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John's Journal... Entry 47, Day 3

click to enlargeLearn from George Cochran How to Catch Bass Fast

EDITOR'S NOTE: Regardless of where you fish, you'll usually want to catch the most bass in the shortest time. America's top bass-fishing pros face this same dilemma every day they fish. However, tournaments impose certain restrictions on the pros' fishing that you don't have.

But if these anglers could fish as they preferred, how and where would they fish, and what baits and tactics would they use to catch bass quickly? I posed the following scenario to some of the nation's top bass-fishing pros: "You and I are standing on a boat ramp at Lake X, a lake you've never fished before. I tell you that I'll give you $100,000 if you can catch a limit of bass in one hour. I won't give you the time of year, water, wind or lake conditions. I want you to take bass on this mystery lake using any tactic you choose except dynamite, hand grenades or other illegal tactics. Where and how will you win the $100,000 prize?"

click to enlargeGeorge Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has won two BASS Masters Classics in 1987 and 1996, fished in numerous B.A.S.S. tournaments and has won money in more than one-half of them to make more than $1/2 million fishing.

"I'd look for the closest creek I could find near the boat ramp," Cochran advised. "When my time began, I'd run as hard and as fast as I could to the back of that creek and fish my way out. I'd start off with a Strike King spinnerbait and throw it to visible cover like logs, stumps, brush, blow-downs and grass lines. Spinnerbaits allow you to cover a lot of water quickly. More than likely, I'd throw a small spinnerbait because smaller spinnerbaits attract more bites than large spinnerbaits.

click to enlarge"If I could choose my time of day to fish, I'd fish just before first light in the morning or during that last hour of daylight late in the afternoon. I'd also throw a topwater lure along edges of grass lines and weed beds and around bushes and trees out in the water. Topwater baits are hard to beat in producing bass late in the afternoon and early in the morning.

"If I couldn't get the bass to bite a fast-moving spinnerbait or a topwater lure, then I'd fish a 4- to 6-inch plastic worm in a crawfish color. I'd go to the back of a creek to fish because the very back end of a creek generally receives the least amount of fishing pressure and has the widest variety of cover.

"Most bass fishermen start fishing at the mouths of creeks and fish toward their backs. Therefore, the mouths of creeks have the most fishing pressure, and bass almost always see lures presented from the mouths of creeks to their backs. By starting in the backs of creeks, I'll fish in areas most bass fishermen overlook and present my lures from a direction from which bass rarely see lures coming.

click to enlarge"In the backs of creeks are deep-water creek channels relatively close to the shoreline. I quickly and easily can fish shallow-water patterns and deep-water patterns and run my lures from shallow to deep water without having to change locations. In the backs of creeks, you'll also usually find rock cover as well as wood cover, including logjams, blown- down trees, stumps, bushes and a wide variety of cover that hold bass. So if I only have a short time to fish, I think I can locate and catch the most fish in the shortest time in the backs of creeks."

Tomorrow: How Davy Hite And Cliff Craft Will Fish For Bass Fast




Check back each day this week for more about How To Catch Bass Fast ...

Day 1 -How Gary Klein Catches Bass Fast
Day 2 -What Larry Nixon and David Fritts Do to Catch Bass Fast
Day 3 -Learn from George Cochran How to Catch Bass Fast
Day 4 -How Davy Hite and Cliff Craft Will Fish for Bass Fast
Day 5 -How Mark Davis and Kevin Vandam Catch Bass Fast

John's Journal