Macaluso: Greg Hackney gets shot this week _lowres

Photo provided B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina Greg Hackney holds the champion's trophy after winning the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Cayuga Lake in upstate New York in late August. The win, his fourth on the Bassmaster tournament trails, shot the Gonzales pro angler to a 15-poind lead in the Angler of the Year standings going into the year's final Elite Series event set to open Thursday on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

You knew we couldn’t make it more than a couple of years without a scare from the tropics, but this week’s tropical disturbance isn’t anything to spark the fears of any recent storm.

Saturday afternoon’s update didn’t show much disruption along the state’s coast from the tropical wave that moved off Florida’s west coast into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

The roughest conditions came from the cold front that moved to the coast late Friday. After that, the National Weather Service forecast has light southerly winds and light seas through Tuesday with 5-10 knot northeast winds in here Wednesday.

The tropical wave means slight increases in tides along the coast with chances of afternoon rains through Wednesday.

And those teal

Showers shouldn’t hinder teal hunting, which started Saturday with mixed results. Five calls to hunters in the southeastern parishes produced four groans and one thumbs-up, that from a party of four hunters who hit the marshes on the east side of the Mississippi from Buras and limited out (24 birds) in a little more than an hour.

Saturday’s down-the-Mississippi River outcome was expected after State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds’ aerial survey report showed only 9,000 teal in the Southeast Region.

The survey estimates were 10 times that in the Southwest Region, where Ted Beaullieu Jr. hunted Saturday morning.

“We had 15 hunters and took 73 birds,” Beaullieu said Saturday afternoon after his run at Grosse Savanne, the fabled lodge south of Lake Charles. “Two of the blinds limited out.

“The guides told us there were a quarter of the birds from what they saw Friday. They said there were lots of teal in Friday. The birds we saw (Saturday) weren’t decoying. They were moving past us like they had been shot at and weren’t stopping to give us a look,” Beaullieu said. “There were not the birds here, not in the numbers in past years.”

The report from Pecan Island was about the same. That’s where Ted Beaullieu Sr. set up shop for opening day.

Only two of the seven blinds from that club had six-teal-per-man limits. The other five blinds had 10-12 birds per blind.

Beaullieu Jr. hunted in rice fields, while Beaullieu Sr. hunted in the marsh.

Hackney a big target

It all comes down to this week in a bay off Lake Michigan for Gonzales touring bass pro Greg Hackney, who is holding a 15-point lead in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings. Thursday is the start of the three-day AOY Championship set for Little Bay de Noc on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Defending AOY champ Aaron Martens is second, and along with Todd Faircloth has the best chance to overtake Hackney and claim the title and the $100,000 that goes with it.

The AOY event is new this year: It takes the top 50 anglers after this year’s previous eight Bassmaster Elite Series events and puts them on the water Thursday and Friday before the event breaks for a day to get its anglers involved in Bassmaster University seminars Saturday. The final day of competition is set for next Sunday. Live weigh-ins can be found on B.A.S.S. website:

Hackney is coming off his fourth B.A.S.S. tour win. He claimed the $100,000 first-place money with a nine-pound lead over Faircloth in the final totals from the four-day A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake in upstate New York in late August. Hackney was up by one point over Mark Davis in the AOY standings going into that event.

“I’ll ride this as long as I can,” Hackney told B.A.S.S. reporter Deb Johnson. “There are not too many times you get to do this. It’s pretty awesome.”