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Denny Brauer on Catching Bass in Sizzling-Hot Temperatures

Shhh … the New Series 6 XD is the Secret Weapon of the Strike King Pros During Hot Weather

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The end of July and the month of August in some areas of the country can be so hot that bacon will sizzle on the sidewalk. In some areas of the Deep South, temperatures will be more than 110 degrees with no breezes on a bright, sunny day. For most of us, this time is the worst part of the year to find and catch bass, but not for Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri. A professional angler for 29 years, Brauer has won or has finished in the top 10 in 81 tournaments, has career earnings of over $2.5 million and has qualified for 18 Bassmaster Classics, bringing home first place in 1998.

Question: What’s another tactic you use at this time of the year?
Brauer: You certainly can’t overlook the deep-diving crankbaits. In hot, clear weather, fishing a deep-diving crankbait like the Series 5Click to enlarge or Series 6 is a no-brainer, if you want to catch bass. One of the big advantages to fishing a crankbait at this time of year is if you’re not really sure where the bass are holding, the crankbait is a great way to locate bass, because you can cover so-much water with a crankbait. I’ll fish a crankbait on the main lake points and on the secondary points throughout the summer. I’ll also run a crankbait down some of the main-channel bluffs and catch a lot of fish that are suspended on those bluffs.

Question: Denny, what size and what color crankbait will you be fishing in the summer?
Brauer: The Series 6 crankbait without a doubt was my No. 1 crankbait for fishing at this time of the year. Now you noticed I said “was.” Strike King has just introduced (and I don’t even know if they’re available for sale yet) the Series 6 XD. XD stands for extra deep. When you need a crankbait to fish deep ledges, bluffs, points or any other type of deep-water structure, that Series 6 XD just can’t be beat. Not only will it get down to the depths you want to fish, but it’s got all the qualities that you want in a good deep-diving crankbait.

But if you noticed, I said the Series 5 and the Series 6. You never want to go to a gun fight with only one bullet, and you never want to go fishing with only one lure. If we get those cloudy, rainy, overcast days, and my top-water baits aren’t producing the number of bass I think they should, then I’ll use the Series 5 crankbait. I’ll move in a little closer to shallow water than when I’m fishing on the bright, sunny days. I’ll fish those same points, bluff ends, islands and places where I caught bass with the Series 6 XD the day before. I’ve had a tremendous amount Click to enlargeof success with the Series 6, and I’ve got an awful lot of confidence in that crankbait. When Strike King developed this new XD, I tried to wear it out. I can honestly say that the Series 6 XD is the best summertime crankbait I’ve ever had in my hand.

Question: What makes the Series 6 XD so good?
Brauer: It gets down to the bottom quickly. That bigger, thinner bill will allow the bait to root in the bottom just like a hog roots in a carrot patch. The Series 6 XD generates an awful lot of strikes for me.

Question: Denny, when you’re fishing that Series 6 XD deep, what pound-test line are you using, and how are you working the bait?
Brauer: The majority of the time, I’m fishing the XD on 12-pound-test fluorocarbon line. I’ve got a real comfort level with 12-pound-test linClick to enlargee when I’m deep cranking. If I’ve got a spot where I need to get a little bit deeper, I may go as light as 10-pound test. But I’m not one of these fishermen who throws a deep-diving crankbait like the XD on 8-pound test. I’m just not comfortable using a line that light.

Question: What color do you like in the XD?
Brauer: I think the Sexy Shad color almost has been over-promoted. However, there’s a reason it’s been promoted so much. The bass really like that color, and I catch a lot of fish on that color. In fact, I just got back from Nebraska walleye fishing with some friends. I had some of those Series 6 XDs in the Sexy Shad color, and that was the color that the walleye preferred. So the Sexy Shad color is definitely a good color, especially if the water’s fairly clear. If the water’s a little stained, I like a Series 5 or Series 6 in the chartreuse with a powder-blue back. These are my two main colors.

Question: What kind of retrieve are you using when you fish a crankbait deep?
Brauer: I like to use a fairly-steady retrieve but I don’t want to fish like a robot. If the bass aren’t biting a steady retrieve, I’ll experiment with various kinds of retrieves. I personally don’t like to burn (reel as fast as I can) the crankbait. But at times, when I locate a big school of bass, and the bass quit biting, I won’t leave that school until I’ve burned the crankbait through them as fast and hard as I can several times. At times, burning that deep crankbait will trigger a few extra strikes and catch you a few extra fish. But without question, the retrieve I’ve been most successful using is the stop-and-go retrieve. I’ve found the that the stop-and-go retrieve consistently has produced more summertime bass for me, regardless of the size and color crankbait I’m using, than any other retrieve.

I think a lot of bass like to track crankbaits and follow them. When you stop that bait and start it again, that action seems to trigger the strike. So, every time I’m fishing a crankbait, you’ll see me use that stop-and-go type of retrieve at least 2-3 times before I leave the spot I’m fishing.

To learn more from Denny Brauer, visit

Tomorrow: Knock ‘Em Out of the Trees

Check back each day this week for more about "Denny Brauer on Catching Bass in Sizzling-Hot Temperatures"

Day 1: Brauer Bets on the Anaconda in Hot Weather
Day 2: The Sexy Spoon Catches Everything that Swims
Day 3: The Weather Isn’t Hot All Day or Every Day – Look Shallow
Day 4: Shhh … the New Series 6 XD is the Secret Weapon of the Strike King Pros During Hot Weather
Day 5: Knock ‘Em Out of the Trees


Entry 518, Day 4