John's Journal...

Rule-Breaking Ways to Catch Bass

Day 3: The Brauer Family – Denny and Chad – Sometimes Fish Kids’ Baits for Bass

Editor’s Note: If bass always did what we expected them to do, we'd catch them every time we went bass fishing. Some of nation's best bass-fishing pros break the rules of bass fishing regularly to catch more bass. Let's look at some rule-breaking techniques that will bring more bass to your boat this year. Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful tournament-bass fishermen in the world today, has competed professionally for about three decades. He’s won the Bassmaster’s Angler of the Year title and the Classic, besides being the FLW Angler of the Year. Although there are many great flippers on the Bassmaster circuit, Brauer is known as one of the all-time best. Chad Brauer from Osage Beach, Missouri, Denny’s son, also is a professional bass angler and TV personality and competes on several bass-fishing circuits.

Use Kid’s Baits:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewDenny and Chad Brauer both have learned to fish kids’ baits to catch big bass. "I've learned to fish overlooked baits to win professional bass tournaments," Chad Brauer says. "I took my son, Cody, fishing with me a few years ago. Cody fished with a 1/4-ounce Strike King Premier Elite spinner bait and generally got a lot of bites. Cody usually could cast this bait easily and had caught different kinds of fish on it. But on this particular day, Cody didn't get many strikes. While practicing with me for an upcoming tournament, he wanted to change baits to try and catch fish." So, Chad Brauer let Cody cast a white Series 1 Strike King crankbait that he knew would work on white bass and largemouth bass. Since this particular lake homed numbers of white bass, Brauer thought his son might start catching fish with this little bait. Cody in 4 hours caught 20 bass that weighed up to 3-pounds each. "When I saw the fish-catching potential of that small, white crankbait, I filed that knowledge away for use at a later date," Chad Brauer recalls. "Then in three-different tournaments that year, I used that little kid's crankbait to catch some nice smallmouths. I found the lure was especially deadly at Lake St. Clair when I worked it just above the grass. For some reason, those smallmouths really liked that small, solid-white crankbait that no serious fisherman in his right mind probably ever would use in a tournament."

Change-Up Your Fishing:

Click for Larger ViewDenny Brauer, Cody’s grandpa, says, "While fishing on the Potomac River during a tournament, I found a stretch of bank that had numerous laydowns. I started flipping to the laydowns with a tube and felt I would do well. However, two other tournament anglers were fishing the same bank using tubes. I knew the three of us would split-up the bass, and then I wouldn't do as well as I wanted. Click for Larger ViewSo, I picked-up the Strike King Series 1 square-billed crankbait and started to fish the same laydowns after the two-other anglers already had fished them. The fish had become conditioned to the tube, since we all had fished it. But evidently nobody else had fished a crankbait with a square bill. I took a good limit of bass. Probably 75 percent of my fish during that tournament came from that crankbait. I wouldn't have received a check if I'd stuck with fishing only the tube."

How to Bass Fish Like a ProTo learn even-more bass-catching strategies, order John E. Phillips’ new eBook, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” click here. Or, you can go to and type-in the name of the book to find it. You also can download a Kindle app for free to allow you to read the book on your iPad, SmartPhone and computer.

Tomorrow: George Cochran and Randy Dearman Catch Bass


Check back each day this week for more about "Rule-Breaking Ways to Catch Bass "

Day 1: “Kevin VanDam Tells 5 Unique Ways to Catch Bass”
Day 2: Learn some of Mark Rose’s Tactics for Catching Bass
Day 3: The Brauer Family – Denny and Chad – Sometimes Fish Kids’ Baits for Bass
Day 4: George Cochran and Randy Dearman Catch Bass
Day 5: Top Fishermen Shaw Grigsby, Larry Nixon, Mike Wurm and Rick Clunn on Unusual Bass Tactics

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Entry 664, Day 3