Obviously, winning the Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Sabine is going to help his average. Hackney went wire to wire thanks to keying in on a topwater pattern with a Strike King KVD Sexy Frog and a buzzbait with a 1/4-ounce Strike King Hack Attack Select buzzbait.
That win moved him up to 41st in our rankings. However, it wasn’t that much of a bump considering his Lake Texoma win from 2016 dropped off this week. So basically he stayed at the status quo.
However, looking back at 2016, Hackney followed up his Texoma win by finishing dead last at Cayuga Lake because he accidently fished an off-limits area. Thus, his first-day catch was disqualified, and he had his worst tournament finish ever.
That tournament is also set to drop off just after the upcoming LaCrosse Elite Series, effectively getting rid of the anchor that’s been weighing down his average the last two seasons. So as long as Hackney does even a little bit better than last, he’ll jump up again, and if he has a solid tournament as he’s projected to do, we could see a meteoric rise up the rankings. So stay tuned.
One other thing worth noting after the Sabine is that after scratching and clawing his way back into the top 10 for the first time in 5 years, Kevin VanDam slipped out of the top 10 to 13th.