John's Journal...


Head-to-Head with Brent Chapman

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has just finished a tremendous bass-fishing career with a $500,000 FLW (Forrest L. Wood) Championship win, the highest payout for any bass-fishing tournament in history. Cochran, a Strike King pro staffer for 30 years, has won two Bassmasters Classics. Cochran admits, “Winning championships on both the BASS and the FLW circuits is a dream come true.” Only a few anglers in history have been able to complete a double grand slam like this.

QUESTION: George, who were you fishing against on the third day of the competition?

Click to enlargeCOCHRAN: I was fishing against Brent Chapman of Kansas. Chapman had limits of bass each of his first two days of competition, so I knew he was going to be tough to beat. I also knew I had to catch at least the limit to beat Brent.

QUESTION: What were you thinking the night before and right before you went out to compete on the third day?

COCHRAN: I was asking myself if I should go to my best bank, the one I was saving for the last day of competition. But then I told Click to enlargemyself, “George, if you fish your best water today, you don’t have anything for tomorrow, and there’s no way you can win your last day. Stick to your game plan.” I really wanted to go to my best bank, because I didn’t know if I could beat Brent, and if I didn’t beat Brent on the third day, I might not be in the competition at all. I knew I couldn’t fish the same area on two consecutive days and win, so I was in a terrible dilemma and decided to go for the win. I left my best-bank area alone for the final day and went to an area close to my home. I put my trolling motor down and got to work. I caught exactly five keepers weighing a total of 6 pounds, and Brent had four fish weighing 5 pounds. So I was able to stay in the competition for the final day.

I had a follow-up tactic to fishing the Strike King Spit-N-King and the Click to enlargeBaby Chug Bug. When the bass would miss the top-water baits, I’d skip a Strike King 3X finesse worm back to the spot where I’d missed the bass and usually catch the fish. The trick worm I used was purple, and for some reason the fish really liked the color. Every day I caught one to two fish using this follow-up technique, a good tactic to remember when bass blow up a top-water lure and don’t take the hooks. The technique involved throwing back to the bass with a Strike King 5-inch 3X finesse worm on 8-pound-test line without a sinker. I’d twitch one or two times and then let the 3X finesse worm fall. If the bass didn’t grab the worm, I’d reel the worm in quickly and then cast right back to the same spot a second, a third or even a forth time.


Check back each day this week for more about GEORGE COCHRAN’S HALF-MILLION-DOLLAR WEEKEND

Day 1: Getting to Know George Cochran
Day 2: The Big Gamble
Day 3: Days One and Day Two of the Tournament
Day 4: Head-to-Head with Brent Chapman
Day 5: Victory on the Last Day



Entry 311, Day 4