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George Cochran's Favorite Spinner Bait Tactics

George CochranEditor's Note: Fifty-one-year old George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has competed in 19 BASS Masters Classics and enjoys fishing Strike King lures. He won the Classic in 1987 and 1996. Cochran won on Lay Lake in 1996 with a total weight of 31 pounds 14 ounces. He has had six career wins and 47 top-10 finishes.

Question: What are your two favorite spinner bait tactics?

Answer: I have fished a spinner bait since I started carrying a fishing pole when I was 10-years old. The spinner bait is one of my favorite baits. My two favorite techniques depend on the type of water I'll be fishing.

When I won the Classic in 1996, the fishing conditions were perfect for me. I fished shallow, dingy water and concentrated on areas with stumps and wood. When I won the Classic by throwing the spinner bait past the cover, reeling it up to that cover and bumping it, as soon as I'd bump the cover, I'd kill the spinner bait for a second and retrieve again.

That's the technique I used to catch all my fish in one big bay. So, I didn't have to do a lot of running around but stayed in my one region and caught all my fish. Remaining in one section of the lake gives you a good chance of winning a tournament.

George CochranAnother favorite spinner bait technique of mine is buzzing a spinner bait and using a stop/start retrieve. In other words, in clear or dingy water, make long casts, and reel the spinner bait to the point where it's just about to blaze or come out of the water. The lure will make a wake, and you must shake your rod all the time.

Some people say, "I can't do that." But, you just need to learn the rhythm and reel in the spinner bait -- it looks like a minnow or a shad running and trying to get away, like something's chasing it. You can get some of the best fishing strikes that you could imagine.