John's Journal...

Winning Bass Tournaments Denny Brauer on Decision Making

Why You Don’t Win Tournaments

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 Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, the BASS Angler of the year in 1987, the winner of the Bassmaster Classic in 1998, and the FLW Angler ofClick to enlarge 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-millionwinning tournaments.

Question: Denny, one of the hardest decisions for most bass fishermen to make is to leave actively-biting fish to find bigger fish. How do you make this decision?
Brauer: If you do your homework and study the history of the lake before you arrive, you should know the size of bass you’ll need to catch to win a tournament on that lake. Now, if I’m in a tournament, and I’m catching a number of 2-pound bass in one spot, but from my research I know I need a 2- to 3-pound-average bass to win on this lake, I probably will stay with those 2 pounders in hopes of catching a 3 pounder. But if I know that I’ll need fiClick to enlargeve fish that average 4-pounds each, I’ll leave those 2 pounders to try to find and catch 4 pounders. Remember, I don’t fish for schooling bass or little bass. When I fish a tournament, my goal is to win. And to win, I have to fish for the biggest bass in the lake.

Question: Why don’t most people leave little fish that areClick to enlarge biting to search for big bass?
Brauer: Many tournament fishermen lose tournaments because they set themselves up to lose. They make the decision to catch a limit of bass, regardless of the size of those bass. Too, they believe that if they can catch their limit first, then they can search for big bass and cull the little bass with big bass. If you have this thought process, you’ll often spend half the day trying to catch a limit of little bass before you even start looking for big bass, leaving you not much time to hunt for big bass.

When I leave the starting point in a tournament, I start searching for big fish immediately. I’m not worried about catching a limit, earning points for the Classic or going to the weigh-in with no fish. My sole purpose every day I fish in the tournament is to find and catch the biggest bass in the lake. With this philosophy, I have a better chance to win a tournament because I have more time to fish for big bass than the competitors trying to catch their limits. When you employ this fishing strategy, you’ll increase your odds for winning.


Tomorrow: Bad Weather? No Problem

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 3