Greg Hackney’s 15th Bassmaster Classic didn’t end the way he wanted it to. The Gonzales native didn’t make the cut to fish day three of the event at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, finishing in 35th place with a two-day total of nine fish weighing 22-pounds, 13-ounces.
Hackney’s second day weight was slightly better than day one, even though he only brought in four fish on day two for 11-13. His first day bag, a five-fish limit, weighed 11 pounds.
Hackney said he had another couple of fish hooked, but lost them late in the day, but he said they wouldn’t have pushed him into the top 25, which is what it would have taken to make the cut to fish the final day.
After having a good practice, then watching the weather forecast, Hackney thought the tournament would turn out much better for him.
“I actually had a really good practice, and I went into this one with plenty of confidence. But I have really struggled the last couple of days. I’m disappointed, but it’s always awesome to be fishing at the Classic, and I never take that for granted,” he said.
Another angler that shares all those sentiments is New Iberia’s Caleb Sumrall, who fell from 30th place to 49th in his first Bassmaster Classic after a tough day.
Sumrall, who had to use a pair of pliers to cut a hook out of his finger before catching his first keeper, only managed to bring that one fish, a three pounder, to the scales. His two day total included six fish that weighed 15-11.
While obviously disappointed, Sumrall said counting his blessings this week, including today, hasn’t been hard.
“I just fished in the Bassmaster Classic. This is a dream come true for me, and this whole week has been an awesome experience. That first morning at blast off is when it really sank in, and I cried all the way to my first fishing spot. I can’t tell ya’ll how awesome this has been,” said Sumrall, who is currently fishing his rookie season on the Bassmaster Elite Trail after qualifying for the series by winning the 2017 B.A.S.S. Nation national championship.
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma, who was leading the Classic after the first day, maintained that position after day two. He brought 16-6 to the scales today, making his two-day total 37-4. Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma stayed in second place, catching 13 pounds today, pushing his total to 32-9.
Micah Frazier of Newnan, Georgia moved into the third spot with 32-2. He’s followed by James Elam of Tulsa in fourth place, giving the Sooner State three anglers in the top five. Guntersville, Alabama’s Gerald Swindle is in fifth place with 31-4.
One of the biggest surprises on day one was that Skeet Reese of Auburn, California did not bring a single fish to the scales. He rebounded today, hauling five keepers and a big smile to today’s weigh-in. His 11-5 bag didn’t move him out of 52nd place, but he said it did a lot for his pride after day one’s flop.