John's Journal...

Winning Bass Tournaments Denny Brauer on Decision Making

Bad Weather? No Problem.

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, ProfessionClick to enlargeal 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 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, weather often causes tournament and recreational fishermen to leave a lake. If bad weather threatens, a cold front moves in or a terrible rainstorm hits the lake, many anglers will leave. How do you decide whether to leave or stay when bad weather hits a lake you’re fishing?
Brauer: I’ve fished in almost every weather condition you can imagine. I’ve fished through awful lightning storms when I probably should have left the lake. At those times, I considered my options and decided staying would be better than trying to leave. But if the lightning storm moves in close, I use common sense. If I’m fishing a ledge in the middle of the lake, and I’m the tallest structure in the middle of the lake when lightning strikes, I’ll move into a more-sheltered area where I’m less likely to become a lightning roClick to enlarged.

I don’t ever recall shortening my day or not competing because of weather. I actually prefer bad weather, especially when I’m competing. If the water’s rough, and the weather’s bad, most competitors are concerned about the weather or the water conditions more than they are about catching bass. I’ve learned how toClick to enlarge focus and concentrate on fishing, regardless of the weather. Bad weather can be an advantage for a good fisherman.

Anglers often use bad weather as excuses for not catching fish. I often hear excuses like, “If the rain hadn’t been so hard, if the water hadn’t been so rough, or if the lightning hadn’t been popping, I could have caught more and bigger bass.” When fishermen start following this line of thinking, they’re using the weather as an excuse to perform poorly. Fishermen who welcome bad weather and believe it gives them an advantage over their competitors have an edge because they have positive mindsets and pay more attention to their lures and tactics than the fishermen who have decided the weather’s too bad to catch bass. When bad weather hits, it unnerves and distracts other competitors, so I don’t have to compete against as many anglers as I will if we have great weather. In bad weather, I fish as hard and as intently as I can and try to keep a positive attitude. Instead of leaving the water during bad weather, I decide the bad weather gives me a better chance to win.

Tomorrow: How to Close the Deal

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 4