CELEBRATION, Fla. – Think you know every detail about Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Hackney? Maybe not. Check out this inside information about the angler:
10. Before becoming a full-time tournament pro, Hackney of Gonzales, La., worked as a logger in his native Louisiana.
9. Rick Clunn played a role in Hackneys pursuit of a career in professional bass fishing.
“When it really started for me was when I was at the weigh-in when Clunn won the (Bassmaster) Classic at Pine Bluff (in 1984),” the 33-year-old said. “I was 11 years old. It had a big impact on me. I knew right then that was what I wanted to do.”
8. In 2004, Hackney finished second – by three points – to Gerald Swindle in one of the closest Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year races in BASS history. Hackney did, however, win the 2004 Toyota Rookie of the Year award.
7. The 33-year-old pro fished his first tournament at age 11. “Ive probably fished as many tournaments as the older guys on this tour,” Hackney said. “Although I wasnt doing it professionally, Ive fished two a week since I was a teenager.”
6. Hackney has twice as many runner-up finishes (six) as victories (three) in BASS competition.
5. “Im still nervous around my heroes,” he admitted. “I dont even know what to say to them unless they start a conversation. Clunn told me one time how quiet I was. Its not that Im quiet, its just that I didnt know what to say to him.”
4. Hackney is a loner in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
“I prefer to stay by myself. Never stay around anybody. It just seems like Im more focused that way. I dont like to get caught up in the hoopla part of it, talking to everybody. Id rather do my own thing.”
3. His hobbies are saltwater fishing and deer hunting. His best trophy: an 8-point buck that scored 146 on the Boone and Crockett system.
2. Hackneys theme music choice at recent Bassmaster Classics has been Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) by Big & Rich.
1. Hackney enjoyed a start in BASS that was reminiscent of a young Kevin VanDam. Hackney cashed a check in 22 of his first 27 appearances. Included was a victory in a Central Open event in 2002 on Arkansas Lake Ouachita, two second-place finishes and two third-place showings, along with 14 top-10 performances. The “Hack Attack” also has qualified for five consecutive Bassmaster Classics since 2002 and is in 34th place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings in 2007, which would qualify him again for the Classic.
GLASGOW JOINS TRITON. In the midst of dominating the Mercury Marine Womens Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats this season, Shari Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., will be using a new boat for the WBT season finale in September on the Red River in Louisiana.
The Oklahoma pro recently signed a sponsorship deal with Triton.
“Ive run a Mercury for years and it was important to stay with Mercury,” Glasgow said in reference to Tritons parent company. “Thats a big thing with me because Ive been in a Mercury since 1993 and not one time have I ever had a mechanical failure that has caused me to miss a weigh-in. Thats a good track record.”
MARTIN-WELLS HONORED. Top WBT pro Pam Martin-Wells will receive a major honor in August when she is inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame.
Martin-Wells is one of the most decorated female pros of all time. The Bainbridge, Ga., pro won the Womens Bassmaster Tour preview event in October 2005 and won the 2006 WBT Championship on Alabamas Lake Mitchell in February.
“I am really honored to be included in this Hall of Fame,” said Martin-Wells, who is currently in third-place in the Toyota Womens Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year standings. “It was totally unexpected.”
The inductees of the Hall of Fame include former Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner Hank Parker and BASS founder Ray Scott.
GOOD FOR BUSINESS. The local tourism departments arent the only organizations that benefit from hosting Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments.
Tony Coatney, a fishing guide on Oklahomas Grand Lake, told the Daily Oklahoman that the Sooner Run presented by Longhorn Tobacco was good for his business after the Elite Series visited the lake in 2006.
“I have had customers everywhere from Wisconsin, California, Nebraska, Iowa — all over,” he said. “All because they saw Grand Lake on ESPN2 last year.”
WRAP RAP. For the second consecutive season, Kevin Wirths Elite Series ride promotes Early Times Kentucky Whisky.
“Its been a great sponsorship,” the Kentucky pro said. “Team Early Times was a natural fit for me because we have so much in common.”
WEIRDEST CATCH. Elite Series pro Jami Fralick once set the hook on a feisty antique Pepsi can.
“I was fishing in a small creek early in the spring for saugers and I caught an old metal Pepsi can on a tubejig,” the South Dakota angler recalled. “I put it right through the hole in the top of the can.
“At first, I thought it was probably a boot or a sock. Ive caught a few socks.”
DID YOU KNOW? If he hangs on to win a fourth Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., will separate himself from the other two pros who are three-time winners of the prestigious award: Bill Dance and Mark Davis. Roland Martin is alone atop the list with nine titles.
IF I HADNT BECOME A BASS PRO… Elite Series pro Matthew Sphar likely would still be working as a tree surgeon in Rochester, N.Y.
THEY SAID IT. “I got into fishing when I decided bull riding was going to hurt me pretty bad sooner or later. I found something that would be a little easier on my body.” Elite Series pro Terry Butcher, in the Daily Oklahoman.