FLORENCE, Ala. – Veteran pro Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., brought a five-bass limit to the scale on Friday weighing 31 pounds, 12 ounces to grab the lead after day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Pickwick Lake presented by Straight Talk Wireless. The four-day event, hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, features 165 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Hackney’s two-day total of 53-12 gives him a comfortable 6-pound, 1-ounce lead over second-place pro Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., who has a two-day total of 49-13.
“Only one other time have I ever found one school of fish that was better than today, and that was at Falcon Lake when I set the FLW record for the heaviest three-day weight,” said Hackney, a former Forrest Wood Cup champion who has won more than $1 million dollars in FLW competition. “Today was just one of those deals, I can’t even explain it. Once I got 25 pounds I figured I might as well see if I could catch 30. That was way more than I ever dreamed I could catch.
“I caught 25 to 30 keepers in little spurts,” Hackney continued. “There is a way to catch the bigger ones and I’m hoping that I have figured that out. When they’re biting, you can catch them every cast. But when I do the `right thing’ it doesn’t catch anything but big ones. When it goes down, it is as awesome fishing as it gets.”
Hackney said that he caught fish Friday on a dozen different baits, but he had two that were really seeming to produce the bigger ones. He said that the current hadn’t really played a role at all for him this week and that his pattern was more of a timing deal.
“I’ve been really fortunate and haven’t had to rely on the current,” Hackney said. “It’s a timing deal, but it goes down pretty quick. When it does, you have to be ready to make the right lure change. Only a couple baits are producing the big ones. There was one other guy that fished the same area a little bit. He was there this morning when I got there, but when I really started catching them he backed off. He’s that kind of guy and I really appreciated that from him.
“I’ve accomplished my goals over the first two days,” Hackney went on to say, referencing the fact that he needed a strong finish to remain in contention to qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. “Whatever happens after this is all bonus.”
The top 20 pros that will fish Saturday on Pickwick Lake are:
1st: Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La., 10 bass, 53-10
2nd: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 47-9
3rd: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 10 bass, 45-13
4th: Jason Quinn, Rock Hill, S.C., 10 bass, 43-1
5th: Troy Hollowell, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 42-10
6th: Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-13
7th: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C, 10 bass, 41-8
8th: Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala., 10 bass, 41-6
9th: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-3
10th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 10 bass, 40-12
11th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., 10 bass, 40-8
12th: Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 40-7
13th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 40-6
14th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 10 bass, 40-5
15th: Jason Lambert, Pickwick Dam, Tenn., 10 bass, 39-8
16th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 39-7
17th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 10 bass, 39-0
18th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 10 bass, 38-11
19th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 37-8
20th: Austin Terry, San Angelo, Texas, 10 bass, 36-15
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Bill Day of Frankfort, Ky., won the Bridgford Big Bass Award and $500 Friday on the pro side with a bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
Overall there were 694 bass weighing 2,179 pounds, 111 ounces caught by 161 pros Friday. The catch included 125 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17 on Lake Murray and is hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country. The winning angler in that event will win $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.
John Jacobs of Birmingham, Ala., leads the co-angler division with 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 8 ounces followed by Brandon Edel of Hendersonville, Tenn., in second place with 10 bass weighing 35-4.
The top 20 co-anglers fishing Saturday are:
1st: John Jacobs, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 35-8
2nd: Brandon Edel, Hendersonville, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-4
3rd: Grayson Smith, Clarksville, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-7
4th: Daniel Buswell, Newnan, Ga., 10 bass, 31-11
5th: Cody Kelley, Conway, Ark., 10 bass, 31-9
6th: Chad Randles, Elkhorn, Neb., 10 bass, 31-9
7th: Braxton Setzer, Auburn, Ala., 10 bass, 30-2
8th: Kyle Monti, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 30-2
9th: David Lauer, Loxahatchee, Fla., 10 bass, 29-0
10th: J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-13
11th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 28-5
12th: Dennis Kirby, Lakeland, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-5
13th: Stephen Smith, Glenwood, Ark., 10 bass, 27-15
14th: Eric Self, Lawndale, N.C., 10 bass, 27-15
15th: Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., 10 bass, 27-13
16th: Frank Divis Sr., Fayetteville, Ark., 10 bass, 27-13
17th: Jason Johnson, Gainesville, Ga., 10 bass, 27-12
18th: Jimmy Kowalski, Lake Placid, Fla., nine bass, 26-9
19th: Stephen Crawley, Bush, La., 10 bass, 26-9
20th: Kyle Brookshear, Van, Texas, 10 bass, 26-5
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Randles caught Friday’s Bridgford Big Bass in the co-angler division weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces to win $250.
Overall there were 563 bass weighing 1,426 pounds, 14 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 73 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify.
Pro Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas and co-angler Alan Woodford of Winslow, Ind., had their day two weights zeroed after inadvertently violating FLW Tour rule No. 13. The duo broke down on the water and Woodford received a ride in from another competitor (permissible under FLW rules) but did not adequately mark their fish. Rule No. 13 states that in those situations, the fish must be adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction of the pro’s catch and the co-angler’s catch to the tournament director.
Anglers will take off from McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road in Florence beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, a Chevy Truck Tour, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. Also on Sunday, country music star Chris Janson will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.
Coverage of the Pickwick Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 10 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.