Greg Hackney had never been to Lake Seminole prior to a day he spent there before off limits just riding around. After rallying for a 38th-place finish following a miserable day 1 of the Elite Series season opener, he can't wait to get back.
Hackney, who's also fishing the FLW Tour this season, has posted progressively better results in the three tour-level events so far in 2014.
Things didn't start so well for him at Seminole, though, as he was mired in 100th after day 1 with two fish for 5-00. He climbed to 42nd after catching 23-15 on day 2 and capped his 62-place rally with 14-03 on day 3.
"I had a really good practice, but the weird thing was the place I caught those fish on day 2, I never had a bite there on day 1 or 3," he said. "I ran everything I had on day 3 and never had a bite so I went to the bank and caught what I caught."
He said his key mistake on day 1 was continuing to circle around his primary area, thinking the bites would eventually come. They never did.
"That was a bad choice on my part," he said, "but that's bass fishing for you. It definitely changes day to day and more so there than any place I've ever seen."
He was initially focused on high spots on the main lake, places he said are typical offshore spawning haunts.
"In some grass lakes, it's my opinion that the majority of fish never go to the bank to spawn," he said. "They just spawn in the grass. That lake sets up a lot like Guntersville and Toledo Bend where it's all about the shallow stuff on the main lake. It was getting fished and I had confidence in it, plus I had it to myself."
He said the areas he was in would seem to replenish every other day rather than every day or in shorter intervals.
"The fish were slow to come to those places," he added. "I'm not sure if it was because it was the tail end of the spawn or if it was that cold front we had. That was just a disaster because it muddied up a lot of water.
"I was targeting hard spots in the grass, anywhere I could find an opening. It had to be a clean spot on a hard inside edge or a high spot with no grass on top."
He said the fish were mostly positioned on the inside edge of the grass and he alternated between a 3/8-ounce Strike King Pure Poison bladed jig and a 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad, with the latter being his most productive option.
"Usually, it's a little late for that bait, but I felt like I could target females with it," he said. "I could slow down and drag something around and catch some, but they were all little ones. The big ones wanted something moving."
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