Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., takes the lead on the first day of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River presented by Econo Lodge, bringing 16  pounds, 3 ounces to the scales on Thursday.

                                                                                          Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

ORANGE, Texas — Greg Hackney came into this week’s Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River presented by Econo Lodge fully expecting the fishing to be tough.

He said he wouldn’t have been surprised if he had caught no more than 5 pounds, 14 ounces of bass during Thursday’s entire opening round.

So when he landed one fish that weighed 5-14 early Thursday morning, he knew he was on to something — and he built a five-bass limit around that fish that weighed 16-3 to give him the Day 1 lead in an event that pays $100,000 to the winner.

“When the fishing’s this tough, catching a fish like that is almost like catching a whole limit on one bite,” said Hackney, a Gonzales, La., angler who has won five events during his career with B.A.S.S. “If you can put four more with it — even four little ones — you’re probably going to be in pretty good shape.”

Despite suffocating heat and water temperatures that pushed into the low 90s in some places, Hackney said the conditions were actually good on the Sabine River during Thursday’s early-morning hours. That’s when he did the bulk of his good work.

But once the tide started out, the fishing got tougher — and anglers started moving around a lot. That, he said, made things much worse.

“I had one place where I was waiting for the water to come back, and I was expecting it to come back real clean,” Hackney said. “Typically, that’s what would happen. But with so many people moving around later in the day, it really muddied the water.

“When it came back, it came back dirty.”

As for the rest of the tournament, Hackney is sticking with his original mindset.

“It could be really good, or it could be really bad,” he said. “I’m prepared for it to be tough.”

Hackney’s 5-14 largemouth put him in the lead for the $1,500 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award, and his 16-3 limit helped to a sizeable lead of almost 4 pounds over Alabama angler Matt Herren.

Herren brought five bass to the scales that weighed 12-4 — and he agreed that scattered big bites will be the deciding factor in an event that will likely see a lot of smaller bass caught in the 12- to 14-inch range.

“I had a few quality bites in practice, and I got a couple today,” Herren said. “I don’t know if I’ll get them tomorrow. But that’s what you’ll have to have.”
Herren said boat traffic was not a huge problem for him Thursday.

“I had two or three other boats around me, but it’s a big area I’m fishing,” he said. “None of those other (anglers) were doing what I’m doing.”

After a tough practice, California angler Skeet Reese was thrilled with his third-place weight of 12-2 — and he thinks he might have picked up some knowledge that could help him the rest of the way.

“I thought if I had a great day, I might could catch 9 pounds,” he said. “So to catch 12 … I didn’t see that coming.

“I caught my last good fish of the day on a different bait than I had been catching them on, so I may have learned something.”

The tournament continues Friday through Sunday with daily takeoffs at 6:05 a.m. CT from the City of Orange Boat Ramp and weigh-ins back at the ramp each day at 3 p.m. The full field of 108 anglers will compete Friday, but only the Top 50 will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

The Orange County River Festival, held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo, features a wide variety of food vendors, free activities and the Kids Catch and Release Fish Tank, will open at 11 a.m. each day with live music beginning Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Country music star John Michael Montgomery, the Festival’s headlining act, will play at 8 p.m. Saturday.

2018 Bassmaster Elite At Sabine River Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2018 Bassmaster Elite At Sabine River Presenting Sponsor: Econo Lodge

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Livingston Lures

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Elite Partner: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. 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), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 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, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

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Media Contact: Mandy Pascal, 334-414-8677, mpascal@bassmaster.com or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com

