John's Journal...

The Game Plan with Denny Brauer for His Lake Champlain Win in Mid-July

How Brauer Fished the Second Day of the Tournament

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Last week, Denny Brauer told us how he planned to fish the 2006 CITGO Bass Elite Series’ tournament on Lake Champlain. We talked with Brauer after the first day of practice, and much like a pool shooter who calls a shot, Brauer accurately predicted how he would fish, where he would find the fish, and how he would catch them to win this $100,000 tournament. Four days after we talked to Brauer, he executed the plan he’d laid out for us. Not only did he win the $100,000 first prize, he also passed the $2 million mark in tournament winnings, which moved him into first place as the No. 1 bass angler to win the most money on the Bassmaster circuit. This week, Brauer will take us day-by-day through the tournament and show us how he executed the plan he’d laid out for the tournament won one of the biggest events of his life. We’ll not only see the strategy of a champion, but we’ll also witness the mindset of a winner.Click to enlarge

Question: Denny, what did you think on the second day?
Brauer: As I was running down the lake headed to my primary spot that I was going to fish on the northern end of the lake, I could hardly wait to get there. I was feeling really good. Of course, in fishing, you never know what’s going to happen. You don’t know how the fishing conditions will change from day-to-day. I went straight to the creek channel ledge where I’d caught my fish on day one. I fished hard for a half hour before I finally caught one, 3-1/2-pound bass. I know that the bite is best in the morning, and I had only one bass. I went back to the reed patch where I’d started on the first morning, and sure enough, the bass had moved back there. By 8:30 am, I had my limit of bass. So, I moved away from the reeds and started fishing my secondary spots. Click to enlarge

Question: Denny, how did you make the decision to move from the creek channel where you’d really hammered the bass the day before to the reeds where you didn’t get a bite?
Brauer: The critical key in making that decision was wind direction. I’d learned that when the wind changed direction, it could change the water clarity where you were fishing. I knew that when the wind had changed from the north to the south, the weeds would clear up more than the creek channel would. I assumed that maybe the bass moved from the creek channel back to the reed patch. From past experience, I’d learned that the wind was a critical factor in where and how bass positioned themselves on cover. Click to enlarge

Question: Denny, do you believe that most weekend bass fishermen don’t understand how critical wind direction is to bass movement patterns?
Brauer: Absolutely. Many bass fishermen get tunnel vision. They start fishing like robots. They fish where they have before the way they have when they’ve caught bass. What they don’t realize is that when wind direction changes, the bass move. Many times, little subtle changes in the bass’ environment cause them to move from one type of cover to another. Noticing those subtle changes in that environment while fishing is often the difference in having a bad day or a mediocre day of fishing. If you understand and look for those subtle changes, you’re more likely to have a great day of fishing when you’re really focused, on top of your game, and are very aware of what’s going on around you. Catching bass is much easier. When you’re not in tune with changing fishing conditions around you, bass fishing can get really tough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always as dialed-in on changes in fishing conditions as I was in this tournament. However, in this particular tournament, I was extremely aware of those subtle changes in wind and water conditions that made the difference in finding or not finding bass.

Tomorrow: Brauer Reveals a New Tournament-Winning Strategy

Check back each day this week for more about "The Game Plan with Denny Brauer for His Lake Champlain Win in Mid-July"

Day 1: The Game Plan for the Tournament and Brauer’s Quest to Fight Back
Day 2: Honey Hole on the First Day
Day 3: How Brauer Fished the Second Day of the Tournament
Day 4: Brauer Reveals a New Tournament-Winning Strategy
Day 5: Going for the Win


Entry 363, Day 3