Denny Brauer, a professional bass fisherman from Camdenton, Mo., has won plenty of big tournaments over the past 18 years, and last weekend he was a big winner again, even though he failed to make the cut in the $1 million Forrest Wood Open in Hartford, Conn.
Brauer finished 12th in a field of 75 pros. But in the process he won the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title and a position on a special-edition Wheaties box.
Brauer, 49, will be the first pro angler featured on the cereal box, which, through the years, has showcased professional and Olympic stars.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be in the company of the greatest athletes in history," said Brauer, who won $15,000 for his finish in the Wood. "I never dreamed that my love of bass fishing would ever lead to a spot on the Wheaties box."
Randall Hutson of Washburn, Mo., won the record $200,000 first prize in the Wood with a final day catch of five bass weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces.
The final event of the $3.97 million tour will be the $450,000 FLW Tour Championship, Sept. 16-19 in Moline, Ill.
O.C. Shark Tournament
James Ludwig of Baltimore won the mako division of the Ocean City Shark Tournament last weekend with a 184-pounder caught aboard Southern Comfort.
The release category was won by the crew aboard Surf's Edge, which caught and released four makos.
Geoff Hoffman of Middletown, Del., won the open division with a 321-pound blue shark caught aboard Captain Ike II.
Upper Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish, catfish, white perch and croaker are the fare for upper bay anglers, with much of the rockfish action at Love and Swan points and over the humps off Gibson Island. Chumming is the best method, but trollers also are catching fish. Chummers often are inundated by smaller rock, while trollers have been catching a larger -- and scarcer -- fish. Catfish to 12 pounds are on the oyster bars from Hodges to Poole's Island in 6- to 15-foot depths, while white perch have been congregated in the rivers, with the Key Bridge and Carroll Island areas good possibilities. Shell bottoms along the western shore from Hart-Miller Island to the Bay Bridge and the bridge pilings also are good bets for perch. Numbers of croaker reportedly are increasing in the Love Point area, and Podickory Point has been producing hardheads in the evening.
Middle Chesapeake Bay: Trollers and chummers continue to do well for rockfish. Chummers have done very well on fish to 34 inches at Buoy 1 off the West River, The Hill and the artificial reef off Knapps Narrows, Summer Gooses, The Diamonds and the Gas Docks. Best trolling continues to be along western edge of shipping channel from Parkers Creek to Cove Point. Black drum catches continue to be spotty. Croaker action has picked up again in the lower Choptank River, Breezy Point, mouth of the Patuxent, Holland Point and Eastern Bay. False Channel, below the mouth of the Choptank, the mouth of the Patuxent and sharp edges in Eastern Bay are producing flounder. From the Patuxent south, varying numbers of sea trout and spot are mixed with the croaker, although increasing numbers are moving farther north. White perch are on the hard bottoms from Thomas Point to Hacketts at the Bay Bridge.
Lower Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish action continues to be excellent, and bluefish from 2 to 5 pounds are abundant from Buoy 72 south. The Southwest Middle Grounds, eastern edge from the HS Buoy to No. 76 and Point No Point have been good for rockfish. The Middle Grounds, Hooper Island Light, Kedges Straits and Tangier Sound all are good for croaker, as are the Potomac, Honga and Patuxent rivers. Sea trout and spot are mixed with croaker in many areas. Flounder action along the eastern edge from Buoy 76 to 74.
Ocean City inshore: The Ocean City inlet and piers continue to turn up sea trout to 7 pounds, with the south jetty best for larger fish. Flounder action is very good, although there are many under the 14.5-inch minimum. Bluefish moving through the back bays. Kingfish, sea trout, puppy drum and occasional large stripers in the surf.
Ocean City offshore: The first marlin of the season were raised along the 30-fathom line at Washington Canyon over the weekend. Yellowfin tuna in the 20- to 40-pound range also along the 30-fathom line. Bluefin scattered from Jackspot to the Hambone. Bluefish remain numerous from the 3rd Lump to the Jackspot. Sea bass and tautog catches remain steady over the wrecks.
Susquehanna River and Flats: Rockfish mostly in the 19- to 24-inch size on eels, crankbaits or live-lined perch. Also excellent smallmouth fishing from breaks around Garrett Island and bridge foundations and largemouths around marina pilings in the lower river and on the grass beds of the flats. Catfish action also good.
Upper Potomac River: Smallmouth bass anglers have doing well from Brunswick to the Seneca Breaks with tube lures, grubs and crankbaits fished a current breaks around rock ledges and shoreline blowdowns.
Tidal Potomac River: Grass beds in creek mouths and the main river are good bets for largemouth bass, but in the D.C. area, the hard edges of the Washington Channel are probably the best best. Plenty of rockfish still being caught above the Route 301 bridge, but sizes have been decreasing.
Deep Creek Lake: Plenty of action for bass around docks from state park to Turkey Neck. Bluegill also abundant around piers and docks.
Pub Date: 6/25/98