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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.


George Cochran's Favorite New Lures

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: Please name some of the best new lures that you've seen out in the market or in production.

Answer: Well, it's really easy for me to say this, because I had Strike King come up with a new spinner bait that I had a lot of confidence in, and that lure is one of their best sellers to date. Most of the success that I've had this last year (finished sixth in the points) was because of Strike King's new spinner bait called the Quad Shad.

George CochranThe lure is a four-bladed spinner bait, and there's nothing like it on the market today. When the Quad Shad comes through the water, it looks like a school of little minnows. This bait is one of my favorites. And anyone who's bought a Quad Shad and fished it around any kind of cover can probably say that he's caught a lot of fish on it.

Another lure I like is a top-water bait made by Strike King, which I think is one of the hottest lures on the market, called the Spit-N-King. It's been really sensational in the summertime. When you're fishing out in open water over structure, or even around shallow cover, it's been one of the hottest bass producers all over the country.


Tough-Weather-Fishing 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 techniques for rainy weather?

Answer: In rainy weather, top-water baits, buzzbaits and fishing shallow tend to help me. When the weather is cloudy and rainy, I've noticed for 30 years that usually the bass bite better in shallow water. So, any time I go fishing in the hot summertime, and rain's falling, I'll generally catch bass.

Question: How would you fish on a very windy day?

George CochranAnswer: Windy days can be beneficial if you know what you're doing. On windy days, you always want to fish where the wind's blowing in on the bank like in a pocket or on a point. Usually, wind puts current in the water, muddies the water up and washes minnows and crawdads up close to the bank. I've noticed that when wind is blowing in on a bank, the bass that are on the bank become much easier to catch. Plus, the bass can't see as well because the current dirties the water up. So, one of my favorite patterns on windy days is to fish where the wind's blowing against the bank.


More Tough-Weather-Fishing Tactics

More Tough-Weather-Fishing TacticsEditor'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 techniques for rainy weather?

Answer: In rainy weather, top-water baits, buzzbaits and fishing shallow tend to help me. When the weather is cloudy and rainy, I've noticed for 30 years that usually the bass bite better in shallow water. So, any time I go fishing in the hot summertime, and rain's falling, I'll generally catch bass.

Question: How would you fish on a very windy day?

More Tough-Weather-Fishing TacticsAnswer: Windy days can be beneficial if you know what you're doing. On windy days, you always want to fish where the wind's blowing in on the bank like in a pocket or on a point. Usually, wind puts current in the water, muddies the water up and washes minnows and crawdads up close to the bank. I've noticed that when wind is blowing in on a bank, the bass that are on the bank become much easier to catch. Plus, the bass can't see as well because the current dirties the water up. So, one of my favorite patterns on windy days is to fish where the wind's blowing against the bank.


Hot And Cold Day Fishing Secrets

Hot And Cold Day Fishing SecretsEditor'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 techniques do you use on a very hot day?

Answer: The toughest times to fish during the year are in July and August. I don't care where you go, since it's the hottest time of the year, the water starts getting really hot. Then the fish don't bite as much -- and just like people, in hot weather they get in the air conditioning and don't do much of anything. What you have to do is get in an area where you know there are bass and fish more slowly. Spend a lot of time with multi-casts in one area.

Question: How do you fish on cold days?

Hot And Cold Day Fishing SecretsAnswer: I don't like fishing in cold weather at all. If I have to have a lot of clothes on to fish, I don't enjoy fishing. But, in cold water you have to really slow down your fishing. Whenever the temperature gets below 50 degrees, you just have to fish slowly, and the fish will be a little deeper. You also have to be more precise. I mean, your lure must come to the bass at the right angle, or they won't hit it.

Question: What are the best tactics that you've seen, used or heard about in the past year?

Answer: The dropshotting tactic without a doubt, these past few years, has been the best tactic on any lake that has had a lot of fishing pressure. And what lake in the United States doesn't have a lot of fishing pressure? Most bass haven't seen this tactic, and the guys who use it well tend to catch more fish. The dropshot is a technique that people need to learn to fish if they want to catch a lot of fish. That's the hottest thing going.

Question: When you're in a jam, what's your default tactic?

Hot And Cold Day Fishing SecretsAnswer: Well, my back-up strategies change from year to year, depending on my confidence levels. My choice depends on the time of year to determine what's best for me. In the hot summertime, usually I'll fish a lure that moves very fast or very slow. It's funny to say that, but it's true. Most of the time, the bass want you to pitch a worm or a jig and fish it slowly in front of them to get them to hit. Also, the bass need a lure that's going really fast to get that reaction strike. This time of year, what I'm talking about is fishing crankbaits or worms.