THE GREATEST DAY OF FISHING I EVER HAD WITH GEORGE
With Age Comes Wisdom
Note: Never before in the history of bass fishing does
George Cochran know of a tournament angler who threw back 5-pound-plus
largemouth because he had bass in the livewell that weighed more. In the
BASS tournament at Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama the last
weekend in February 2004, Cochran produced a four-day limit of five bass
per day that totaled 99 pounds, 10 ounces. On the final day he had his
greatest day ever of bass fishing. He won the tournament and the $103,000
prize. But more importantly for this two-time Bassmasters Classic champion,
he proved that old pros still have what it takes to be one of the hot
pros in today’s world of bass fishing. In this tournament, Cochran
also demonstrated that wisdom can overcome youthful enthusiasm, and that
patience and perseverance often are the keys to catching more bass. If
you’ll read each day of this week’s information, you’ll
learn some valuable secrets for catching more bass every time you fish.
George, how critical was your age and your experience in allowing
you to fish as slowly as you had to fish to win the tournament?
COCHRAN: In a tournament,
we usually have 7 to 8 hours to fish. When I caught the big bass on the
second day, I knew I had located an area that held big bass. I knew the
Wild Shiner was a big-bass bait, and I’d learned over the years
that the soak-the-lure technique would produce really big bass in colder
water. Once I realized I had found the right lure, the right technique
and the right water to produce big bass, I was what I call “in sync”
or “in the groove”.
picked up another secret when I replayed the catch of the 8-pound, 13-ounce
bass that I made on the second day in my head. Another boat had passed
by my fishing area, coming within 30 yards of my boat. I turned around
to give the boat’s driver a dirty look, and when I looked at my
lure, the Wild Shiner had been sitting still in the water 10 seconds.
However, I forgot about the time because I could see a fish was moving
my line. In the excitement of the catch, I forgot how long my bait had
been sitting still under the surface. But when I re-analyzed what produced
the catch, I began to understand that the longer I let that lure sit in
the water without moving it once I got it to the 10-foot depth, the greater
my odds were for catching big bass. So, on the third day of the tournament,
I refined my technique, and I discovered that often the bass would take
the bait after it had sat still for 3 to 4 seconds, but most of the big
bass took the bait after it sat still for 6 seconds. Even though I let
the bait sit for as long as 10 to 15 seconds, I never got a bass to bite
past 10 seconds.
What rod, reel and line did you use?
COCHRAN: I used the new Daiwa Tough & Light 7-foot cranking
rod. I used a left-handed Daiwa Millionaire Reel and 10-pound-test P-Line.
I tried 8-pound-test line, but the Wild Shiner dove too deep for the fish
to hit it. When I fished with 12-pound-test line, that line caused the
jerkbait to rise too high. The 10-pound-test line seemed to be the right
line to put the Wild Shiner in the right place for the bass to take it.
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lures and accessories, visit www.strikeking.com.
TOMORROW: AGE AND EXPERIENCE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE