Hackney Reflects on a Hard but Enjoyable Season – Major League Fishing
Aug 27th, 2019 by Keith Worrall 116
Modified Aug 27th, 2019 at 7:42 PM
Greg Hackney finished his season with a second-place finish in REDCREST. Photo by Phoenix Moore
By Mason Prince – August 27, 2019
Greg Hackney finished out a stellar 2019 Bass Pro Tour season with a second-place finish in the inaugural REDCREST on Sunday afternoon. The Louisiana pro got to within 5 pounds of catching Edwin Evers during the second period of the Championship Round, but was unable to keep up with Evers’ furious pace.
Still, second place in what Hackney called “the finest field ever assembled” is quite a feat. It’s made even more impressive considering how Hackney only missed two Knockout Rounds all year long and earned $96,000 in winnings without having to pay any entry fees.
But even with all of this success, it didn’t come easy for the 2018 MLF General Tire World Champion.
“This has been the hardest season of my career in bass fishing that I can ever remember,” Hackney admitted after letting out a deep sigh. “I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments this year and I’ve really learned a lot competing against the quality guys we have in this field.”
Taking a Leap of Faith
After deciding to join the Bass Pro Tour in the fall of 2018, Hackney wasn’t sure what to expect from the newly-founded league. Of course, he had experience fishing the MLF format during cup events and his World Championship win, but going from a five-fish bag to MLF full-time was a daunting change.
“Joining the Bass Pro Tour was scary for me because I was basically quitting one job and starting a new one,” Hackney said. “Now, looking back on that decision I’m really glad I made it. There are guys who have adjusted to this format quicker than I have, but I feel like I’m really getting the hang of it.”
Age is Just a Number
Hackney is a student of the game. He’s followed the sport of bass fishing and the big names even before he was a professional himself. The Strike King pro is set to celebrate his 46th birthday on Sunday, a number that used to scare him when it came to the sport he loves. But as the Bass Pro Tour has shown him, age is nothing but a number.
“As I’ve studied the sport in the past, 35 to 40 years old is when most anglers were in their prime,” Hackney recalled. “I’m 45, but I feel like we haven’t seen the best Greg Hackney on the Bass Pro Tour yet. I’m very motivated and, more importantly, I’m hungry. Seeing Edwin’s success at age 44 has given me confidence that I can continue to do this and do it at a high level.”
With the sting of Sunday’s second-place finish in the rear-view mirror, Hackney sets his sights on 2020. Even though next season begins in February, the Mercury pro is itching for a chance to compete right away.
“I wish we had another event next week because I feel like I’m finally where I want to be,” Hackney said. “I don’t want the offseason to ice me. I’m going to enjoy my offseason, but I can’t wait until February when we get started again. I’m going to set some goals and strive for perfection.”