Brauer works wonders in bass event

On The Outdoors

August 30, 1998|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

MARBURY -- Denny Brauer has won every major bass fishing honor and a slew of top tournaments during his long career. But this week in the B.A.S.S. Kmart Top 150 tournament, Brauer managed to surprise ever himself.

After a slow start in the first Brauer day of the tournament, Brauer figured out a small creek on the Virginia side of the Potomac River and worked it for 58 pounds, 11 ounces of bass and a victory in the sport's season opener.

Brauer clinched the victory with a five-bass limit, weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces.

"I'm in shock," said Brauer of Camdenton, Mo., as he accepted a check for $74,000 and title to a $26,000 bass boat. "Once in a while, you just get one of those days when everything goes right and you get tuned in to the fish."

Brauer has been tuned in since the end of last season, when he won the final two B.A.S.S. events and then won the Bassmasters Classic a couple of weeks ago. He now has won more than $1.5 million during his career on the B.A.S.S. tour.

"I don't think I am fishing any better than I ever was, but I hope it continues," said Brauer, who struggled during Day 1 on Wednesday. "I will say that I fish to win and because of that there is a chance that at times I will finish out of the money. But you have really got to take a chance to win."

Brauer, 49, used an arsenal of spinnerbaits, jigs and tubes.

And while other competitors preferred to stay closer to the richer grass beds in the Mattawoman Creek area near tournament headquarters, Brauer said he found a variety of cover and structure that he learned to fish as the tournament progressed.

Brauer refused to name the water he fished, but several observers said it was Little Hunting Creek.

"I don't totally understand tidal fishing," Brauer said. "But you can chase the tides by running up and down river with it or you can choose a place and fish it through the tides."

The creek he chose, Brauer said, had boat docks, lily pads, submerged grass and blown-down timber -- everything an angler could want, including fish.

At low tide, he said, docks and submerged wood cover gave up bass on jigs and tubes. At high tide, he worked spinnerbaits over lily pads and grass beds. The spinnerbaits, he said, were especially effective because of the storm tides late in the week.

"You have to know where the fish live , and when that storm tide came in on Friday, we didn't get a bite for about two hours," Brauer said. "You just have to ask yourself: What are the fish doing? More than likely they are moving with the water, too. So I moved with them."

Ken McInstosh, the Indiana angler who chose to fish the discharge system at the Blue Plains water treatment plant near Washington, finished second with 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

"I spent four days on a 20-yard stretch," said McIntosh, who found his spot while practice fishing with his 18-year-old son, Kenneth McIntosh III. "It was about the most boring thing I ever did in my life. But it worked."

While Brauer was fishing cover and structure with 25-pound test line, McIntosh was switching between 8- and 10-pound test and teasing fish to bite in clear water.

The tournament started slowly, with smaller than average Potomac River limits on Wednesday and Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla., took the early lead with just under 16 pounds.

On Day 2, 1982 Classic winner Paul Elias of Pachuta, Miss., caught a limit of big bass from Piscataway Creek and took the lead with 28 pounds, one ounce ahead of Schultz.

By Friday, McIntosh had swept into the lead with 44 pounds, 6 ounces.

Schultz had dropped to fourth, Elias to sixth, and Brauer had begun to make his move.

"Brauer again?" Elias said after Friday's weigh-in. "Brauer walks around with a horseshoe in his pocket."

1. Denny Brauer, Camdenton, Mo. 58-11

2. Ken McIntosh, Leesburg, Ind. 55-14

3. Davy Hite, Prosperity, S.C. 55-13

4. Rick Morris, Va. Beach, Va. 54-13

5. Bernie Schultz, Gainesville, Fla. 54-3

6. Jay Yelas, Tyler, Texas 52-14

7. Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark. 52-5

8. Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark. 50-4

9. Paul Elias, Pachuta, Miss. 49-3

10. Mark Tucker, Kirkwood, Mo. 47-12

Pub Date: 8/30/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.