Looking Back Over My Tournament Bass-Fishing Career with George Cochran
Over $2 Million and Still Fishing
Editor’s Note: George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has passed a milestone in his fishing career, earning over $2 million in tournament winnings. This week, Cochran will discuss highlights from his career.
Question: George, how do you feel now that you’ve accumulated $2 million in tournament winnings throughout your career?
Cochran: You’re always watching the meter to see when you’ll reach the $1-million mark. When they told me I’d passed the $2-million mark, I wasn’t even aware of that fact. We all live so fast, travelling to so many tournaments all over the country that I’m more concerned with tomorrow more than what happened yesterday.
Question: What tournament pushed you over the $2-million mark?
Cochran: Winning $1/2-million in the FLW Championship really boosted my all-time winnings.
Question: What have you won this year, George?
Cochran: I had a 2nd-place finish on Beaver Lake, winning $50,000, and finished 31st out of 200 last week at Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes, earning another $10,500, totaling $90,000 in tournament winnings this year.
Question: What are some of the biggest events of your fishing career as a pro for over 27 years?
Cochran: Having Strike King as my sponsor throughout my entire career has meant a lot to me. Knowing that I’ve been a part of the growth of the Strike King Company from its beginnings as a spinner-bait company to its height as the second-largest lure company in the world has been a highlight of my career. I’ve always loved fishing, and I never dreamed I could make as much money as tournament fishermen do today. I’ve been fortunate to win big tournaments. I won three of the biggest tournaments ever held in the world of fishing – the 1987 and the 1996 Bassmaster Classics and the 2005 FLW Championship. If I win the 2008 FLW Championship, it will make my record-four world-championship wins in my career.
Question: Over 27 years of competitive fishing, what’s the one Strike King lure that has helped you win the most money?
Cochran: Two lures have helped me consistently win more money over my entire career. I won one Bassmaster Classic with the 3/8-ounce Strike King Premier spinner bait, which earned me more than $1 million. In the last decade, I’ve primarily fished shallow-running crankbaits, like the Strike King Series 1 and Series 4 crankbaits. I’ve fished these crankbaits the same way I’ve fished the spinner bait – in heavy cover. I accomplish things with the spinner bait most people won’t even try because they’re afraid of hanging-up and losing their lures. I’ve learned to walk the crankbait through thick cover that even will trip-up a bullfrog. At 58-years old, I still can take the Strike King Premier Spinner bait and the Strike King Series 1 and Series 4 crankbaits and make a lot of money in bass tournaments. I probably should quit tournament fishing, but I’m having so much fun and making so much money that I can’t.
Question: George, what’s Mr. Money?
Cochran: Mr. Money is small crankbait I helped build for Strike King that’s sold exclusively in Wal-Mart stores. It’s the #1 selling crankbait in the Wal-Mart industry. Using this lure, I’ve won many tournaments and a lot of money. Mr. Money is less than 2-inches long. Kids and 90-year olds all easily can use it. Just cast it out, and reel it in to catch bass. The bait resembles a small minnow and catches anything that swims – bream, crappie, bass and catfish.
When I’m in big tournaments, fishing for big money, and the bass stop biting, I’ll pull out Mr. Money to help me catch bass I normally won’t catch. Bass can’t resist it. When I look back over my career, I’m really proud of the sponsors who have stayed with me over the years. I’m proud of the World Championships I’ve won, the baits I’ve helped create and especially proud to be a part of the Strike King Lure Company for several decades. You can catch bass and make money with Strike King. I’ve done it, and so can you.
Tomorrow: Eight Days and One Rod and One Strike King Spinner Bait Equals $50,000