John's Journal...

How Bass Pro Greg Hackney Makes Winning Decisions

Does the Weather Get Too Bad to Fish?

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Each professional bass fisherman makes different decisions on how, what, where, and when to fish. Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, once said,Click to enlarge “The person who makes the most right decisions in any bass tournament will win.” Strike King pro Greg Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana, also has proven that he knows how to make right decisions in a bass tournament by becoming one of only two fishermen to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic and the FLW World Championship in the same year. Hackney will be fishing the 2009 Bassmasters Classic in February on Louisiana’s Red River. This week, Hackney will tell us how he makes fishing decisions on the water.

Question: Greg, how bad does the weather have to be for you to leave a lake?
Hackney: That’s a really-good question. I’ve fished on LakeClick to enlarge Erie when the waves have been so big that if I were fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, I wouldn’t have fished that day. I’ve fished in rough weather, but there’s only one weather condition that will cause me to leave the lake every time – lightning. I have a deep-seated fear of lightning.Click to enlarge

Question: Have you ever stopped fishing a tournament because of the weather?
Hackney: No, I haven’t, and that’s really stupid. There have been several occasions where the smart thing would have been to leave the lake, but I didn’t. I feel very fortunate that nothing bad happened to me. There’s so much at stake in a professional Bassmaster tournament that leaving the water is hard. A fisherman has to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic or the FLW, thousands of dollars are at stake, and our families depend on us to earn money at every tournament we fish. So, I’ve taken some unnecessary risks that I probably shouldn’t have taken. Although I won’t say that I won’t leave the water, if the weather gets really bad, so far, I haven’t. Remember, my career is built and maintained in these tournaments. Tournaments are where I earn money for my family, and where I can be the best fisherman I can be. Sure there are dangers involved, but other sports are far-more dangerous. Professional jockeys, bull riders, ski jumpers, skateboarders and motocross riders have extremely-dangerous jobs. Yes, we take risks when we fish in bad weather, but not nearly the risks other professional athletes take in their sports.

Tomorrow: Fourth and Forty: Being a Hero or a Goat

Check back each day this week for more about "How Bass Pro Greg Hackney Makes Winning Decisions"

Day 1: Fish Close or Run Far
Day 2: When to Change Lures
Day 3: Know When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em
Day 4: Does the Weather Get Too Bad to Fish?
Day 5: Fourth and Forty: Being a Hero or a Goat


Entry 489, Day 4