Hackney: A slow morning, a better afternoon

Today was OK. I mean, I’m still in the hunt, and after a slow start this morning I can’t really complain too much. I’ll take where I’m at right now.

I had several places that I wanted to fish this morning. When I got on them, however, I had trouble getting a bite. What I had been doing in practice wasn’t working. I fished my way around and finally decided to go back to where I started and see if I could figure something out. By the time I did that it was later in the day. I just didn’t have as much time as I needed to catch up.

Out of six bites I managed to boat four pretty good keepers. The two I didn’t catch were ones that couldn’t be caught. The bites were light and tentative. I didn’t do anything wrong, and really, I don’t think I could have done anything different to have hooked them.

What needs to happen tomorrow is that I need to figure them out a little faster so I can get more bites and take advantage of a full day. And, I think tomorrow will be a good day to do that. Today was rough, weather wise.

Here’s the deal: This is the time of the year, and the Classic is the tournament, that you need to be at your best. Fishing efficiently is a must. Every cast has to count. There’s no other way to catch what you need to win. Today wasn’t the day for that kind of efficiency.

Every two or three casts I had to clear ice out of my guides. And, every so often the eye on my reel — the one down by the worm gear — would freeze solid. Sometimes the ice would pop out. Other times I had to remove it.

I sprayed Real Magic on everything all day. It helped some, but when it’s as cold as it was today nothing is going to work perfectly. I had to kind of laugh after we weighed our fish. A writer asked me if I had trouble with ice in the morning. I said yes and then pointed out that my reel froze on the last cast I made today, too. It never went above freezing. Just a few more degrees would have made a world of difference.

Things should be a little better tomorrow. That’s what they’re saying, anyway. I really don’t know what that’ll do to the bass. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I do want to make one other observation:

It’s a darn shame that we haven’t fished Lake Hartwell when it was right. This place is full of big largemouth and spotted bass. As best as I could tell Dean [Rojas] held up a couple of big largemouth. I saw a lot of the other guys, though, holding up one largemouth and one spot. If we could fish this place when it was right it would be a real slugfest. You’d see some serious weight come out of here.

Gotta go. Tomorrow morning will come early.