Greg Hackney Leads Day 3 at Elite Series Cayuga

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Bassmaster Elite Series Cayuga Day Three Leader Greg Hackney - photo by Gary Tramontina - Bassmaster

Bassmaster Elite Series Cayuga Day Three Leader Greg Hackney – photo by Gary Tramontina – Bassmaster

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. — Who could be happy after not catching a limit in what is likely the most important bass tournament of your career?

Greg Hackney.

He was grinning ear-to-ear Saturday after weighing four bass instead of the allowed five in the third round of the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. But those four were solid largemouth bass that tipped the scales at 17-11. It was enough to keep a 10-ounce lead over his biggest threat, Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas.

“The lead’s the lead,” quipped the pro from Gonzales, La., who also led on Day 2. “I’m happy.”

In the three days of the four-day event, Faircloth had 60-7 to Hackney’s 61-1.

Part of Hackney’s elation stemmed from knowing he still held the lead in the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) points race. After Saturday, Hackney had 15 points on reigning AOY Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., and 17 points on none other than the same guy also hot after the Cayuga trophy, Faircloth.

Hackney has never been this close to capturing the AOY title, which will be awarded next month when the Elite Series season wraps up in Michigan. Only twice before did he have a shot. He came closest in his rookie Elite year, 2004, when he finished in second place, three points behind AOY winner Gerald Swindle.

Closest to the two Cayuga leaders was Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif. Climbing from sixth place into third, Zaldain posted a three-day tally of 56-4. He trailed Faircloth by 4-13.

Fourth place was taken by Jacob Powroznik of Port Haywood, Va., at 55-11. In fifth place was first-day leader Brandon Palaniuk of Hayden, Idaho, with 54-7.

The field was cut to 12 for Sunday’s competition for a first prize of $100,000 and an instant qualification for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

Hackney’s third round on Cayuga Lake began just right. By 9 a.m., he had pulled four bass out of relatively deep water. In the third bite of a flipping flurry, he connected for a split second with a fifth bass. He said he reacted too fast and ripped the bait away from the fish.

Happy Hackney wasn’t allowing that “lost” bass to haunt him.

“Naw, I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I’m right back where I want to be, so I can’t complain. I could say ‘shoulda coulda woulda,’ but the lead is what it’s all about.”

Wind was Hackney’s nemesis Saturday on Cayuga. “The wind just pretty much blew my area out,” he said. Whitecap rollers caused the submerged grass to twist and wave. That spooked the bass out of the grass, he said.

“Then it (the wind) just got so bad out there, I couldn’t fish, so I moved up and started fishing shallow, but just couldn’t get bit shallow,” he said.

If the wind blows again in Sunday’s final round, he has a more protected place down the lake he hasn’t tapped into, he said.

Faircloth has been Mr. Consistency over three days with weights of 20-2 on Day 1, 20-2 on Day 2 and 20-3 on Saturday.

“I had another good morning. We leaned on them pretty hard,” he said.

By “we,” Faircloth meant Zaldain. As they have for three days, the two are sharing a honey hole, working it within casting distance of each other.

“I don’t know if there’s anything left there or not,” Faircloth said. “I’ve got a backup (for Sunday), and was able to cull one of my smaller ones off of it. But I don’t know that it has the potential for a win.”

Faircloth said he’s mainly using three Strike King lures: a 5XD crankbait, a Rage Cut-R and a Rage Shellcracker soft plastic flipping bait. He’s working them along the grasslines.

A five-time Bassmaster Elite Series winner and 12-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, Faircloth is trying for his first AOY title. He’s come close several times.

Zaldain said he’s fishing differently than Faircloth in the water they’re sharing.

“I’m fishing ‘off’ a little bit,” Zaldain said. “He (Faircloth) is fishing more of the big-line stuff, with bigger-type worms, and I’m using the finesse approach, picking up fish behind him. I’m totally respecting his water; he’s respecting mine.”

Zaldain said he’s also going deeper (about 22 feet, he said) with a drop shot rig. Cloud cover dictated his choice, shallow or deep.

“When it’s cloudy early in the morning, I have to catch them out deep,” he said.

Faircloth, Hackney and many others in the Elite field now know they have one of 50 berths wrapped up for the $900,000 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, Sept. 18-21 on Bays de Noc out of Escanaba, Mich. There, 29 Bassmaster Classic entries for the 2015 event will be finalized. Several more Elite pros below the 29-cut will also make it into the 2015 world championship due to double-qualifiers.

And, when the Michigan event ends the Elite season, the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be crowned. The AOY will take $100,000 of the $900,000 total purse.

Hackney’s 23-1 bag of Day 2 held as the top contender for the Berkley Heavyweight award of $500.

Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., caught Saturday’s the largest bass. A 6-4, it helped him into Sunday’s finals in 10th place.

In the event’s Carhartt Big Bass competition, the 6-6 largemouth caught by Powroznik on Day 1 continued to lead for the bonus of up to $1,500.

The A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake continues Sunday at Frontenac Park, 26 Chapel St., Union Springs, N.Y. The 12 finalists will leave the docks beginning at 6:15 a.m.

