John's Journal...

Denny Brauer – Preparing the Tournament

Day 5: Pattern Fishing vs. Small Fishing

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, was a chess master, he’d be one of the best in the world. Tournament bass fishing is much like a game of chess in that you have to lay out a battle strategy first with plenty of options, so that you can react and move properly, depending on your opponent’s plan. Over the years, Brauer has proved he knows how to play the game. In mid-July 2006, Denny Brauer passed the $2 million mark in earnings for tournament fishing on the Bassmaster’s tournament circuit. The only other angler to achieve this goal is Kevin VanDam, who’s also a Strike KiClick to enlargeng pro. No one ever can doubt that these two anglers know how to find and catch bass anywhere in the country, under any water and weather conditions and against the toughest competition in the nation. As most athletic coaches know, preparation is the key to winning. This week, we’ll talk with Brauer about how he prepares to fish the Lake Champlain tournament, and what he does to win.

Question: What do you mean by pattern fishing?
Brauer: If during practice I determine that the bass are holding on willow trees, bushes or boat docks, then, instead of fishing specific spots, I’ll fish the areas where I find that type of cover. I’ll also keep going to new water that has that type of cover every day of the tournament. Instead of fishing a spot or a series of spots, I’ll be fishing a pattern by going to the type of cover that I’ve decided the bass want to hold to on that day. For instance, if I havClick to enlargee to fish for smallmouth bass up here on Lake Champlain, and I’ve decided that the smallmouth are holding on points, every day I may run different points until I find the ones that are holding the largest concentration of bass.

Question: Denny, how many spots will you have prior to a tournament that you believe you can go to and catch bass, including bad weather spots?Click to enlarge
Brauer: I’ve fished some tournaments where I haven’t had any spots where I’ve known I can catch bass all three practice days. I haven’t figured out what I consider a starting spot. I may catch only one fish here or there, and I don’t get a spot that will continue to produce a good number of fish established. I may use the first day of the tournament as a practice day because I know that I haven’t found a pattern that will work to win that tournament. I’ve had practices where every day I’m finding good schools of bass, and perhaps by the time practice is over, I’ll have 10-different spots that I can rotate through each day of the tournament and consistently catch enough bass to win or do well. It’s rare that you find those 10 spots that will consistently produce every day of a four-day tournament. My style of fishing is basically pattern fishing rather than spot fishing.


Check back each day this week for more about "Denny Brauer – Preparing the Tournament "

Day 1: Before I Get to the Lake
Day 2: How Will You Find the Big Bass?
Day 3: What Type of Lures Are You Going to Use to Catch Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass?
Day 4: Managing Your Bass and Dealing with the Weather
Day 5: Pattern Fishing vs. Small Fishing


Entry 362, Day 5