HIGH ROCK LAKE, N.C. Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo., recorded finishes of second, third, fourth and fifth places in his 15 previous Classics.
The 28th Bassmaster Classic was different, as Brauer won the tournament with a three-day limit of 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 3 ounces.
Brauer was the only angler in the field of 46 to bring in a five-bass limit each day, and caught a 7-6 largemouth that claimed big bass of the Classic.
Aside from the crown, Brauer brought home $150,000 in prize money.
His primary lure was a 3-inch black neon tube jig he fished Texas style with a 1/4-ounce sinker on 25-pound-test Stren line and a Team Daiwa rod and reel.
In the dingy water, bass were holding in the branches of the laydowns in water less than 2 feet deep, and they were hitting either as the lure fell or as soon as it touched bottom.
Brauer didn't shake it or hop it at all; he made repeated presentations to each target and simply fished thoroughly.
• Denny Brauer's 7-pound, 6-ounce largemouth on Day 2 was the third best daily big bass winner in Classic history.
• Brauer fished 16 Classics before reaching the winner's circle.
• Father and son duo Denny and Chad Brauer each weighed in a daily big bass during the 1998 Classic. Denny had the lunker on Day 2 and Chad got one on Day 3.
• Denny Brauer has six top five and eight top 10 Classic finishes to his credit.
Top 6 finishers
1. Denny Brauer Camdenton, Mo. 46-03
2. George, Cochran Hot Springs, Ark. 36-04
3. Randy Blaukat Joplin, Mo. 35-02
4. Mike Reynolds Modesto, Calif. 35-01
5. Rick Clunn Glorieta, N.M. 30-04
6. Tom Biffle Wagoner, Okla. 30-03