Cochran caught 29 pounds,15 ounces Sunday on a Wild Shiner Strike King jerkbait, greenback and bone in color, bringing his four-day total up to 99-10, just six ounces shy of the century mark. The 29-15 catch was also the largest sack of the day, earning Cochran another $1,000 from Busch as the Busch Heavyweight of the day.
"The trick to catching these fish, and catching big fish like I caught today was, I would pull it down about 3 or 4 foot, twitch it twice and let it sit for five or six seconds and every fish hit it when it was sitting still," Cochran said. "I could just watch the line jump.
"Today I was more patient because I knew where the fish were and I stayed in the right area longer. I stared throwing 5 pounders back at 10 o'clock. It took me till 11:30 (to get a limit), but I culled all of them by 2:30 and when you're throwing 5 pounders (back) by 11 a.m., I didn't think anybody could beat me. Right now, I want to just stop and enjoy this victory, but it definitely gives me a lot of confidence going into anywhere."
Cochran's final catch was a full 9-9 over second place Stacy King. The Missouri pro brought in an amazing sack Sunday (28-2), but just didn't have enough to stave off the hard-charging Cochran. King followed Cochran's lead, however, throwing a silver and black Normark Husky Jerk suspending jerkbait all four days of the competition that saw him weigh in 90-1.
"I knew this lake could produce so much," King said. "George had been on a good pattern so I didn't have any expectations, you know. Whatever happens, happens."
Michigan's Kevin VanDam, another Classic champion, brought in 23-2 Sunday to give him a four-day total of 87-3. Sunday's catch also included an 8-pound 5-ounce bass that proved to be the largest of the day, earning him $1,000 from Purolator for the Purolator Big Bass of the Day. Also receiving $1,000 from Purolator was amateur angler William Robinson of Clintwood Missouri. His 9-10 lunker on Day 2 held out to win the Purolator Big Bass of the Tournament, and Robinson's award marks the first time an amateur has won the overall tournament honors.
Missouri's Chad Brauer (83-13), New Jersey's Mike Iaconelli (66-1) and Texas' Zell Rowland (60-10) rounded out the Super Six of the tournament.
Brauer's fourth place finish put him atop the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 671 points. Iaconelli is close behind with 656. Previous leader, Arkansan Scott Suggs is currently in third spot and still leading the Rookie of the Year race.
Fans can watch "The CITGO Bassmasters" telecast of the Lake Guntersville tournament on Saturday, March 6 at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT on ESPN2.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. This April, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the world's best anglers. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.
Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats and Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning.
Local Sponsors include Local Sponsors include the City of Guntersville, State of Alabama Conservation Department, Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.