Hackney just misses Top 25 Classic cut

Crochet continues to struggle in Day 2 of Lake Hartwell tournament

Louisiana’s three-man contingent in the Bassmaster Classic will watch Sunday’s third and final day from the sidelines, all having finished out of the top 25 after Saturday’s action on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

Greg Hackney of Gonzales, the reigning B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, missed the cut by 5 ounces, finishing 26th with 21 pounds, 14 ounces after a disappointing day when he caught only three fish that weighed an ounce short of 7 pounds.

“I was dragging a (Strike King Denny Brauer) Structure Jig in 35 feet of water, and that didn’t work out,” Hackney said. “I ran to the bank late and caught those three fish to salvage my day. I could have gone in early and maybe caught enough to qualify, but there’s only one guy who can hold up that trophy at the end.

“You know the winner is gonna come from the Top 12. Twenty-fifth or 26th, that doesn’t matter much to me.”

Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part continued his Day 1 struggle, bringing in two fish that weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces to finish 46th in the field of 56 with 9-14.

“Everything I had or thought I had just went to hell,” he said. “All the deep fish I had just went away. I just kind of scrambled around. I didn’t ever feel really comfortable in any area other than my primary one.

“That’s disappointing; you’ve got to be better than that.”

Brett Preuett of Monroe, who qualified for the Classic through the college ranks at Louisiana-Monroe, caught one fish on Saturday but it was a good one — a 4-pound, 11-pound bass. He finished in 50th place with 7-11.

“Yesterday, I caught the one fish, and I had two other big fish that got off,” Preuett said. “Today, I had that big bite right off the bat, so I thought it was gonna be a good day, but it never played out.”

Read about how Takahiro Omori took over the lead by clicking here.