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“Picking Bass Lures to Fish Each Season” Day 1: Flip and Pitch All Year for Bass

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Editor’s Note: Denny Brauer, originally of Camdenton, Missouri, and today a resident of Del Rio, Texas, on Lake Amistad in southern Texas, is one of the most successful tournament bass fishermen ever. He’s earned over $2.5 million in tournament winnings and has won a Bassmaster Classic, the title of Bass Angler of the year, the title of FLW Angler of the Year and has been featured on the Wheaties cereal box. . Brauer is known as one of the best flippers ever. “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 lures to catch bass. This week, we’ll learn how Brauer chooses which lures to fish when.

JITW 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 regularly using that I can lower into the water and 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 prefer a jig that day. So, I tie a jig onto my line and start fishing. I have a few more left to sell if you’d like to buy one of these bass-talking devices. (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 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 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 enter the spawning season, I must be more open-minded. When the temperature is 55 degrees and above, I look at the Flip-N-Tube, a compact bait without much action. I prefer a green-pumpkin-colored Flip-N-Tube with chartreuse dye on the end of the tail, which resembles 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 the structure to start making their beds. That bait 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 consider the Rage line of soft-plastic lures, like the Rage Craw and others. 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, I want a lot of action from my jig. So, I’ll put a Rage Chunk on the back of my jig because this trailer has 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 in the fall. Those pincers that start flapping as the jig falls invite a lot of bass to a crawfish dinner. Also, during the summer, I’ll fish the more extensive profile soft-plastic lures, like the Rage Hawg, 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. I’ll fish the Rage Thumper Worm in stained water because it puts out heavier vibrations than the Rage Anaconda.

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 return to flipping and pitching the jig.

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “Skeet Reese Bassmaster Classic 2014” by John E. Phillips.

Expert Guidebooks on Bass Fishing: Best Sellers

If you want to become the best you can be, find someone who’s already become the best at what you want to do and follow his or her instructions. This is what I’ve done in my new book, Bass Pros’ Season by Season Tactics.

In this book, I’ve chosen some of the best bass fishermen to give you advice on how to find and catch bass during each period of a bass fish’s life, including professionals like Kevin VanDam, Denny Brauer, David Fritts, Rick Clunn, Larry Nixon, George Cochran, Mark Davis, Woo Daves, Gary Klein, Davy Hite, Michael Iaconelli, Skeet Reese, Mark Rose, and Shaw Grigsby.

My hope is that this book will help you find and catch more bass at every time of the year and each day you’re on the water. The men included in this book are some of the best mentors I know of for successful bass fishing anywhere in the nation.


How to Bass Fish Like a Pro
If you could sit down and interview some of the best pro bass fishermen in the world, what would you want them to tell you to help you improve your bass fishing skills?

In this book, How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Kevin VanDam explains how he catches bass consistently, and how he fishes all 12 months of the year. In the bonus chapters, he will tell you how to fish for hot-weather bass.

Denny Brauer will tell you the ways he hates to fish, how he picks the best fishing lures for different water and weather conditions, and will give you his best fishing tips for hot weather. In Brauer’s bonus chapters, he’ll teach you when to flip a jig, a tube, or a creature bait and tell you his three tips for how to be a better fisherman.

Mark Davis, in Chapter 3 of the book, explains his five secrets to becoming a better bass fisherman, how to turn your bass fishing around to the positive side, and how to catch hot-weather bass. In the bonus chapter, you’ll get six different interviews with Davis, where he tells you: three tips for becoming a better bass fisherman; his three favorite bass lures; and how to keep a big bass on the line and get it to the boat.

James Niggemeyer tells you how to become a bass pro. He also tells you how to catch bass when the weather sizzles. In Niggemeyer’s bonus chapter, he explains how to move from being a bass-club fisherman up to being a pro.

Mark Rose will explain his five favorite go-to bass lures, and how to catch bass in the middle of the summer.

