Denny BrauerEditor’s Note: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful professional bass fishermen, depends on the tremendous database he keeps in his head that he’s acquired from bass fishing for many years to win bass tournaments. He won the BASS Elite Series Tournament on the Arkansas River in 2011. This week, Brauer will tell us how to catch hot-water bass.

Part 1: Denny Brauer Fishes for Bass at Night in Hot Weather and Water Conditions

Denny BrauerQuestion: Denny, right now temperatures are reaching over 100-degrees Fahrenheit in the South, with a heat index of 110 to 115 degrees. How do you find and catch bass under these hot-weather conditions?

Brauer: Hot weather is no longer just a southern phenomenon. Missouri and much of the Midwest also are experiencing 100-degree-plus temperatures. All the landscape where I live is a nice shade of brown right now. We’ve had 100-degree-plus temperatures with about a 115-heat index for over 8 days. Under that type of extreme heat, very-few anglers want to go out on the water to fish, because catching bass in 90-degree water is difficult. But anglers won’t give-up fishing; they’ll just change the hours when they fish. Most bass fishermen right now are fishing at night.

Strike King BuzzbaitThe best baits for nighttime fishing in hot weather are Strike King spinner baits, the Strike King Rage Thumper Worm and Strike King buzzbaits in darker colors. You’ll get more bites and catch more bass fishing at night in this very-hot weather, If the body of water you’re fishing has a thermocline in it, search for places where the thermocline comes into contact with a key piece of structure, like a point, a ledge or an underwater treetop. These structures can be found at 20- to 30-feet deep.

At night, the bass move up to more-shallow water to feed, so catching them is easy. In the daytime, bass concentrate under boat docks where they find shade from the heat and plenty of bluegills, one of the bass’s favorite baits at this time of the year. I also like to fish boat docks in hot weather, since they have some type of brush underneath them.

Fishing with Denny BrauerTo find and catch bass at this time of the year, look for areas on the body of water that you fish that can breathe (receives influxes of aerated water), such as creeks running into a main lake, eddy currents, drain-offs where water drains into a lake or windy points. Fish those areas rather than moving into pockets or coves that don’t have any moving water. Bass want to be comfortable, just like you do. So, shade and cool-water runoffs are very important to them. Look for shade, higher-oxygen content and cooler water.

I won the 1998 Bassmaster Classic at High Rock Lake in North Carolina fishing in the middle of the day in 2-foot-deep water. There was more oxygen in that 2 feet of water than in any-other parts of the lake. The bait was holding in that shallow water, and the bass were concentrating there, feeding on the bait. Most bass fishermen overlook boat waves. Fishing with Denny BrauerI won that tournament on the main part of the lake, where there was a lot of boat action and a lot of waves hitting the bank. We know that wind blowing into a point oxygenates the water, thereby causing the bass to bite. But we forget boats make a wave action that crashes against the bank, oxygenates the water and causes a feeding frenzy on the shad, which makes the bass bite. So, waves from water skiers and other boats oxygenate the water, causing bass to feed in shallow water, even in the middle of the day.


Denny BrauerEditor’s Note: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful professional bass fishermen, depends on the tremendous database he keeps in his head that he’s acquired from bass fishing for many years to win bass tournaments. He won the BASS Elite Series Tournament on the Arkansas River in 2011. This week, Brauer will tell us how to catch hot-water bass.

Part 2: The Strike King Tour Grade Night Spinner Bait Produces Bass at Night for Strike King Pro Denny Brauer

Fishing with Denny BrauerQuestion: Denny, you mentioned fishing the spinner bait at night to catch bass now. What spinner bait will you use, and how will you fish it?

Brauer: I prefer to fish the new 1/2-ounce Strike King Tour Grade Night Spinner Bait. I use the single-blade spinner bait exclusively for night fishing. I use 20-pound-test line with this spinner bait, and I mainly fish it on points.

