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Winning Bass Tournaments Denny Brauer on Decision Making

Lures – When to Change ‘Em

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: To compete and win in the BASS Elite Series, win a Bassmaster Classic or earn the title of Angler of the Year, you must be able to determine the most-productive fishing tactic to use every day you fish. This week, Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame member DennClick to enlargey Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, the BASS Angler of the year in 1987, the winner of the Bassmaster Classic in 1998, and the FLW Angler of the year in 1998, will tell us how he makes the difficult decisions on the water every day that helps him win at bass fishing and earn almost $2-1/2-million winning tournaments.

Question: Denny, many tournaments are won because the fisherman makes the right decision to change lures at the appropriate time. How do you make that decision?
Brauer: Sometimes I change lures because I’m not getting bites. If I’m fishing a particular lure religiously for 4 or 5 hours that I think the bass should be biting, but don’t get a bite, I’ll swap lures. I make decisions on what lures I’ll fish based on the conditions on the lake that day. I start by trying to determine how many bass are in the lake and the history of the bass caught in this lake. Before I arrive at the lake, I want to know how many pounds of bass I need to catch to win this tournament. If I’m not catching the number of bass or the size of bass I need to win the tournament, I’ll probably switch lures.

Too, you have to be aware of the changing fishing conditions during the day and the effects those changing conditions have on your ability to catch bass with a given lure. For instance, if a calm day becomes windy, an oClick to enlargevercast day becomes sunny or a sunny day suddenly gets cloudy, I need to switch my lure selection or color because the fishing conditions have changed. From years of fishing, I’ve learned that when weather conditions change, the bass are more likely to bite another lure than the one I’m fishing. This reason is why tournament fishermen haClick to enlargeve several-different rods with a variety of Strike King lures tied onto those rods. As soon as there’s a change in the fishing conditions, we can lay down one rod, pick up another rod with a different lure and increase our chances for taking bass.

The rods on a fisherman’s deck with a different lure tied-onto the line of each rod are a fisherman’s tool chest. If a fisherman is fishing a lipless crankbait like the Red Eye Shad down the bank, but comes to a treetop that may be holding bass, he can lay down that rod with the Red Eye Shad, pick up a rod rigged with a Strike King jig and increase his chances for catching bass. Therefore, the lures a fisherman ties onto the different rods on the front of his boat when he’s fishing allow him to adapt to fishing conditions instantly by simply laying down one rod and picking up another. So, before you go out in the morning, analyze the fishing conditions on the lake you’ll be fishing that day, and tie on four or five appropriate lures. This way, when fishing conditions change, you can switch lures quickly without having to replace the lure on the rod.

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Tomorrow: Why You Don’t Win Tournaments

Check back each day this week for more about "Winning Bass Tournaments Denny Brauer on Decision Making"

Day 1: The Magic Spot
Day 2: Lures – When to Change ‘Em
Day 3: Why You Don’t Win Tournaments
Day 4: Bad Weather? No Problem.
Day 5: How to Close the Deal


Entry 484, Day 2