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John's Journal... Entry 242, Day 2


Brauer's Technique for Catching Big Pre-Spawn Bass

Editor's Note: Years of patience and perseverance have paid off for Chad Brauer this year. At the halfway point of 2004, Brauer leads the race for Angler of the Year and took third place at the Lake Guntersville BASS tournament at the end of February, 2004. With Brauer having the chance of winning this prestigious award, Strike King wanted to learn from Brauer how he's doing so well and how the tactics and techniques he's using can help your bass fishing.

QUESTION: Chad, you really did well at Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee River in north Alabama in February, 2004. How were you finding and catching those bass?
BRAUER: Guntersville is a fabulous fishery, and in my opinion, it's one of the top one or two big bass lakes in the nation. When you go to a lake and you average catching five bass per day that weigh 21 pounds and do that for four days, and you're not even close to winning, you know you're fishing one of the best lakes in the nation. I've fished three tournaments at Guntersville, and at all three tournaments, the fishing has been awesome. Guntersville is such a great bass-fishing lake because you can fish several different patterns and have a chance to win. The lake has bass, bluffs, rocks, wood and plenty of structure to fish. Another advantage to fishing at Guntersville is that you can actually pattern the bass on the lake and then fish that pattern and catch them. That's the way I like to fish. I like to decide what pattern bass are holding on and then run to several different spots and try to duplicate that pattern and catch some bass. And you can fish this way at Guntersville.

QUESTION: What was the hottest pattern on Lake Guntersville at the end of February?
BRAUER: I was fishing a basic winter pattern that I use a lot on Lake of the Ozarks at home. I was fishing for suspended bass around boat docks. When the water temperature is from the low to upper 40s, bass will be around boat docks in 10 to 20 feet of water. The bass will suspend under these docks and feed on dying baitfish that pass by the dock and schools of baitfish that are feeding slowly. I target these fish with a Strike King Wild Shiner jerkbait. I like the suspending version. I work the jerkbait really slow. My favorite color of Wild Shiner at this time of the year is the chrome with a blue back and the clown color, which is chrome with a yellow back and a red nose. I jerk the bait when it's 3 to 5 feet under the surface. Then I twitch it three times and let it sit absolutely still in the water. I'll let it sit for 3 or 4 seconds without moving it, next I'll twitch it two or three times moving the bait about 6 or 8 inches and then let it sit motionless for another 3 or 4 seconds. I'm trying to keep that Wild Shiner in the bass' strike zone as long as possible, because the bass aren't going to travel a long way to chase a bait at this time of the year. Most of the bass I caught would take the Wild Shiner when it was sitting dead still in the water. All I would see when I got a strike was my bait jump in the water. George Cochran, one of my Strike King Pro Team members, won the tournament using this same technique over grass. On that last day, George caught 11 bass that weighed 5 pounds or more on the Strike King Wild Shiner. He was actually culling 5-pound bass on his last day. Stacey King, who also finished in the top 5 was using this same technique fishing on rock banks. Regardless of the habitat you wanted to fish, fishing jerkbaits very slow was the pattern that the bass were being caught on at the Guntersville tournament.




Check back each day this week for more about CHAD BRAUER - COMING OF AGE ...

Day 1 - Chad Brauer's Fishing Career
Day 2 - Brauer's Technique for Catching Big Pre-Spawn Bass
Day 3 - Slow and Steady Wins the Race When You're Jerkbait Fishing
Day 4 - Equipment for Winning with the Wild Shiner
Day 5 - Why and How to Fish a Slack line with the Wild Shiner

John's Journal