'Little Hack Attack' Overcomes First-Tournament Zero, Turns into Greg Hackney - Major League Fishing

‘Little Hack Attack’ Overcomes First-Tournament Zero, Turns into Greg Hackney

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February 23, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Cup Events

ALPENA, MI – MLF Summit Cup competitor Greg Hackney has fished nearly 300 tour-level bass tournaments in his career, and an almost-uncountable number of regional and local tournaments around his boyhood home in southern Arkansas. He’s done pretty well for himself, too: the “Hack Attack” has racked up nearly $3.5 million in career earnings, claimed a Forrest Wood Cup, and won a Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year title.

But he’ll never forget his very first tournament – on Merrisach Lake, an oxbow of the Arkansas River – and especially the outcome: he zeroed.

“It was the end of summer, 1985, a youth tournament with the Stuttgart (Arkansas) Bass Club,” Hackney says. “I was 11 years old at the time. I spent every summer with my grandparents, who lived right in that area, and I’d fish by myself all summer on the White River Game Refuge while my grandparents crappie fished. We pulled in to that youth tournament with a 12-foot aluminum boat in the back of the truck, and all the other kids were like ‘That kid is fishing by himself!’ They all fished with their parents, but I didn’t know any different.”

 That tournament – and Hackney’s early introduction to self-reliance on the water – quickly grew into an obsession. Hackney started fishing weekend tournaments with his dad at the age of 14, running the trolling motor in team tournaments, and then ventured off into solo tournaments on the Arkansas River and other regional impoundments when he was 16.

“I just grew up in the outdoors,” Hackney admits. “I was exposed to all this at a very, very young age, and it kinda came natural to me. I played baseball and football in school, and I liked them. I just wasn’t very good at them. Fishing? I was good at that.”

Hackney cashed his first major tour-level check in the fall of 1998 at a Bass Fishing League Regional on Sam Rayburn Lake in Texas and has since collected 92 tour-level top 10s, but to this day he still remembers the results of 11-year-old Hack Attack’s first stab at tournament success.

“I was darn sure enough mad,” he jokes. “The kid who finished first in that tournament won a nice rod and pistol-grip reel, and I remember that reel like it was yesterday. Zeroing that day was probably the best thing for me, though. If I had won, I might’ve thought ‘Winning a tournament is easy!’ and it darn sure isn’t.”