The Great Outdoors: Bassmasters unite!
Dave Kranz from Dave’s Bait and Tackle and I were planning to head over to Vulcan Lakes at the Three Oaks Recreation area in Crystal Lake to teach those big bass swimming in those waters a thing or two when I got an invitation from the Bassmaster organization that put me in a quandary. They were offering me the opportunity to head up to Green Bay to spend a day in a boat observing the methods of the one-and-only Denny Brauer as he plied his craft on Green Bay and Wisconsin’s Fox River.
I told Dave and he said, “Heck! You have to cancel our trip and do it with Brauer. You don’t get many chances to watch a guy like that in action from such a close-up distance.” I agreed and we postponed our date.
Brauer hit the river at 5:30 to pre-fish. Bassmaster rules state that their Elite Series anglers aren’t allowed to have anyone else but themselves fishing in their boat for 30 days prior to a tournament. I was merely there to watch. Well, actually, I just watched and also bothered the heck out of Denny with about 500 questions. He had probably been asked about 490 of them at some previous point in his 32-year professional career.
He drives a slick rig, a Ranger with an Evinrude E-Tec 250-hp power plant that runs really quietly. Of course, the boat is neat as a pin and his gear is meticulously arranged. Strike King Lures is one of his oldest and most loyal sponsors and he spent a lot of time throwing a Strike King “DB Craw,” which is a bait that won’t go on the market until after the big ICAST tackle convention in Orlando next month.
Brauer’s day would be spent working and looking for hot spots on the Fox River heading south of Green Bay down to the first dam. He had already spent a couple of days fishing Lake Michigan near Sturgeon Bay which is about 25-miles to the north. Most of the anglers were expected to fish on Lake Michigan, but needed a back-up plan if expected high winds made them take cover on safer water.
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