2011 Elite Series Pride of Georgia: By a sip

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- An ounce is 1/16th of a pound, barely a decent sip of water.

That ounce also was the difference between 12th and 13th place, fishing the final day of the Pride of Georgia, and at least $1,000.

Denny Brauer’s three-day total of 39 pounds, 9 ounces left Pat Golden, at 39-8, on the outside looking in. Both anglers are pleased with their outcomes, but Golden is understandably slightly more sullen by missing the final day by a single ounce.

 “I would have loved to have been fishing tomorrow -- it’s good for the sponsors and all -- but I’m pretty pleased with how I did overall,” he said.

However, Golden toyed with the fish that would have had him in the final-day cut.

“I had a 5-pounder blast a buzzbait, but it got off. That fish would’ve got me in,” Golden said. “It was on a stump that I got a 5-pounder off of on the first day.

“That’s how it goes, though. I made good decisions, and in practice I found that I had to move and stuck to that moving thing, and it worked out and I got a good finish.”

If he had a made it to the top 12, he’d have a game plan in place.

“Well, if I were fishing tomorrow, I’d go back and get that 5-pounder on that stump first thing!” he said. “But, you know, I’ve had a great season so far and I thank the Lord for my success.”

Brauer is gaining momentum as the season enters its second half. He dug himself a hole during the first two events Florida events and working his way out.

“Getting in by an ounce feels really good, because I didn’t have a good day execution-wise, I had almost a perfect event going into today,” he said. “By the afternoon, I only had three fish, and that kind of works on you a bit.”

Brauer was able to salvage a limit, and plans on swinging for the proverbial fences Sunday.

“I’ve got nothing to lose going into tomorrow -- especially with my first two events being so bad -- so I’m going to claw and scrape and see if I can get back into the hunt.”

Coming off of what he considers a successful tournament, Golden is charged up about the next Elite Series stop on Lake Murray.

“I grew up around Murray, and I’ve been on it many times and won lots of tournaments, so I know my way around it pretty well,” he said. “I plan on doing a lot of praying and a lot of chunking and winding. I’m having a good time, making good decisions and I hope it continues.”