Brauer regards autumn as one of the best times for fishing docks, though he rarely finds bass stacked up then. This season generally runs from late August through mid-November, with water temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to the mid 50s.
"In the fall I look for docks that have lots of shad in the area," Brauer says. "That's usually in the backs of creeks and on flat banks on the main lake where there's less than 5 feet of water under the docks."
Even when he hits docks in creeks that have 20 feet or more of water beneath them, Brauer fishes no deeper than 5 feet. He claims that bass suspend under docks in the fall so they can ambush shad swimming near the surface.
Three baits catch most of Brauer's dock bass in the fall. One is a 1/4-ounce Strike King Pro-Buzz. He likes white in clear water on sunny days and black for dirty water and low light conditions.
A Strike King Premier Elite or Premier Plus spinnerbait is another player. In clear water, Brauer generally opts for white or some other natural shad color and nickel willow leaf blades. In stained to muddy water, he prefers a pattern with chartreuse in it with one gold and one nickel blade, either Colorado or Indiana for more lift and vibration.
Bait No. 3 is a white 1/4- or 3/8-ounce jig dressed with the Magnum Chunk to slow its fall. He swims the jig for bass suspended under docks, and fishes it on the bottom in shallow water.
"I usually pitch to a dock no matter what bait I'm fishing," Chad Brauer says. "It's more effective than an overhand or sidearm cast for getting your baits up under a dock."
Brauer pitches jigs and tubes with a flippin' rod and rarely less than 20-pound line. But, he pitches other baits with the same tackle he would use to cast them. For example, he pitches spinnerbaits and buzzbaits with a 7-foot medium-heavy baitcasting rod, matched with 15- to 20-pound line.