OHIO RIVER, Ohio — Fishing just a long cast away from the launch ramp, George Cochran of North Little Rock, Ark., caught 14 bass that weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces, the second lowest winning poundage in Bassmaster Classic history.
But it was enough to earn him the $50,000 first prize and the coveted Classic crown.
Cochran realized his best chance would be to spend as much time as possible fishing, not running.
He located a long stretch of eelgrass along the Kentucky side of the river, stretching several miles upstream.
The grass stretched 15-20 yards offshore in places and contained a few stumps and fallen logs that had washed down in high water and anchored on the bottom.
Cochran used a 6-inch, purple-and-white Mister Twister Phenom plastic worm on Day 2 to take command of the event.
• Third-place finisher Guy Eaker traveled more than 680 miles on the water over the course of three competition days. He fished a total of six hours.
• Gary Klein had enough bass on the first day to be at or near the top of the leaderboard, but an extended wait at one of the river's locks made him late for the weigh-in and cost him his catch.
Top 6 finishers
1. George Cochran N. Little Rock, Ark. 15-05
2. Rick Clunn Montgomery, Texas 12-13
3. Guy Eaker Cherryville, N.C. 12-02
4. Larry Nixon Hemphill, Texas 11-07
5. Paul L. Elias Laurel, Miss. 10-14
6. Zell Rowland Montgomery, Texas 10-13