John's Journal...

How I Plan to Fish the 2008 Bassmaster Classic with Greg Hackney

My Classic Baits

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The 2008 Bassmaster Classic will be Strike King Pro Team Member Greg Hackney’s sixth consecutive Classic. Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana, has been one of the most-consistent tournament pros on the circuit. This week, he’ll tell us how he plans to fish the 2008 Classic.

Question: Greg, if you could only take three lures to this year’s Classic, what would you take, and why?
Click to enlargeHackney: The jig would be my first choice because it’s a cold-weather and a big-fish bait. Most of the time if you catch one or two big bass in the Classic, you can win it.

Question: What color will you fish?
Hackney: I’ll probably have a black and blue and some type of brown.

Question: Which jig will you use?
Hackney: I’ll fish either a Bitsy Bug or a Denny Brauer Pro-Model jig.

Question: Why will you choose the Bitsy Bug, since it’s not a big-fish bait?
Hackney: Yes, it is, especially when the water’s cold and clear. Even a big bass prefers a smaller-profile jig then.

Question: Okay, why did you pick the Denny Brauer Pro-Model jig?
Hackney: This is one of my confidence baits. The Pro-Model jig has a big profile and always has produced big bass for me.

Question: What’s your second choice of lures?Click to enlarge
Hackney: The Red Eye Shad is a good, early pre-spawn bait. It resembles a baitfish in any area of the country. Hartwell is really low, and there won’t be a lot of cover in the water. The Red Eye Shad is a good bait for covering a lot of water and fishing bars and points where there isn’t much cover.

Question: What color Red Eye Shad will you be fishing?
Hackney: I’ll be fishing the Sexy Shad color or some shade of red. The Sexy Shad resembles a baitfish, and when you don’t know what color to choose in the spring, red is always a good color to start fishing.

Question: On what size line will you be fishing the Red Eye Shad?
HClick to enlargeackney: I’ll be fishing it on a 30- or a 50-pound-test braided line, even though this is a clear water lake. I’ll make long casts and keep the bait moving rather quickly. When you’re fishing lures like this, braided line doesn’t keep you from getting bites. The Red Eye Shad is a reaction-type of bait, so the bass won’t have a long time to look at the bait. Also, atthis time of year, the bass’s mouth will be hard. The colder the water, the harder the bass’s mouth will be. So, on a really long cast, I’ve found that I get a better hook-up ratio using braided line. The bass aren’t as bad to jump at this time of year as they are in the spring and the summer.

Question: Okay, what will be your third bait?
Hackney: It will be a Strike King Series 3 crankbait or the flat-sided crankbait the Strike King Custom Shop produces. I want those crankbaits in some type of shad color. I’ll have a brown or a crawfish pattern, if I’m fishing the Series 3. I hope I can have more than three baits to fish the Classic, but if I only get to fish three, I’ll take these lures. It’s really four baits, if you count the flat-sided crankbait and the Series 3.

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Tomorrow: Please Lord, Give Me the Worst Weather You’ve Got

Check back each day this week for more about "How I Plan to Fish the 2008 Bassmaster Classic with Greg Hackney"

Day 1: Why I Think I’m Consistently in the Classic
Day 2: My Classic Baits
Day 3: Please Lord, Give Me the Worst Weather You’ve Got
Day 4: America is One Big Bass Lake
Day 5: What This Win Will Mean to Me


Entry 442, Day 2