Media Contact: Josh Ward
Blue Heron Communications
RANGER PRO ANGLER GEORGE COCHRAN CROWNED FLW CHAMPION
FLIPPIN (July 20, 2005) Arkansas native and Ranger Boats angler George Cochran took home top honors at the 10th Anniversary Forrest L. Wood Championship on Saturday at Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark. With the victory, Cochran took home the sport's largest payout of a half million dollars.
In this unique tournament format, Cochran persevered through three rounds of head to head competition in order to break into the final bracket of 12 anglers. Facing off against 48 of the biggest names in professional bass fishing, 16th seeded Cochran defeated the No. 33 seed Sandy Melvin and ninth-seeded Brent Chapman before advancing into the final day of competition.
"I fished shallow the entire week and all my fishing holes were within sight of my home," said Cochran. "I'm getting close to ending my professional fishing career and I'm just tickled to win this FLW Championship so close to home. I've devoted my whole life to the sport of fishing and I love it. Very few times in your career do you have a chance to be victorious and I was never saving anything for the end. I knew if I could get out there early I'd have a good day. I found fish behind the docks where no one else seemed to fish.
"It's always sweet to have a victory, especially when you are 55. I would like to thank my family and friends for all their years of support and too my number one sponsor Ranger Boats. I couldn't be here without them."
Despite the sultry conditions that continued throughout the four days of competition, Cochran was able to remain focused on the task at hand while the whole field struggled -- many coming to the weigh-in empty handed. Fishing from a Z20 Comanche Series Ranger Boat, Cochran had a final day limit of 10 pounds and 3 ounces which was enough to bypass Michigan's Chad Grigsby with 6 pounds 7 ounces for the championship title.
"George Cochran is a great representative for the sport of fishing and for Ranger Boats," said Randy Hopper, Ranger Boats President. "We're proud of him and all the anglers that qualified for the biggest bass tournament in the world. Everyone at Ranger Boats is excited to be bringing the championship to Ranger's home state. Named after a great man and a great mentor, this tournament represents the wholesome qualities that bass fishing is all about."
Eight of the final round of twelve anglers were on the Ranger Boats Pro Team including J.T. Kenny (Frostburg, MD ), Chip Harrison (Bremen, IN), Anthony Gagliardi (Prosperity, SC), Robert Karbas, Jr. (Wake Forest, NC), Takahiro Omori (Emory, TX), John Murray (Phoenix, AZ) and Wesley Strader (Spring City, TN).
Ranger Boats, headquartered in Flippin, Ark., is the nation's largest manufacturer of premium fiberglass fishing boats, including a series of bass, multi-species, fish 'n play and saltwater boats. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest quality, strongest performing boats on the water. More information on Ranger Boats and the benefits of the Ranger Owners Group can be found by visiting www.rangerboats.com or calling toll-free 1-800-373-2628.
Genmar, with approximately 5,000 employees and nine manufacturing centers, is the builder of 15 premier brands of recreational boats and the industry's technological leader in the United States and Europe with the development of VEC™ Technology and the Roplene® process. Genmar boat brands include Aquasport®, Carver®, Champion®, Four Winns®, Glastron®, Hydra-Sports®, Larson®, Marquis® by Carver, Nuvari™, Ranger®, Seaswirl®, Stratos®, Triumph®, Wellcraft® and Windsor Craft™.