Question: What color spinner bait do you like?

Brauer: I like the black-and-blue spinner bait with the black blades, but I also have done well with the black spinner bait with the gold blades. However, the black spinner bait with the black blades gives a darker silhouette. We’ve got a new color called Tequila Moonshine that I’ll be fishing this year. This purple-colored bait is a productive color for night fishing. I cast-out the spinner bait, let it flutter to the bottom and reel it slowly. I also fish it in brush piles at night.

Question: What trailer will you use on your spinner bait when you’re fishing it at night?

Brauer: I don’t use a trailer. Strike King has the Perfect Skirt, so you don’t really need to use a trailer. While I’m night fishing, I very seldom use a trailer, but when I’m fishing the spinner bait in the daytime, I’ll use a trailer hook most of the time. Strike King Tour Grade Nigh Spinner BaitAt night, I let the spinner bait fall all the way to the bottom, jump it off the bottom, let it fall back and/or fish it down through the cover. I don’t really think I need the trailer hook.

Question: What pound-test line will you be fishing at night?

Brauer: I usually like 15- or 20-pound-test line, depending on how deep I’ll be fishing and at which depth the bass are holding. Fishing a spinner bait at night is a much-cooler way to find and catch bass than getting out in that hot afternoon sun.


Denny BrauerEditor’s Note: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful professional bass fishermen, depends on the tremendous database he keeps in his head that he’s acquired from bass fishing for many years to win bass tournaments. He won the BASS Elite Series Tournament on the Arkansas River in 2011. This week, Brauer will tell us how to catch hot-water bass.

Part 3: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer Fishes the Rage Thumper Worm at Night for Big Bass

Denny BrauerQuestion: Denny, another lure you talked about using to catch bass at night was the Strike King Rage Thumper Worm. What size and color of this bait will you fish, and how will you fish it?

Brauer: Strike King has two really-big and productive worms – the Rage Anaconda, which came out a few years ago, and the Rage Thumper Worm. The Rage Anaconda doesn’t have as many vibrations as the Rage Thumper Worm does. At night, the bass hone-in on the vibrations much more than they do in the daytime. So, I’ll use a worm that displaces a lot of water and moves, like the Rage Thumper Worm. Even if the water’s clear, I still prefer the Rage Thumper Worm. But instead of the 10-inch worm, I may use the 7-inch worm. In clear water, I like to fish a 10-inch worm, because I prefer to catch big bass rather than numbers of bass. I also like the 10-inch Rage Thumper Worm, because it’s a segmented worm. So, I can cut-off as many segments as I want to make that worm any length I want it to be.

Also, the tail on the Rage Thumper Worm displaces a lot of water. Most of the strikes you’ll get on the Rage Thumper Worm, even at night, will occur when the worm is falling. When you’re fishing at night, any of the darker-colored worms will be productive. Strike King Rage Thumper WormI wish Strike King made a black-colored Rage Thumper Worm for night fishing, but they don’t, so I fish with june bug, a dark color. I catch a lot of bass on it at night. Blue fleck is another productive color for night fishing. California craw is a pretty-good color, but to successfully catch bass on a plastic worm at night, use darker-colored baits.


Denny BrauerEditor’s Note: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful professional bass fishermen, depends on the tremendous database he keeps in his head that he’s acquired from bass fishing for many years to win bass tournaments. He won the BASS Elite Series Tournament on the Arkansas River in 2011. This week, Brauer will tell us how to catch hot-water bass.

Part 4: Denny Brauer on Fishing Jigs for Bass at Night

Denny BrauerQuestion: Denny, is there another lure that you fish at night?

Brauer: Yes. I like to fish the Strike King Pro-Model Jig around boathouses at night. I like the 1/2-ounce jig instead of a lighter jig, because I want the jig to catch a solid bass. I usually put a Strike King Chunk behind the jig. I fish the black-blue-colored jig on 20-pound-test line. I especially like to fish the jig around the boat docks with brush under them. This is a great way to catch a big bass at night.

