Original Caption: "Leader George Cochran, right, gets a hand displaying his catch from tournament officials Fish Fishburne (2nd from left) and Hank Parker." August 1998, South Florida Sun Sentinel. Credit: B.A.S.S. photo
Today’s historical photo takes us back to the first day of the 1998 Bassmaster Classic and leader George Cochran. With him on stage is Dewey Kendrick, Fish Fishburne and Hank Parker. George would weigh a limit of 5 bass totaling 17-pounds 3-ounces to top the leaderboard. Others right behind him on that first day were Alton Jones, Randall Romig, Tommy Biffle and Skeet Reese.

Ultimately, Denny Brauer would come out on top thanks to a bait change. While he sat in eighth after the first day with just 12 pounds of bass, a switch to a Flippin’ Tube would lead to better quality fish over the following two days, with Denny taking a slight lead after Day 2, and then holding on for the win.

Newspaper reports stated that “Cochran did not reveal the name or the style of the lure, other than to say that it is made by Strike King, one of his sponsors.”

“I think the fish here have seen everything,” Cochran said, alluding to the numerous tournaments on the lake (High Rock Lake). There’s no kind of lure that these fish aren’t used to. I think if you have anything a little different, even just a little different color, I think that’s a big key to it.”