John's Journal...


Smoke the Black Buzzbait

EDITOR’S NOTE: Winning $65,000 and the title that went with it, Angler-of-the-Year on the Forest L. Woods (FLW) tour, prove that Greg Hackney knows how to catch bass. One of the newest members of the Strike King Pro Staff, Hackney from Gonzalez, Louisiana, has been fishing professional tournament circuits for 5 years. However, he’s been competing in bass-fishing tournaments since he was only 11-years old. Hackney is the number-two pro in the nation according to This week he’ll tell us how to catch bass during March.

QUESTION: What color buzzbaits are you going to use this month?

Click to enlargeHACKNEY: Ninety percent of the time, I’m going to use a black buzzbait, primarily the new black Strike King Tri-Wing Buzz King Buzzbait.

QUESTION: Why are more anglers using black buzzbaits than ever before?

HACKNEY: Black is a dominant color. In the spring season, I’ve found that I get more strikes when I am fishing black buzzbaits than any other color. I think the sound of the Double Wing and Tri Wing buzzbaits and the black color is a combination of sight and sound that the bass do not like. I think they strike it to get rid of it or kill it. For some reason, black buzzbaits seem to catch more bass early in the spring and later in the year than any other color buzzbaits I’ve tried. In the summertime, I’ve found that white and white-and-chartreuse buzzbaits produce more bass. Until we can find a talking fish, we won’t know why these colors seem to be better at different times of the year.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: How are you fishing the buzzbait different from other bass anglers?

HACKNEY: I probably fish the buzzbait much faster than most anglers. I believe you get more bites fishing the buzzbait faster. When you fish the buzzbait fast, the bass that attack it are more committed to eating the buzzbait than just killing the buzzbait. Therefore, I believe I hook more bass that attack the buzzbait when I fish it fast than I do when I fish it slow. The secret to catching bass is not simply getting strikes. It’s actually hooking the fish. If I have to pick between hooking more fish, or getting more strikes but not hooking as many fish, I’ll choose the speed that produces the most hook-ups. I believe the speed that produces the most hook-ups is fast instead of slow. The less time that a bass has to look at a bait, and the shorter time he has to make a decision as to whether he’s going to bite or not, the more bass you’ll catch. I’m fishing for an aggressive, committed strike that causes the bass to inhale the lure and get the hook in his mouth. I want an instinctive strike. With that instinctive strike, you’ll get a Click to enlargehard charge and bite. I think many times if a bass has an opportunity to study the bait he may follow it and bump it with his nose just to see what’s going to happen. That’s when you get many short strikes. As with any top-water bait I’m fishing, I fish it fast for the same reason. I believe if you speed-up your retrieve on top-water baits, you’re more likely to get the bass to commit to the strike and you’re more likely to hook the fish. Therefore, the two things I think will help more anglers catch more bass at this time of year is to fish the black Strike King Tri-Wing Buzz King Buzzbait and smoke that sucker across the top of the water. This is the technique I use, and I think it’s the most-productive this time of year.


Check back each day this week for more about GREG HACKNEY ON BASSING

Day 1: Smoke the Black Buzzbait
Day 2: Figuring Out Tube Bass
Day 3: Bet on Creature Baits
Day 4: When Minus Is A Plus
Day 5: Wanted – Big Bass Only



Entry 342, Day 1