Question: How do you fish the jig at night?

Brauer: I make a long pitch of the jig to the back of the boat dock, let the jig fall straight to the bottom and then crawl it over the bottom, until I get the jig into the brush. Then I use the jig to bump the brush. I’ve found that summertime bass want to hang around brush piles more than any other type of structure. A number of prey and predator fish will use a brush pile underneath a boat dock as cover. So, when you let that jig sit in the brush pile, don’t be in a hurry to get the jig out of the brush pile. Remember, most times bass aren’t aggressive in the summer. So, if you let the jig sit in the brush pile and just start tapping it against the limb (especially as I get higher-up in the brush pile), you’ll be surprised at how-many big bass you can get mad using this technique.

Question: Do you hop or crawl the jig under the boat docks at night?

Fishing with Denny BrauerBrauer: I primarily crawl the jig to stay in contact with the bottom, until I get it in the brush pile, and then I’ll start working the jig through the brush pile. I’ll hop the jig if I’m fishing it out on points at night. Also, the jig can be extremely deadly on points, especially on the main lake at night. When I’m working the jig down a point, I generally hop it rather than drag it. Don’t hop the jig if you come to a brush pile on that point, because you’ll get hung-up. Just drag it up the limbs until you reach the top limbs, shake it, and then let it fall back into the brush.


Denny BrauerEditor’s Note: Strike King Pro Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful professional bass fishermen, depends on the tremendous database he keeps in his head that he’s acquired from bass fishing for many years to win bass tournaments. He won the BASS Elite Series Tournament on the Arkansas River in 2011. This week, Brauer will tell us how to catch hot-water bass.

Part 5: Denny Brauer Recommends Fishing the Buzzbait Around Bank Structure at Night for Bass

Denny BrauerQuestion: Denny, is there any-other lure you’ll be using at night to catch bass?

Brauer: I’ll occasionally fish a buzzbait like the black Strike King Pro-Model Buzzbait, down banks. I especially like banks with 45-degree angles. I also prefer to fish the buzzbait on points. I really like to fish the buzzbait during the transition times, such as that last hour after dark and the last hour before daylight. Those are key times to fish any top-water bait throughout the summer months.

Question: Around what type of structure will you fish that buzzbait?

Brauer: You have to find out what type of structure is in the lake you’ll be fishing, such as blown-down trees or logs around the bank, bushes bordering the water or grass in the water. That’s where you’ll need to be fishing. The bass will be holding in the area where you find that bank structure. Denny BrauerRemember, if you’ve got clear water (which often happens in late summer), bass will be holding in deeper water and won’t stray far away from it.

So, the ends of bluffs and boat docks with deep water and big water underneath them are where the bass will move to feed. Search for shallow-water areas where the bass can move from deep to shallow water quickly, feed and then get back to that deep water. You have to know the depth of the lake you’re fishing. In some lakes, deep may be 5 feet, and shallow may be 1 foot. In other lakes, 100 feet may be deep, and 5 feet may be shallow.

Question: What type of retrieve do you use when you’re fishing the buzzbait?

Brauer: I prefer to fish a steady retrieve, and I don’t fish it fast. I want the bass to be able to hone-in on that buzzbait. I usually fish the black Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait with a trailer hook.

Denny BrauerQuestion: Oftentimes when fishing a buzzbait at night, you’ll hear the strike rather than see it. So, when do you set the hook?

Brauer: I set the hook on the buzzbait just like I do when I’m fishing a plastic frog. I hesitate just a moment before I set the hook. That’s the reason I prefer a slow retrieve. With a slower retrieve, your reaction time will be a little slower than if you use a fast retrieve. By using a slow retrieve, a bass will be able to inhale the bait when the fish attacks it. Also, the slow retrieve means you’re less likely to pull the buzzbait out of the bass’s mouth.

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