In this book, you’ll hear from top-performing pro fishermen about how they catch big bass consistently, and what they do to win millions of dollars as professional bass fishermen.


Catch the Biggest and Most Bass in Any Lake
If you were having open-heart surgery at the hospital, you’d want the best doctor with the most experience and the latest equipment and techniques that money could buy to do your operation. You’d study these doctors’ credentials to learn who was the best.

This is the same type of research that author John E. Phillips has done with the best bass fishermen in the nation to solve the problem of how to find and catch the biggest and the most bass in any body of water that he fishes.

This is the same type of research that author John E. Phillips has done with the best bass fishermen in the nation to solve the problem of how to find and catch the biggest and the most bass in any body of water that he fishes.

In this book, you’ll hear about the techniques, tips, baits, lures, and tackle that 18 of the nation’s best professional fishermen use to support their families by winning bass tournaments and catching the most and the biggest bass they can in every tournament they fish.

Most of these anglers are Bassmaster Classic winners, Megabucks winners, Angler-of-the-Year and FLW Tour winners – like Rick Clunn, Kevin VanDam, George Cochran, Mark Davis, Paul Elias, Skeet Reese, Larry Nixon, Hank Parker, Ken Cook, Denny Brauer, Alton Jones, and Jay Yelas.

Also, every serious bass fisherman should know Timmy Horton, Mark Rose, Randy Dearman, Harold Allen, Mike Wurm, and Shaw Grigsby, men whose tactics you’ll find in this book. To learn how to fish for bass and change your bass-fishing trips from fishing trips to catching trips, this book is a must-have.


Winning Strategies of the Bass Pros
I learned many years ago if you want to be the best you can be, then you need to learn from the best – particularly when you want to be the best bass fisherman possible. That’s why I’ve written Winning Strategies of the Bass Pros about 11 top bassers.

If you’re wondering at what age you can start learning about bass fishing, you’ll see in the first two chapters about two young men who have come up through the ranks of collegiate bass tournaments – Jordan Lee, who won the Bassmaster Classic in 2017, and Dustin Connell, who won $100,000 in a B.A.S.S. Elite Series tournament in Mississippi in 2017. Top-name pros on both the B.A.S.S. circuit and the FLW circuit are in this book, including Kevin VanDam, Jay Yelas, George Cochran, Rick Clunn, Larry Nixon, Woo Daves, Randy Howell, Scott Canterbury, and Gary Klein.


In How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II, you’ll learn tips and tactics from 21+ Bassmaster Classic winners, two Major League Fishing champions, and 20+ Bassmaster Anglers of the Year about some of the dramatic changes in bass fishing, like:

Depth Finders: You need the latest and greatest depth finders available, since they’re the brains of a bass boat with maps, GPS, side scanning, down scanning, and forward scanning features that enable you to see underwater structures and fish 100-feet away with a 360-degree view. Today’s competitive bass anglers may have four or five depth finders located on the consoles and the bows of their boats. 

Other Changes in Equipment: Power fishing for bass using heavy line and rods, big baits, and bait-casting reels that resemble winches have given way to finesse fishing and new techniques like fishing the Ned Rig, the Neko Rig, the Chicken Rig, and the Tokyo Rig on spinning tackle and line as small as 6-10 pounds. 

The Growth in Youth and College Competitions for Bass: A young person can begin competition fishing as early as the second grade and continue throughout high school. After that, if the competitor qualifies, he/she may win a scholarship to fish on a college team that eventually may lead them to a professional bass-fishing career. 

Changes in the Ways Anglers Bass Fish: Many of the most-consistent winners never pick-up their rods to fish during pre-fishing. Instead, they’ll idle across the water, dropping waypoints from their electronics in places where they’ve identified schools of bass holding. These contestants will have at least 50-250 locations, where they’ve pinpointed schools of bass before a tournament starts.


Tomorrow: Choose Crankbaits to Fish for Bass When

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