn the handle a number of times.
- Part 1: Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait Is Denny Brauer's Number-One Choice for Fall Bass Fishing
- Part 2: Don’t Overlook Top-Water Baits during the Fall for Bass with Denny Brauer
- Part 3: Bet on the Square-Bills to Catch Bass in the Fall with Denny Brauer
- Part 4: Denny Brauer Tells Why You Can't Leave Home without a Strike King Spinner Bait
- Part 5: Denny Brauer Explains Why He Fishes a Rage Hawg in the Fall for Bass