Top Bass Fisherman Denny Brauer Tells How He Picks the Lures He Fishes Year-Round
What Denny Brauer Flips and Pitches Every Season of the Year for Bass and Why
Editor’s Note: Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful tournament bass fishermen in the world today, has earned over $2 million in tournament winnings from fishing BASS and other tournament circuits. Although there are many great flippers on the BASS circuit, Brauer is known as one of the all-time best. “I flip because I want to fish spots most bass fishermen won’t fish,” Brauer says. “I fish to win every tournament I enter, and fishing thick cover with big baits gives me the greatest odds to catch big bass and win tournaments.” But Brauer also flips tubes, creature baits and many other types of lures to catch bass. To become a better flipper, we asked Brauer to tell us how he decides when and what lures to flip.
Question: Denny, how do you decide the type of lure you’ll flip or pitch?
Brauer: I have a new piece of equipment I’ve started using regularly that I can lower into the water and actually talk to the bass and let them tell me which lure they prefer on that day, on that lake, under that weather and water condition, when they’re holding in a specific type of cover. I get a lot of feedback from the bass, and it only takes about 5 minutes. After I run through the program on this bass-talking device, I may discover that 80% of the bass say they prefer a jig that day. So, I tie a jig onto my line and start fishing. If you’d like to buy one of these bass-talking devices, I have a few more left to sell. (Grin).
Question: Okay, Denny, let’s get serious. How do you make these types of decisions?
Brauer: Honestly, the time of year and the water temperature are two of the primary factors that dictate my choice between jigs and soft-plastic lures. In the wintertime, in cold water, I’ve found over the years that the jig, the majority of the time, seems to be a better choice for flipping and pitching. There are certain things I do to a jig during cold weather to modify it. For instance, I’ll take Strike King’s Premier Pro-Model Jig and put a Denny Brauer Chunk on the back as a trailer, because this trailer doesn’t have a lot of action.
Once we get into the spawning season, I have to get a little more open-minded. When the temperature is 55 degrees and above, I look at the Flip-N-Tube, which is a compact bait without a lot of action. I prefer a green-pumpkin colored Flip-N-Tube with chartreuse dye on the end of the tail, which resembles a bluegill when you put it into the water. Even though we don’t always see the bass when we’re flipping and pitching, the bass are setting-up around structure to start making their beds. That bait really triggers a lot of strikes for me.
Then when the spawn has ended, I want a bait with more action. So, instead of flipping the tube, I’ll start considering the Rage line of soft-plastic lures, like the Rage Craw, the Rage Space Monkey and the Rage Smokin’ Rooster. When we get into the summer months, if I’m fishing a body of water that’s not super-clear, I’ll go back to the jig. But during the summer months, I want a lot of action from my jig. So, I’ll put a Rage Chunk, or if I want a bigger profile, a Rage Craw, on the back of my jig because these two trailers have much-more action than the Denny Brauer Chunk I’ve fished in the winter. Too, in the summer, I expect the bass bite to come on the fall. Those pincers that start flapping as the jig falls it invite a lot of bass to a crawfish dinner. Also, during the summer months, I’ll fish the bigger profile soft-plastic lures, like the Rage Hawg, which by the way is my number-one choice for summer and fall flipping and pitching when I think I need to be fishing a bigger bait. Or, if I think I need to flip a worm, I’ll choose the Rage Anaconda or the Rage Thumper Worm. If I’m fishing clear water, I’ll fish the Rage Anaconda. In stained water, I’ll fish the Rage Thumper Worm, because it puts out heavier vibrations than the Rage Anaconda does. During the fall, I go back to using creature baits. My number-one creature bait to flip and pitch in the fall is the Rage Hawg, and my number two is the Rage Space Monkey. These are my primary flipping and pitching baits during the fall until the water cools-down and drops below 55 degrees. Then I’ll go back to flipping and pitching the jig.
Tomorrow: Denny Brauer Tells How He Chooses Which Crankbaits to Fish for Bass