John's Journal...


Figuring Out Tube Bass

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’s your second choice for baits at this time of the year?

HACKNEY: I really like the tube bait. I fish the 5” Denny Brauer Tube at this time of year and the 3” Kevin VanDam Tube, especially if I am sight-fishing or fishing for spotted bass.

QUESTION: What are your favorite colors?

Click to enlargeHACKNEY: I like green pumpkin, black neon and green pumpkin with a blue tail.

QUESTION: How are you fishing it?

HACKNEY: Most of the time I fish the tube using a fairly-heavy weight. However, at this time of the year, I prefer a much-lighter weight. I usually start with either a 1/8-ounce or a 1/4-ounce weight, and I may even use a weight as small as 1/16-ounce. I believe that the bass bite better when they’re bedding, if you use a smaller slip sinker. Again, I don’t know why this is true. I just know I have better results, especially when I’m fishing for bedding fish at this time of the year, using a smaller slip sinker.

QUESTION: Normally you like to fish fast. How are you fishing that tube at this time of the year?

HACKNEY: If I know the bass are bedding but I can’t actually see the fish, I fish it really slow. Of course, I do dead-stick my bait a lot at this time of the year, even when I can see the fish.

QUESTION: How long are you leaving your tube laying on the bottom and not giving it any action at all before you move it?

Click to enlargeHACKNEY: I usually leave it for 10 to 15 seconds. Unlike top-water lures, I want the bass to see, study, move in closer and suck in the bait. If I can actually see the bass on the bed, I may leave the tube sitting still on the bottom without moving it for as long as 1-minute. I have thrown my tube in the water to a bass that I can see, let it lie on the bottom, straightened-up my tackle, gotten a soft drink or eaten a sandwich while waiting on the bass to eat the bait. I watch a lot of these TV pros fight fish, and I realize that I fight fish different from the way I sight-fish. I would say I’m pretty unorthodox in my approach to sight-fishing for bass at this time of the year.

QUESTION: What are you doing that’s so different from the other pros?

HACKNEY: Most anglers use bright-colored tubes when they sight-fish, but I don’t. Only about 5 percent of the time I’ll use a bright-colored tube when I’m sight-fishing. I’ve found that the bass seem to bite a more-natural presentation and color than they do bright colors. I know I can’t see my tube lying in or near the bass’s bed as well when I’m fishing a natural color as I can if I ‘m fishing a bright color. I’ve also discovered that even though I can’t see the tube as well, I catch more bass with natural colors than I do with bright colors.

QUESTION: What do the bass do when you flip that tube in close to their bed?

HACKNEY: Most of the time the bass leave their bed, and usually they come back. Sight-fishing is very different from any other type of bass-fishing because each bass on the bed reacts to the bait differently. Some bass won’t take the tube if it’s not moving. But with other bass, the longer you let the tube sit, the more likely you Click to enlargeare to catch the bass. Other bass won’t strike the tube unless you bounce it off their noses. I’ve seen bass leave the bed when the tube hits the water, make a circle and come back to the bed. If you hop the tube off the bottom just as they’re coming back to it, they will strike. However, if you don’t hook a bass the first time it strikes the lure, it won’t bite it again. Another weird thing about fishing this month is I’ve noticed that each lake we fish seems to have bass with different attitudes. You may fish one lake where the bass are really aggressive, and then 5 miles down the road at another lake, the bass don’t bite. I think the key to catching bass in March is to determine what attitude the bass have on the particular lake you’re fishing as soon as possible. Don’t expect the bass in another lake to have that same attitude on that same day.


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 2