Greg Hackney has moved further up Lake Dardanelle to the cut just past the mouth of Piney Creek. It looks like he's throwing a spinnerbait, but it may be a bladed jig. He upgraded on one of his firsts casts with his biggest fish of the day. Maybe a 4-pounder.
He came up here yesterday and culled three times. It's an area he said he has micro-managed this week. He didn't want to come in here yesterday, but he didn't feel like he had enough weight. And he was, obviously, correct. Those three culls allowed him to go into today with a 13-ounce lead over Rick Clunn.
Hackney just directed us to stay away from a log as we follow him in here.
"I've caught a quarter of my fish this week off that log," he said.
Rick Clunn just moved to the mouth of Piney Bay, where it connects with Piney Creek, and immediately hooked up with a nice looking bass. We're estimating it to weigh around 3 pounds.
That gives Rick 3 fishing in the livewell. We're thinking that gives him at least 8 pounds. Rick is not getting a lot of quality bites, but he's slowly building a nice bag. We've not seen any other Elite anglers today, either in Piney Bay or Creek.
In the past 2 hours the fishing has been slow for Rick Clunn. He has caught a couple of small fish, not keepers, but it's not like he's slowing down. In fact he's in constant motion. At 67 years old Rick is hopping around like a much younger man. Steve Bowman called him, "poetry in motion."
I'm in my 50s now so I appreciate more and more what Rick is doing. He's taken good care of himself physically. And he's been able to withstand the rigors of the Elite series, which include months of travel. And the tournament weeks are very demanding, with two and a half days of practice and up to four days of competition (depending on whether you make the cuts for Sat. and Sun.). Beyond the physical demands there's also a strong mental aspect to this game.
Rick's not only fishing the Elite Series, but he remains relevant. I'm having trouble thinking of another sport where you can say that about a 67 year old. Perhaps NASCAR has some comparisons.
The word legend gets thrown around lightly at times, but this guy truly is one.
Paul Elias is fishing near the Highway 22 Bridge. -- Lance Roe
Greg Hackney has moved out of Illinois Bayou and has stopped just off the main Arkansas River channel. He began by throwing a spinnerbait across a large, lily pad-covered flat. Now he has moved up to a stand of reeds, where he put his flippin' stick back in his hands.
This may be the spot Hackney ran to yesterday, when we lost him after he left Illinois Bayou. There's a cool breeze blowing out here, which we haven't felt today while in the narrow, protected channel of Illinois Bayou.