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“Picking Bass Lures to Fish Each Season” Day 2: Choose Crankbaits to Fish for Bass When

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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 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.

Question: Denny, how do you choose which crankbait you’ll fish on any day?

Brauer: I use the exact formula for picking flipping and pitching baits. There are warm-water crankbaits and cold-water crankbaits. One key factor that separates these two kinds of crankbaits is the amount of water each type of lure displaces. The other factor is the depth of water the bass holds. This may surprise some people, but in the cold wintertime, my favorite crankbait is the Strike King Series 3. The Series 3 gives you a subtle presentation, and that lure is precisely the right size for catching wintertime bass. When you’re dealing with cold water, you will often also be dealing with clear water. So, when it comes to color, I’ll pretty much stay with the shad patterns of crankbaits.

Once we get into the spring run-off, when the lake starts to dirty up, I’ll choose Strike King’s square-billed crankbaits, like the Series 1 and the Series 4S. The Series 4S is, without a doubt, my favorite early-spring crankbait. I beef up the size of the tackle on which I fish it. This bait has big hooks, so you can land giant bass that may hold in heavy cover when you fish the Series 4S.

I prefer a Series 5 or 6 when the bass gets into summertime mode. I’ll return to the Series 4S crankbait when the fall rolls around. I like that square-billed crankbait, and I prefer to fish it down the sides of logs lying in the water or around boat docks. Now, anytime you get advice like this, whoever’s giving it is telling you how they’ll fish and choose lures in a specific section of the country. The patterns I’ve given you for flipping and pitching yesterday and for choosing crankbaits today are the lures I fish at these times of year in the Midwest where I once lived. If I’m fishing a lake with vegetation, instead of fishing the Series 3 in the wintertime, I’ll fish the Red Eye Shad. I’ll also use the Red Eye Shad for fishing in the fall when the bass is schooling on shad.

So, anytime you get this type of advice from any fisherman, make sure you understand the types of lakes he fishes, the choices he makes based on those kinds of lakes, and the type of cover found in those lakes. Bass fishing is much like selling shoes. Not all shoes fit all feet simultaneously and in the same way.

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “How to Rig Live Bait Fish for Smallmouth Bass in a Tailrace” with Brian Barton” 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: Fish Finesse Lures

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