John's Journal...

Weed Whacking in August for Bass with George Cochran

Day 4: George Cochran Fishes Spinner Baits and Crankbaits in the Grass for Bass

Editor’s Note: George Cochran has won more than $1 million in tournament bass fishing, including the 1987 and the 1996 Bassmasters Classics and the FLW. Most of his winnings have occurred while fishing shallow water, particularly in the grass in August and September.

Click for Larger View"The correct weather and water conditions to fish a spinner bait usually will be when I'm fishing a windy, cloudy, rainy day with stained water," Cochran recommends. "I like to fish a spinner bait because that lure enables me to cover lots of water in a short time and find the fish." When Cochran fishes around or in grass with a spinner bait, he prefers willow-leaf blades on his spinner bait, instead of Colorado or Indiana blades. "Colorado and Indiana blades will clog-up with grass and often won't turn. A big willow-leaf spinner bait creates such a large wake coming off the blade that it seems to move the grass away from the blade and the bait, keeping it away from the spinner mechanism."

Click for Larger ViewOn bad-weather days, the bass may bury-up deep in the grass. To pull the bass up out of the grass and get them to strike, Cochran buzzes his spinner bait just under the surface to give off a wake just like a big minnow swimming right under the surface. If this technique fails to produce for Cochran, he'll switch strategies and change the place he's fishing in the grass for the bass. "I'll reposition my boat to parallel the outer edge of the grass with my spinner bait," Cochran mentions. "I'll cast the lure as far as I can down the edge of the grass, let it fall all the way to the bottom and then begin to slow-roll the spinner bait just up off the bottom where the bass are holding. The spinner bait allows me to fish a wide variety of depths and change fishing strategies without having to change out lures."

Using Crankbaits in the Grass

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View"The Strike King lipless crankbait known as the Diamond Shad has a tighter wiggle than some lipless crankbaits as they swim through the water," Cochran explains. "The three best places to fish this crankbait include the inside edge of the grass line, the outside edge of the grass line or bare spots in the grass." Cochran casts a Strike King Diamond Shad out, holds his rod tip high, begins to crank the bait really fast and allows the lure to hit the edge of the grass, which makes the bait bounce or dart off the edge of the grass, triggering a reaction strike. "I like to fish this bait on either clear days or really windy days," Cochran reports. "On clear days, a bass will come up to a bait and look at it for a while before taking the lure. But because a Diamond Shad comes through the water so fast, a bass doesn't have time to study the bait before the fish takes the lure. The chrome-colored Diamond Shad gives off a strong flash in the water that the bass can see from a long way off." On a windy day, Cochran likes to fish the Diamond Shad because it has rattles in it that call bass.

How to Bass Fish Like a ProCatch the Biggest Bass In Any LakeTo learn more about how to fish for bass, click the titles for the new books by John E. Phillips, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” and “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake” , or go to, and type in the names of the books to buy them. Too, you can download a Kindle app for free and buy the book from Amazon to read it on your iPad, Smartphone or computer.

Tomorrow: Jigs in the Grass Catch Late Summer Bass with George Cochran

Check back each day this week for more about "Weed Whacking in August for Bass with George Cochran"

Day 1: Bass Pro George Cochran Fishes Grass for Bass in Late Summer
Day 2: George Cochran Says to Spit on the Grass to Catch the Bass
Day 3: Fish Worms in the Grass to Catch Bass with George Cochran
Day 4: George Cochran Fishes Spinner Baits and Crankbaits in the Grass for Bass
Day 5: Jigs in the Grass Catch Late Summer Bass with George Cochran

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Entry 678, Day 4