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Legends of the Sport: Denny Brauer | Print |  Email
Written by Dan O’Sullivan   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:44
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Legends of the Sport: Denny Brauer
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According to online dictionaries, the term ‘Legend’ has several meanings, it can mean; ‘an unverified story handed down from earlier times, especially one popularly believed to be historical.’ It might mean; ‘An explanatory table or list of the symbols appearing on a map or chart.’ Or in the case of the bass fishing world, a ‘Legend’ is; ‘one that inspires legends or achieves legendary fame.’

A Legend of the sport is someone who has made significant contributions or achieved uncommon accomplishments en route to leaving an indelible mark on the history of the sport. These are individuals who have set new standards, created new trends and driven the bar to new heights as they have blazed the trails of their careers.

Without these individuals, the sport of bass fishing would have nothing to measure itself against. The industry, minus their involvement, would likely be in a much less advanced state that it is. The drive of dominating competition, on and off the water has left a trail of history that many are witness too, yet few are a component of.

One of those anglers is Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo.

Brauer by the Numbers
The discussion of a career with the magnitude of Brauer’s must start with the numbers. According to, the Camdenton, Mo. angler’s BASS career began in August of 1978 when he entered the Federation Chapter Championship on Lake Eufala in Alabama. His 40th place finish at that event would earn Brauer a $107 paycheck, his first in 180 such paydays over a career that has spanned 30 years and 283 entries into BASS competition. He has qualified for 19 trips to the Bassmaster Classic.

Over that 30 year career, Brauer has pocketed an average $8,073.86 per tournament entered, bringing his BASS career earnings total to $2,284,901.80, second only to Kevin VanDam. Over that span, Brauer has racked up 16 career victories, including the 1998 Bassmaster Classic on High Rock Lake in North Carolina, the 1992 Bassmaster Megabucks on Lake Guntersville in Alabama and the 1993 Bassmaster Superstars on the Illinois River. All told, Brauer has won major tournaments in three decades and nine different states.

Those are just the tournament victories. Including his victories, Brauer has placed in the top 10 in 74 separate events, 10 times in the runner up position, nine times in third, a total of 46 times in the top 5. Over his BASS career he has finished in the money 63 percent of the time, and in the top 10 and astonishing 26 percent of his total entries. He has also earned another $130,350 and nine top 10’s in FLW Tour competition.

In his 283 Bassmaster entries, Brauer has bagged a little more than 7,716 pounds of bass across the country, an average of nearly 32 and a half pounds per event. The magnitude of his accomplishments includes the 1987 Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, an FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title, the Bassmaster Classic, Superstars and Megabucks championships, and he was the first angler to be featured on a box of Wheaties cereal.

To put his career further into perspective, Brauer ranks 2nd in all-time BASS wins behind Roland Martin, 2nd in all-time career earnings to VanDam. His 1998 season is the single best season for an angler ever. No other angler has been on a roll like Brauer was that year. His 1998 earnings of $406,000 placed him 6th in single season earnings; in that one season he won four BASS events including the Classic, and placed in the top 10 five out of seven times on the FLW Tour.

During the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series season Brauer finished 43rd in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, he placed in the Elite 12 three times. Those accomplishments would be enough to make many anglers happy. But, at 59 years old, Brauer only saw that he didn’t qualify for the Classic or win a tournament, which are his goals as he starts each year.

In 2009, as he turns 60 years old before the first cast is made, Brauer stands poised to launch his 29th full season as a professional angler, and to be sure, his goal is to make the Classic and to win an event, if not more than one; nothing less than that would be in keeping with his history, nor would it be worthy of his competitive nature.

All of those accomplishments would be enough to call any angler great, and should they be the only measuring stick, they would stand alone. However, that is only part of the Denny Brauer story. Brauer is a tireless worker, spending multitudes of hours working with his sponsors to develop new products that help him win, and other anglers to catch more fish. He is an active public speaker, having traveled the country for years teaching others the knowledge he has gained throughout his long and distinguished career.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 05:18

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