2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River presented by Econo Lodge 6/7-6/10
Sabine River , Orange   TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1
Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$1.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  16-03  110
Day 1: 5   16-03
2.  Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  12-04  109
Day 1: 5   12-04
3.  Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  12-02  108
Day 1: 5   12-02
4.  Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA             5  11-06  107
Day 1: 5   11-06
5.  Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  11-04  106
Day 1: 5   11-04
5.  Roy Hawk               Lk Havasu Cty, AZ        5  11-04  106
Day 1: 5   11-04
7.  Rick Morris            Lake Gaston, VA          5  11-02  104
Day 1: 5   11-02
8.  Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  10-15  103
Day 1: 5   10-15
9.  Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  10-14  102
Day 1: 5   10-14
10. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA             5  10-09  101
Day 1: 5   10-09
11. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  10-08  100
Day 1: 5   10-08
12. Ott DeFoe              Blaine, TN               5  10-05   99
Day 1: 5   10-05
12. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  10-05   99
Day 1: 5   10-05
12. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  10-05   99
Day 1: 5   10-05
15. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  10-03   96
Day 1: 5   10-03
15. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  10-03   96
Day 1: 5   10-03
17. Wesley Strader         Spring City, TN          5  10-02   94
Day 1: 5   10-02
17. Jake Whitaker          Fairview, NC             5  10-02   94
Day 1: 5   10-02
19. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  09-13   92
Day 1: 5   09-13
19. Alton Jones Jr.        Waco, TX                 5  09-13   92
Day 1: 5   09-13
21. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  09-11   90
Day 1: 5   09-11
22. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  09-10   89
Day 1: 5   09-10
23. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  09-08   88
Day 1: 5   09-08
23. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL              5  09-08   88
Day 1: 5   09-08
25. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  09-07   86
Day 1: 5   09-07
26. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  09-06   85
Day 1: 5   09-06
27. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  09-05   84
Day 1: 5   09-05
28. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          5  09-04   83
Day 1: 5   09-04
29. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  09-01   82
Day 1: 5   09-01
30. Mike McClelland        Bentonville, AR          5  09-00   81
Day 1: 5   09-00
31. Chris Groh             Spring Grove, IL         5  08-13   80
Day 1: 5   08-13
31. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             5  08-13   80
Day 1: 5   08-13
33. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL             5  08-10   78
Day 1: 5   08-10
33. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  08-10   78
Day 1: 5   08-10
35. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  08-09   76
Day 1: 5   08-09
35. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  08-09   76
Day 1: 5   08-09
37. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID         5  08-08   74
Day 1: 5   08-08
38. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  08-07   73
Day 1: 5   08-07
38. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  08-07   73
Day 1: 5   08-07
40. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              5  08-06   71
Day 1: 5   08-06
41. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  08-03   70
Day 1: 5   08-03
41. Randy Sullivan         Breckenridge, TX         5  08-03   70
Day 1: 5   08-03
41. Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN             5  08-03   70
Day 1: 5   08-03
44. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  08-02   67
Day 1: 5   08-02
45. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN            5  08-01   66
Day 1: 5   08-01
45. Hunter Shryock         Newcomerstown, OH        5  08-01   66
Day 1: 5   08-01
47. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  08-00   64
Day 1: 5   08-00
47. Shin Fukae             Palestine TX JAPAN       5  08-00   64
Day 1: 5   08-00
47. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  08-00   64
Day 1: 5   08-00
50. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  07-15   61
Day 1: 5   07-15
51. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  07-15   60
Day 1: 5   07-15
52. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  07-13   59
Day 1: 5   07-13
52. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  07-13   59
Day 1: 5   07-13
54. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL         5  07-12   57
Day 1: 5   07-12
54. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  07-12   57
Day 1: 5   07-12
56. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL              4  07-12   55
Day 1: 4   07-12
57. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  07-11   54
Day 1: 5   07-11
58. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        4  07-10   53
Day 1: 4   07-10
59. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ       5  07-09   52
Day 1: 5   07-09
60. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  07-08   51
Day 1: 5   07-08
60. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX               5  07-08   51
Day 1: 5   07-08
60. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  07-08   51
Day 1: 5   07-08
63. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  07-07   48
Day 1: 5   07-07
64. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                5  07-06   47
Day 1: 5   07-06
65. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA          5  07-05   46
Day 1: 5   07-05
65. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  07-05   46
Day 1: 5   07-05
65. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 5  07-05   46
Day 1: 5   07-05
65. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  07-05   46
Day 1: 5   07-05
69. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  07-03   42
Day 1: 5   07-03
69. Bill Weidler           Helena, AL               5  07-03   42
Day 1: 5   07-03
71. Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA             5  07-00   40
Day 1: 5   07-00
72. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  06-15   39
Day 1: 5   06-15
72. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  06-15   39
Day 1: 5   06-15
72. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         5  06-15   39
Day 1: 5   06-15
75. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  06-14   36
Day 1: 5   06-14
75. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  06-14   36
Day 1: 5   06-14
77. Kyle Monti             Okeechobee, FL           5  06-12   34
Day 1: 5   06-12
78. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            4  06-12   33
Day 1: 4   06-12
79. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  06-11   32
Day 1: 5   06-11
80. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  06-09   31
Day 1: 5   06-09
80. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  06-09   31
Day 1: 5   06-09
80. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID               5  06-09   31
Day 1: 5   06-09
83. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                5  06-08   28
Day 1: 5   06-08
83. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  06-08   28
Day 1: 5   06-08
85. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  06-07   26
Day 1: 5   06-07
86. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  06-06   25
Day 1: 5   06-06
87. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             5  06-04   24
Day 1: 5   06-04
87. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  06-04   24
Day 1: 5   06-04
89. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  06-01   22
Day 1: 5   06-01
90. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  05-15   21
Day 1: 5   05-15
91. Jonathon VanDam        Gobles, MI               5  05-14   20
Day 1: 5   05-14
92. Fred Roumbanis         Russellville, AR         5  05-13   19
Day 1: 5   05-13
93. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  05-12   18
Day 1: 5   05-12
94. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  05-10   17
Day 1: 5   05-10
95. John Murray            Spring City, TN          3  05-05   16
Day 1: 3   05-05
96. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         4  05-00   15
Day 1: 4   05-00
97. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         4  04-08   14
Day 1: 4   04-08
98. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              3  04-03   13
Day 1: 3   04-03
99. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            3  04-02   12
Day 1: 3   04-02
100. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           4  03-08   11
Day 1: 4   03-08
101. David Fritts           Lexington, NC            3  03-02   10
Day 1: 3   03-02
102. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          3  03-01    9
Day 1: 3   03-01
103. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          2  02-08    8
Day 1: 2   02-08
104. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          2  02-06    7
Day 1: 2   02-06
105. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              2  02-01    6
Day 1: 2   02-01
105. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            2  02-01    6
Day 1: 2   02-01
105. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              2  02-01    6
Day 1: 2   02-01
108. Fletcher Shryock       Dennison, OH             0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        91       504       829-03
———————————-
91       504       829-03