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THREE PARTS SKILL ONE PART LUCK FOR GENTLEMAN GEORGE'S CLASSIC WINS


When George Cochran began his fishing as a child in Arkansas, he did it on the QT since his father wasn’t a big fan of fishing. That quiet demeanor ultimately earned him the nickname “Gentleman George” among his peers who watched him accumulate over $2 million in bass tournament winnings. That boy's interest in bass fishing blossomed when his family moved into the Lakewood subdivision of North Little Rock, where a neighbor took him under his wing showing him how to rig-up and fish many different lures. His passion became obsession, which caused young Cochran to struggle to keep up with his studies. In fact, he missed so many days of his senior year of high school that when the telephone rang at home, his mother would just answer by asking, “Where is he today, hunting or fishing?” George did graduate and went on to earn a degree at Arkansas A&M. He married wife Debbie and took a job with a railroad company but that hardly slowed his fishing. .

His bass fishing prowess and tournament skills grew as he won two Arkansas state championships and gathered more than 50 different tournament titles. But it wasn’t until he began fishing the B.A.S.S. trail that he started to get noticed nationally. He placed 31st in his first Bassmaster tournament on Florida's St. Johns River. He went on to capture seven Bassmaster tournament titles with the shining achievements being winning the 1987 Bassmaster Classic on the Ohio River and the 1996 Classic on Lay Lake in Alabama. He competed in a total of 244 Bassmaster events, logged 54 top 10 finishes. and cashed 150 checks. He also had a very successful run on the FLW trail and is one of only five anglers to win both the Forrest Wood Cup and Bassmaster Classic. He appeared in nine Cup events and fished 118 FLW tournaments,

winning two and earning seven top 10 finishes. He was known as a shallow water fishing expert, especially with a spinnerbait.

Cochrane won his second Classic on Lay Lake, the last lake on Alabama;s Coosa chain. He won with a one lb margin over Davey Hite. The 1996 Bassmaster Classic was the first time the winner earned a $100,000 for the win. Cochran caught his fish on two different Strike King spinner- baits in two different bays he had found in practice, but his winning fish was caught casting int a bay he had never fished. Sometimes a little luck mixed with the skill is the perfect recipe. He continues to fish and duck hunt around his Arkansas home.