After watching the wind howl all weekend long at Bays de Noc in Escanaba, Mich. Greg Hackney finally hit the water Monday morning and wrapped up Bassmaster Angler of the Year honors.

Minutes after Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, weighed in 15 pounds, 3 ounces to take a brief lead in the Angler of the Year standings this afternoon, Hackney, of Gonzales, followed him up with a 5-fish, 17-pound, 2-ounce bag to claim the 2014 title.

“It was an honor just to be in the position to have a chance at Angler of the Year,” Hackney said. “All these guys I fish against out here are my heroes. I watch them, they never cease to amaze me.

“They have all week this week.”

The pressure of the three-day delay took its toll on Hackney, who was emotional in accepting the AOY trophy.

“The break was killing me,” he said. “I thought I was getting sick one day. I’ve never felt pressure like this before. It hasn’t bothered me when I’m fishing, it only bothers me in the afternoon.

“It did the first day - the last hour I kind of got to be an emotional wreck.”

Tough, windy conditions on the smallmouth fishery made it hard for Hackney to find his groove, and the three-day delay was hard to endure.

“I have been like a caged tiger for the last three days, just pacing round and round. I couldn’t be still,” he said. 

Hackney finished up with 741 points to take the AOY title, followed by Todd Faircloth and rookie Jacob Powroznik, who won the event with a two-day total of 47-6.

“I still don’t know what to say. It’s been a blessed year. I’ve had a blessed career,” Hackney said. “Things have been good for me. That’s the greatest thing ever.”

In other news at Escanaba, Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet finished in 44th place and will join Hackney at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, scheduled for next February on Lake Hartwell near Greenville, S.C.

For final AOY standings, click here.

To view final Escanaba results, click here