John's Journal...

Summertime Bass Fishing with George Cochran

Slow It Down to Win

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, won the FLW Championship in 2005. In August, 2006, the FLW Championship will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on Logan Martin Lake. Cochran should feel like Brer Rabbit being thrown in the briar patch because if there’s ever been a tournament where Cochran’s the odds-on-favorite, it will be this year’s FLW Championship. When the Bassmasters Classic was held on the same lake, Cochran finished 9th, and he also won the Bassmasters Classic held on nearby Lay Lake in August, 1996, under extremely-hot weather conditions. The city of Birmingham has been good to Cochran’s reputation and his bank account just about every time he’s fished thereClick to enlarge. We asked Cochran how he plans to fish the Dog Days of August during the FLW Championship when the surface temperatures will reach over 100 degrees.

Question: George, if you only have a few hours left in the tournament, how will you fish?
Cochran: Most anglers, if they haven’t caught the size and number of fish they want to catch, and there’s only an hour or two left in the day, they start speeding up their fishing. This is a big mistake because now in the middle of the day until the end of the day, you have to really fish deliberately.

Question: Where will you fish, and with what are you going to fish?
Cochran: Now’s the time that I rely on the Strike KinClick to enlargeg Series 4S or Series 5 crankbait to get me those bigger fish that I need so that I can cull some smaller fish. I’ll be fishing channel drop-offs. Now, the next question that’s usually asked is where on the channel drop-offs will I be fishing? You may fish for miles down the channel drop-offs before you find that one little sweet spot holding a good school of bass. But if you find those sweet spots and have them located before the tournament, you possibly can catch some of the biggest bass of the day by cranking those spots. If I’m not mistaken, the classic that I fished at Logan Martin, David Fritts won that tournament by deep-cranking those river ledges.

Question: What color crankbait are you going to use?
Cochran: My favorite color is white crankbait with either a chartreuse or a green back. On cloudy days, I prefer a bream color crankbait because I believe the fish can see that crankbait better on daClick to enlargerk days than it can on clear days.

Question: What kind of retrieve are you going to use on those crankbaits?
Cochran: I’ll be using a 7-foot Daiwa Cranking Rod. I try to throw the bait 100 yards if I can because I really want to make as long a cast as I can make. When the bait hits the water, I hold my rod straight down to get the lure down as quickly as I can. As soon as I feel the bait touch the bottom, I slow down my retrieve and try to keep my crankbait bumping the bottom as it returns to the boat. The key place to catch the fish is where that underwater river bank drops-off into the river channel. Most of the time, the fish will come from that 10 to 15 feet of water.

Tomorrow: How to Fish the Magic Hour


Check back each day this week for more about " Summertime Bass Fishing with George Cochran"

Day 1: Head for the Top
Day 2: Top-Water Bites Are Over, Now What?
Day 3: Phase Three – Deep Dock Tactics
Day 4: Slow It Down to Win
Day 5: How to Fish the Magic Hour


Entry 361, Day 4