Louisiana Angler Ups His Bassmaster Power Index Position; Cashes $100,000 Check

JASPER, Texas — A temperature drop and increased cloud coverage helped secure the top spot and $100,000 prize for Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., in the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series’ “Lone Star Shootout presented by Triton Boats” on Sunday.

Hackney, who led on two of the previous three tournament days, brought in 20-8 on Day 4 for a total of 79-10. “I had the feeling today was my day and I couldn’t do any wrong,” he said.

Fishing fans can see exactly how the Elite pro captured the win when The CITGO Bassmasters airs on Saturday, March 25 on ESPN2 at 10 a.m. ET.

Hackney, who finished in fourth place last week at the Elite Series season-opener “Battle on the Border presented by Mercury Marine”, said he caught his limit on a Strike King stickbait fishing in small pockets in back of a major lake arm. He culled after catching five fish 30 minutes into the tournament and stayed within a five-mile stretch of water. Hackney said his location was so good, he never sought out a 4-pound bass that eluded him twice earlier in the tournament.

“I wasn’t worried about anyone else in this tournament because it was mine to win,” said the second-ranked angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index.

In second place was Dean Rojas with 75-13 and in third was Kevin VanDam with 68-1.

Rojas, of Lake Havasu, Ariz., said he was pleased with his performance, even though it was just short of clinching the win. “I didn’t make any mistakes this week,” he said. “I did everything right except catch more than Hackney.”

Third-place VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., who was at risk of losing his title of all-time BASS money winner to Denny Brauer, said several “bonehead” decisions cost him the win, including one where he flipped into his boat – and then lost – a five-pound bass. “This kind of result makes me focus a lot more on what I need to do,” he said.

Still, VanDam maintains his lead on the Power Index, catching an average of 42-8 per tournament. His all-time BASS money winner title also is safe, with winnings totaling $1.96 million. Brauer, of Camdenton, Mo., who finished 10th in this tournament, is close behind with $1.93 million.

The only rookie in the Elite 12, Bill Lowen of Ohio, ended in fourth with 64-13, and Mark Tyler of Arizona capped the top five with 64-3.

Hackney’s 20-8 bag on Sunday secured him the BUSCH Heavyweight award, earning him a $1,000 bonus. If it remains one of the 10 heaviest in Elite Series season, he will qualify for the BUSCH Shootout later in the year. Kelly Jordon, who had the Purolator Big Bass on Day 1, also took the award on Day 4 with a 6-12 largemouth, the largest of the tournament.

Having visited Sam Rayburn more than 30 times, BASS is no stranger to the quality fishery - and the Jasper community rallies each time the organization is in town, according to Susan Stover, executive director of the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our community because this event is so much more than a fishing tournament,” she said. “It brings excitement and energy to the community and gives publicity to us we could never afford to buy.”

Following the conclusion of the Lone Star Shootout, Hackney is leading the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 600 points. The Angler of the Year program awards $125,000 to the angler with the most points at the end of the season. Lowen is leading the Toyota Rookie of the Year race, which awards $25,000 to the highest-ranking rookie in the Angler of the Year standings. Brooks Rogers of Texas is on top of the Toyota Horizon Award, which gives $10,000 to the angler with the greatest improvement from last year.

Anglers have little downtime before the next Elite Series tournament, the Santee Cooper Showdown presented by MotorGuide on March 30-April 2 in Manning S.C. Another angler will take the $100,000 top prize.

Local sponsors: Local sponsors include the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce.

CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series sponsors: Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advanced Auto Parts and Theraseed®.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit