Hackney upgrading

Since my last blog Greg Hackney has upgraded two more times. Both got rid of pretty small keepers. It's still unclear what his weight is looking like at the moment.

He has been burning through pieces of cover and attacking the objects with multiple baits. He's been rotating between a moving bait and a flipping bait as he makes his way around cypress trees.

His co-angler Dakota Sparks is a college angler from Louisiana State (LSU) over in Baton Rouge. Since my last check-in he caught a keeper and culled. He snuck in with the last spot in the Top 12 to make it to Championship Saturday. Even though he is in 12th he only had a 5-10 deficit to make up.

Hackney found

It only took half the day, but I have found Greg Hackney. The 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year is cruising along and fishing cypress trees, just like most of the field has done.

Hackney grew up in this region and was excited to fish this Open. Ironically he said he signed up for this event because it was schedule for February, which is when he gets to fish around home. In the fall he picks up hunting so he doesn't fish much on the Atchafalaya.

This week he has proven why he has a reputation as one of the most feared anglers no matter where the Elite Series and Opens travel.

Immediately after I showed up Hackney boated two fish. One gave him a decent cull and the other couldn't help him so he released it punctually. He has a limit, but doesn't have any big ones by his definition. He pulled all of his fish out when he made that cull and if I had to guess, he has at least 10 pounds. There are three levels to weight estimation: Official, unofficial and way unofficial. That 10 pound guess way official, but if I hang around him a couple more minutes I should get a better idea.

He did say he has one that will easily get culled with the slightest of keepers so there is definitely room to upgrade.

Co-angler title almost wrapped up?

Blake Naquin is riding with Travis Kelehan on the final day of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open and he may have sealed the deal. Nothing is final by any means, but he has his three-fish co-angler limit and they weigh roughly 6 pounds. He already had a 3 1/2 pound lead so he has forced his nearest pursuer to catch a roughly 10 pounds to steal the title.

Meanwhile his boater Kelehan has two fish in the livewell at the moment.

Nothing yet for Roumbanis

James Overstreet just reported that Fred Roumbanis still has no fish in his livewell.

“He’s just baffled that he can’t get a bite here,” noted Overstreet, who’s spent the entire morning with the current leader, at least as of take-off.

Roumbanis left the spot and said he’s going to run about 45 miles in a last ditch effort to save the win.

“I’ve got to go and find 10 pounds,” he told Overstreet.

As he was about to punt the day too, Overstreet lucked up on Derek Hudnall, currently in third place. Hudnall pulled in on Roumbanis’ spot.

Hudnall reported having 4 bass in his livewell for about 11 pounds, including what he called a giant anchoring the catch.

No fish for Roumbanis

As of 9:45 a.m. James Overstreet reports the livewell of Fred Roumbanis is dry and empty.

With nearly 1,000 miles of coverable water we only have two photographer/reporters on the water in Overstreet and Ronnie Moore. That makes the job of finding the elusive Greg Hackney near impossible.

What we do know is Keith Poche is sweating this day out. Should Roumbanis win he goes to the 2017 Bassmaster Classic after falling just outside the cut. Should Hackney win that means Poche gets in the Classic. He, too, barely missed the cut from the Elite Series point standings. Poche gets in since Hackney is already qualified for the Classic as the winner of BASSfest.

This scenario has already taken place once this year. Last month, the winner of the final Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open did not fish the entire series. That opened the door for the first man out of the Classic to Ish Monroe, who will fish the Classic next March on Lake Conroe.

First find of the day

11th place angler Travis Kelehan was the first person I found on Championship Saturday. He came into the final day with a two-day total of 24, pounds, 8 ounces. He trails leader Fred Roumbanis by 11-7, but the standings are tight so Kelehan knows he can grab a couple extra spots with a good day today.

Meanwhile his co-angler Blake Naquin is leading the co-angler field by 3-8, his two-day total of 16-14 has certainly given him a nice cushion for this final day.

Slow going

I can count the number of fish catches I've seen today on one hand and still have some extra fingers left over. It has been stingy to say the least. I'be talked to 4 or 5 boats in my most recent area and none of them are close to having a good day. This area was great on Day 1 based on the weights brought in, but the pressure has got to this canal system it seems today. 
Elite Series pro Brett Preuett is one of the boats in this area and said on stage yesterday that he needed to go out and catch em today because his year had been terrible and he needs to show himself that he can still catch them. That hasn't happened up to this point because he said he has a lot of work left to do. 
Expect a tougher day once the weigh-in rolls around.

Catching more than bass

Co-angler Chuck Boso catching more than bass today in the Basin. 

Hudnall

After launching down river I waited in the intercostal channel as boats passed by heading to their first spot. One of those boats was 3rd place Derek Hudnall. The Baton Rouge, LA angler had 16-2 and is in a good position in this event. 

He said earlier that his key time yesterday was 9 to 11 a.m. Hudnall already has a small keeper in the box, but he figured every fish with this stale and calm water would be a bonus. The tide is slowly rising in his area and some added wind would make the fishing much better. No wind could mean a tough day for some anglers. 

Day 2 begins

Day 2 of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on the Atchafalaya Basin started at 7 a.m. as the full-field heads out of Fontenot/Berwick Landing. 

Although the Top 6 are separated by 5 pounds, the standings are tight for the rest of the field. From 6th place to 56th place is that same 5-pound gap. Day 2 should be interesting with the rises and falls from anglers. 

Fred Roumbanis takes a solid lead into Day 2 after catching 19-9  on Thursday.

Most anglers were saying 16 pounds a day would give anglers a shot to win. It remains to be seen, but with two Elite Series anglers above that 16-pound mark shows this place does have quality. Not to mention that Phoenix Boats Big Bass on Day 1 was 7 pounds, 12 ounces. 

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