John's Journal...

Denny Brauer on Catching Bass in Sizzling-Hot Temperatures

Knock ‘Em Out of the Trees

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: Denny, is there any other tactic that you’ve used successfully during this July and August hot-weather fishing for bass?
Brauer: I like to fish standing timber with a Premier Pro Model jig in the bluegill colors like Texas crawfish and green pumpkin. I’ll put a green-pumpkin Chunk trailer on the jig, or I’ll use one of the Rage Chunks in the green-pumpkin color, pitch it in the tree tops and just let the jig free-fall down through those tree limbs. Some of the trees I’m fishing will be in 40 to 45 feet of water, but the bass will be suspended up 10 to 20 feet from the surface. You’ve really got to be on your toes Click to enlargeand watching your line when you let that jig free fall through those tree limbs, so you can set the hook when you get a bite. Some of the trees I’m fishing are cedar trees or big hardwoods. Now I like the Premier Pro Model Jig better than the worm when I’m flipping these trees because it falls through those limbs much better than the plastic worm does.

Question: We understand that you’re pitching the jig, letting it free-fall through the trees and expecting to get a bite on the fall. What do you do, or how do you work the jig after the free-fall through the zone where you’ve expected the bass to be?
Brauer: I’m not going to let the jig go all the way to the bottom. If I think the bass are holding at 10-20 feet over a 40-foot bottom, I’ll let the jig fall to about 25 feet. If I haven’t gotten a strike, I’ll just reel the jig in and pitch it to another part of the tree. As I fish for a while and determine exactly at what depth the bass are holding, I’ll modify my presentation a little bit. If I’ve established that the bass are holding between 10 and 20 feet, I’ll let the jig fall to 25 feet, stop it, reel it up about 5 feet and shake it with my rod tip. If I don’t get a bite, I’ll reel-up another 5 feet and shake the jig. And at about every 5 feet, I’ll stop the jig and shake it to try to generate more strikes. However, I realize that about 90% of the strikes I get each day I’m fishing the jig, will occur on the fall. This type of summertime jig fishing I equate to deep-water flipping.

Question: What’s your favorite color of jig and trailer?Click to enlarge
Brauer: Texas craw.

Question: What pound-test line are you using?
Brauer: I use 25-pound-test fluorocarbon.

Question: What rod and reel are you using?
Brauer: I’m using an American Rodsmith Perfect Flipping Stick and a Denny Brauer Ardent Flippin Reel.

Question: Denny, once you get a bass to take that Premier Pro Model jig, how are you getting that fish out of the trees?
Brauer: To start with, you’ve got to lay back on that rod and get the bass moving up and toward you as hard and as fast as you can. If it suddenly gets hung-up and doesn’t want to come in, keep your line tight. If that doesn’t work, give the bass some line, and often it’ll swim itself out of that tree. Click to enlarge

To be honest, I’ve had some fish that said “adios” and they weren’t coming out of that tree, and they’d either keep my jig or give it back to me. The key ingredients to getting those fish out of the trees are using that heavier line, a really-good flipping stick and a strong reel. That’s the reason I use the American Rodsmith Perfect Flipping Stick. It’s a Denny Brauer Signature Rod that will be introduced the middle of July. I’ve been using these rods for the last 4 months and testing them, and they have everything built into them that I feel you must have to be an effective flipper.

Question: How long is this rod?
Brauer: I’ve actually got three rods set-up for flipping. The Perfect Flipping Stick is 7-feet, 6-inches long. I also have the Big Nasty flipping stick that’s 7-feet, 7-inches long and that rod’s designed to fish really-heavy cover. I also use a 7-foot, 4-inch flipping pitching rod, which is mainly used for pitching and using lighter line.

Question: What makes the Prefect Flipping Stick a perfect flipping stick?
Brauer: The Perfect Flipping Stick has the right action. Many of the rods being built and designated as flipping sticks are as stiff as a broomstick, or they’re spaghetti-noodle soft. The results are if the rod’s too stiff, you set the hook too hard, and you end up flexing hooks or breaking line. If the rod’s too soft, you don’t get a good hookset or good penetration, and you can’t move the fish. After 30 years of using the flipping technique probably more than any other fisherman, I feel like I’m competent enough to develop the perfect flipping stick. With this rod, there’s not a doubt in my mind that this is the perfect flipping stick.

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 5