Despite being a fish-crazy state and formerly known as the “Sportsman’s Paradise”, Louisiana hasn’t produced a lot of professional bass fishermen that reach the top of the game.
One that has is pro angler Greg “Hack” Hackney of Gonzales, who for a few years, lived in our backyard over in Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish. This past weekend was a good weekend for Hackney. He won $100,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Pickwick Lake presented by Straight Talk Wireless Sunday with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 97 pounds, 7 ounces, the heaviest four-day catch ever weighed at Pickwick Lake in FLW Tour competition. Hackney brought a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to clinch the victory. He was the only Louisiana angler to place in the pro or amateur portions of the tournament.
The catch gave the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup Champion the win by a 4-pound, 1-ounce margin over 23-year-old Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., who brought a total of 20 bass weighing 93 pounds, 6 ounces to the scale and earned $30,000.
Hackney said that he fished differently than most of the other professionals competing in the tournament this week. Instead of targeting deep ledges, Hackney keyed on a shallow bar that had three different mussel piles on it.
“The bar is maybe a couple of hundred yards long, half-way between the bank and the river channel,” Hackney said. “The fish were set up on the mussels on the upstream side of it. I found the school about 45 minutes into the first day of practice. There was an oil slick about the size of my boat and truck. It was from the bass feeding on gizzard shad. I’d seen it before while saltwater fishing, but I’ve never seen it in freshwater. I made a cast and could feel my crankbait running over their backs because there was so many fish there. “I didn’t realize until the first day of the tournament that it was a live bottom – covered in big mussels. I would set up on top of the bar in 5-feet of water and cast out to about 7½-feet deep and drag back up the heel. That’s where they were. Every fish that I weighed in this week came from 6-feet of water or less.”
Hackney said that his key baits for the first two days were a Strike King KVD HC 2.5 square-bill crankbait and a 7 ½-inch Strike King Shadalicious swimbait fished on a ¾-ounce jig head. After the gizzard shad left his area on Saturday, Hackney switched to a ¾-ounce Strike King Denny Brauer Structure Jig in two specific colors – a green-pumpkin jig with a Double Header-colored Strike King Rage Craw and a black and blue jig with a Plum Crazy-colored Rage Craw.
MAJESTIC RESULTS — We’ll get you all the hourly results from this weekend’s 24-hour long Majestic BIG BASS tournament on Lake D’Arbonne as soon as we can this week. Stay tuned.