Despite a 10th-place finish, Greg Hackney came away from Sunday’s final Bassmaster Classic day with few regrets. There was no quibbling he wanted to claim his first Classic, the only major bass-fishing title lacking in his résumé.
When he sat down Sunday inside the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he said something that can benefit all fishermen.
His 16-pound, 2-ounce first-day catch Friday had him seventh in the 55-angler field, and he clearly was disappointed with Saturday’s 9-13 total that left him 12th, but qualified for Sunday’s final after the field was cut to the top 25.
Hackney said he was working a small, shad-colored KVD 1.0 crankbait, a lure that matched the size of shad Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees’ bass were eating, and he knew bass were in the shallows along rock ledges.
“I switched to 12-pound test (line) Saturday,” Hackney said after he had caught Friday’s limit on 10-pound test line that produced three solid 4-to-5 pounders after noon Friday. The line switch apparently was to give him more cushion in trying to bring heavier fish to the boat.
“(Saturday) I realized I was fishing under the fish,” Hackney said. “I switched back to 10-pound test line and started catching bigger fish again.”
Hackney stayed with the lighter line Sunday and weighed 14-10 to end with 40-9.
For fishermen who believe line, even a 2-pound test difference, doesn’t matter, Hackney’s explanation proves line-class does affect lures.
“Heavier line makes a bait run deeper, especially the light lure I was using,” Hackney said. “The lighter line allowed me to work the bait shallower. Yes, it makes a difference.”
Though maybe not enough of a difference to win.
“It’s hard to beat a guy when he comes in with what Edwin (Evers) did (Sunday),” Hackney said. “Even if I would have come in (Saturday) with what I had Friday, it means I would have had to catch 28 pounds (Sunday) to win.”
The Classic lake produced only two 20-pound-plus stringers in three days, Jason Christie’s 20-14 catch Friday, and Evers’ 29-3 Classic record, the heaviest final-day weight posted by a Classic champion.
Evers, too, admitted to having to use light line in clear water Sunday in the Elk River when he came from more than six pounds behind Christie’s 37-9 two-day, first-place standing. Christie caught four bass Sunday, and he and Evers finished with 14 total. Hackney was among only six anglers to catch five-bass limits all three days.
With dangerous weather predicted, Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series event set for Venice Marina is canceled, event director Sam Barbera said. Barbera said registered fishermen will receive a full refund. For details, email: email@example.com.
Closer to home
The father-son team of Doug and Brandon Bergeron put together a 20-pound catch to win the Saturday’s Children’s Hospital Bass Classic, and had to have that 4-pound average on their five bass to better the field. The top five teams had more than 18 pounds, a first-rate catch for south Louisiana tournament. What this late winter benefit event proved is that fish can be caught from a high and rising Atchafalaya Spillway, it’s just that you have to find your way into Lake Fausse Pointe to catch fish like them.