Fishing much improved leading into the Bassmaster Classic, Hackney says

Today (Feb. 16) was a dry fun for Bassmaster Classic competition, so the field of anglers had eight hours to get on the water and have a final look around before the 2011 world championship event begins on Friday.

And Louisiana’s Greg Hackney said things looked about like he expected, given the warming trend of the past few days.

“It’s definitely markedly better than it’s been,” the now nine-time Classic competitor said. “My fishing’s getting better; I’m getting some bites.”

Hackney didn’t make the long run to Venice as many anglers told they would be doing, and the Gonzales Bassmaster Elite Series pro said the water was still about 6 inches low.

While he was careful not to stick too many bass, the message was clearly that even the low water won’t keep the bite from turning on.

“It was a lot easier to get a bite,” he said. “If somebody goes out and doesn’t catch anything in this tournament, they’re just fishing where there are absolutely no fish.

“It’s been cold. It’s time for them to bite.”

The one factor that surprised Hackney was the amount of pressure on the water today.

“I didn’t factor in the local pressure,” he said. “There were a lot of boats on the water.”

In one area, Hackney said “you couldn’t move around” because of the local anglers.

He said that might keep weights down a bit from his earlier predictions of the win requiring 22-pounds a day, but not by much.

“I think there will be a lot of 15-pound stringers,” Hackney said. “I think you’ll need 17 pounds a day to stay in the hunt, and then you might have to pop a big one.”

Competition begins Friday with a 7 a.m. launch at Bayou Segnette State Park, with the New Orleans Arena doors opening for the weigh-in at 3:30 p.m.

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About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.