Beginning right after the morning launch, fans can sign up for free rides in Triton, Skeeter and Nitro boats powered by Mercury or Yamaha engines.

Also at Frontenac Park, the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo and Fish Cayuga Festival will open at noon. On tap are live music; food and merchandise vendors; the Berkley Experience trailer; and merchandise, games, prizes and fishing tips offered by A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Toyota, Minn Kota, Booyah, Shimano, Livingston Lures and many others.

The final weigh-in will begin at 3:15 p.m.

All Bassmaster events are free.

Hosting the Elite Series at Cayuga are www.FingerLakesTravelNY.com, www.ILoveNY.com, www.TourCayuga.com, and the Union Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The Bassmasters TV show on ESPN2 will feature the Cayuga event on Sunday, Sept. 7, in the 2:30-3:30 p.m. time slot.

All times are Eastern.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

2014 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite Series at Cayuga Lake 8/21-8/24
Cayuga Lake, Union Springs  NY.
Standings Day 3

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            14  61-01  100     $500.00
Day 1: 5   20-05     Day 2: 5   23-01     Day 3: 4   17-11
2.  Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              15  60-07   99
Day 1: 5   20-02     Day 2: 5   20-02     Day 3: 5   20-03
3.  Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA            15  56-04   98
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   21-08     Day 3: 5   19-00
4.  Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        15  55-11   97
Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   18-10     Day 3: 5   16-13
5.  Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID              15  54-07   96
Day 1: 5   20-10     Day 2: 5   16-05     Day 3: 5   17-08
6.  Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        15  54-04   95
Day 1: 5   19-01     Day 2: 5   17-06     Day 3: 5   17-13
7.  Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       15  53-12   94
Day 1: 5   17-00     Day 2: 5   19-06     Day 3: 5   17-06
8.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              15  52-12   93
Day 1: 5   19-12     Day 2: 5   19-05     Day 3: 5   13-11
9.  Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            15  51-07   92
Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   15-12     Day 3: 5   17-00
10. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    15  51-07   91
Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   16-12     Day 3: 5   18-10
11. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS              14  51-06   90
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 4   15-04     Day 3: 5   19-01
12. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR           15  51-04   89
Day 1: 5   19-06     Day 2: 5   19-14     Day 3: 5   12-00
13. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         15  48-15   88  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   15-14     Day 3: 5   15-05
14. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         15  48-03   87  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   14-02     Day 3: 5   15-06
15. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               15  48-02   86  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   16-00     Day 3: 5   19-04
16. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           15  48-00   85  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   16-10     Day 3: 5   10-15
17. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        15  48-00   84  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   19-11     Day 3: 5   14-11
18. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS              15  47-15   83  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   16-15     Day 3: 5   10-12
19. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         15  47-12   82  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-01     Day 2: 5   15-03     Day 3: 5   17-08
20. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN           15  47-11   81  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-14     Day 2: 5   15-04     Day 3: 5   17-09
21. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               15  47-05   80  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   17-12     Day 3: 5   11-13
22. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               15  46-14   79  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   12-14
23. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              15  46-12   78  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   15-07
24. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          15  46-10   77  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   16-10     Day 3: 5   15-09
25. Randall Tharp          Port Saint Joe, FL      15  45-11   76  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   16-06
26. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          15  45-10   75  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 5   13-04     Day 3: 5   15-10
27. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 15  45-06   74  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   15-09     Day 3: 5   14-01
28. Randy Howell           Springville, AL         15  45-04   73  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-02     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   12-11
29. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        15  44-10   72  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   13-05     Day 3: 5   16-09
30. Morizo Shimizu         Osaka JAPAN             15  44-10   71  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   14-11     Day 3: 5   15-05
31. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             15  44-09   70  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   15-15     Day 3: 5   14-04
32. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL               15  44-09   69  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   13-13
33. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               15  44-00   68  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   12-03     Day 3: 5   13-09
34. Bobby Lane             Lakeland, FL            15  43-13   67  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   14-15     Day 3: 5   14-13
35. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL        15  43-10   66  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   16-14     Day 3: 5   11-02
36. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          15  43-04   65  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   11-09
37. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         15  43-03   64  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   15-14     Day 3: 5   13-06
38. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI             15  42-04   63  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   09-11     Day 3: 5   13-10
39. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX        15  42-04   62  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   14-10     Day 3: 5   14-01
40. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           15  41-14   61  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   09-06
41. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        15  41-14   60  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   14-14     Day 3: 5   11-08
42. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             15  41-03   59  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 5   16-11     Day 3: 5   12-07
43. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  41-02   58  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   13-00     Day 3: 5   12-07
44. Tracy Adams            Wilkesboro, NC          15  40-12   57  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   15-15     Day 3: 5   10-14
45. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX               13  40-01   56  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 3   07-12     Day 3: 5   11-14
46. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          15  39-13   55  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   11-00
47. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        14  39-05   54  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   15-13     Day 3: 4   09-08
48. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             15  38-06   53  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   10-11     Day 3: 5   09-02
49. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             15  38-05   52  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   09-14
50. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              15  38-01   51  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   08-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        99       516      1442-12
2        97       512      1404-15
3        48       248       710-10
———————————-
244      1276      3558-05