ESCANABA, Mich. -- Greg Hackney brought five smallmouth bass weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces on Monday's final day of the Bassmaster Elite AOY Championship to hold off challengers among the 50-angler field to claim the prestigious Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title.
Hackney, from Gonzales, became the first Louisiana angler to the take the title and earn the $100,000 AOY bonus.
Although he finished 24th, his performance in the Elite Series finale of 2014 held off the challenges of defending AOY champion Aaron Martens from Leeds, Ala. and Texas' pro Todd Faircloth. Hackney entered the tournament with a 15-poind lead in the AOY standings over Martens and was up 17 points on Faircloth.
Martens finished 29th with a 32-15 total, while Faircloth's 36-2 total put him in 21st place. Hackney finished the nine-tournament Elite Series with 741 points to Faircloth's 723. Martens had 721 points.
Elite Series Rookie of the Year Jacob Powroznik from Port Haywood, Va. won the event with a a 47-6 total and finished third in the AOY standings with 723 points.
Hackney was in 17th place after the tournament's opening round Thursday, but the event was delayed Friday, Saturday and Sunday by a cold front pushing high winds sweeping across Lake Michigan. It was 37 degrees when anglers launched Monday morning. Tournament officials cut the tournament from three days to two because of the rough conditions.
Hackney also earned the top spot for next February's Bassmaster Classic set for Lake Hartwell near Greenville, S.C.