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Fishing The Backs Of Creeks

Editor's Note: George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, one of the truly nice guys on the professional bass-fishing circuit and a longtime member of Strike King's Pro Fishing Team, doesn't call attention to himself. But when tournament day arrives, the quiet Cochran becomes one of the most fierce competitors on the tournament trail. Also the winner of two BASS Masters Classics in 1987 and 1996, Cochran has qualified for the Classic numerous times. Many anglers consider Cochran the master of finding overlooked places to fish and using under-utilized tactics to catch bass. A maverick who doesn't follow the crowd, he has proved he's one of the best shallow-water anglers in the nation.

George CochranQuestion: George, is there any secret strategy that you have that will help our readers consistently find and take more bass?

Cochran: I believe the easiest way to pattern bass and to catch bass is to choose one creek on a lake or a river and learn to fish that creek first. Although you can't learn how to fish a whole lake, you can learn how to fish a creek. I go as far as I can to the back end of the creek, turn the boat around and then fish from the back of the creek toward the mouth.

Most anglers will fish from the mouth of the creek toward the back, but rarely do they get to the very back of the creek. So the bass in the back of the creek generally will experience less fishing pressure than the bass in the front of the creek. By fishing from the back to the front, I'm looking out of the creek instead of into the creek, and I'm presenting my lure from a different direction than most other fishermen.

I'll fish three or four different types of lures as I come out of the creek, like a crankbait, a spinner bait, a plastic worm and/or a jig. I'll fish a variety of cover too because in the back of the creek the cover and the structure are much closer together than you'll find at the mouth of the creek. George CochranYou'll find faults, deep banks, woods and creek channels in very close proximity of each other. So you quickly can fish a wide variety of structure and cover in a very short time. By using this technique for a day, I almost always can figure out how to catch fish in that creek.

If your readers will learn to fish the backs of creeks, they usually can determine the depth of water the bass want to hold in, the type of structure they want to hold on and the lure they want to bite quicker and easier than if they run all over the lake trying to put patterns together.