John's Journal...

Bass-Fishing Tactics with Greg Hackney

Finesse Fishing Pays Off

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Greg Hackney of Gonzalez, Louisiana, one of the hottest tournament fishermen on both pro circuits, has finished in the top-10 in four tournaments with nine more tournaments left to compete in this year. Hackney won the Lake Sam Rayburn Bass Tournament, and so far this year, he’s earned $192,000 on the Bassmaster circuit and is ranked No. 1 statistically on as of May, 2006.

Question: What baits are you using to fish slowly at this time of year that most fishermen aren’t using?
Hackney: In the last couple of years, fishing a finesse worm has really proven to be a strong tactic. I use the Strike King 3X Finesse Worm in June and the other summer months. The Strike King Finesse Worm is a predominant bait in every tournament we fish throughout the summer. I think the biggest reason that finesse worm fishing has become such a major tactic is because all the lakes have so much fishing pressure now. Also, fishermen today are much better than they’ve ever been before. Finesse tactics Click to enlargeare now producing bass in places where power fishing will have ruled in the past.

Question: How do you rig your finesse worm?
Hackney: I rig it on a 3/16- or a 3/4-ounce jighead, depending on how deep I’m fishing. I like to use a shaky-type jighead, so I rig the worm either Texas style or with an exposed hook. That worm is really thin, so it’s easy to get a hook through it.

Question: What color do you like?
Hackney: I like watermelon red, watermelon, pumpkin or Junebug.

Question: On what type cover are you fishing the finesse worm?
Hackney: The season of the year dictates the type of cover I fish. I may fish boat docks or shallow-wood cover, but in the summer, I’ll Click to enlargeprimarily fish points. As the bass leave the bed and start to move out to deeper water, they’ll be holding on points and creek channel beds.

Question: How are you fishing the finesse worm to get the fish to bite it?
Hackney: Right now, the bass has just come off the bed, so they don’t suspend too much. They’re usually holding close to the bottom. I cast the worm out and let it fall all the way to the bottom. Once I let the worm hit the bottom, I shake the jighead with a slack line to cause the worm to quiver like it’s some kind of bait feeding on the bottom. Now, this is a really-slow technique. For the tactic to be effective, you have to have the bass “dialed-in.”

Question: What do you mean “dialed-in?”
Hackney: I’ll either find the bass with a crankbait, a Carolina-rigged worm or a jig. After I find the fish, and I’ve caught maybe one or two of them, I know where those bass are holding. I have them “dialed-in.” Now when they stop biting the bait I was catching them onClick to enlarge, I’ll cast back to that same spot with shaky jigheads and a Strike King Finesse Worm. I use the finesse worm to show that same school of bass a different lure. For instance, in the tournament I recently fished, I’d caught four bass on a jig when the bass quit biting. I started fishing the Strike King Finesse Worm, and I caught nine more bass. I caught my biggest fish with the finesse worm. This tournament was on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. I was catching bass that weighed about 2-pounds each on the jig, and I started catching the bigger bass using the finesse worm. Normally, when you’re fishing structure at this time of the year, there will be more than one bass holding on that structure. I like to fish the places where bass are migrating. In other words, when you catch three or four bass off one structure, there may be more bass that will move onto that same structure. Every day these places replenish themselves with more structure and more fish.

Tomorrow: Drag a Jig, and Drag in Bass


Check back each day this week for more about " Bass-Fishing Tactics with Greg Hackney"

Day 1: Fish Slow to Catch More Bass
Day 2: Finesse Fishing Pays Off
Day 3: Drag a Jig, and Drag in Bass
Day 4: Hop It If They Don’t Bite It Dragging
Day 5: Finally, Crank Them


Entry 356, Day 2