Hackney depends on Garmin LakeVü mapping to find winning spots on Lake Texoma
GONZALES, Louisiana – We caught up with Garmin pro Greg Hackney during a much-needed week at home in Louisiana between BASSfest, and the next Bassmaster Elite Series event at Cayuga Lake. Hackney, who won his fifth B.A.S.S. tour-level event at BASSfest with 66 pounds, 2 ounces of Lake Texoma bass, gave us a peek at the trails on his GPSMAP 7616xsv and LakeVü HD Ultra mapping, and walked us through his fish-finding process for this heavily flooded part of the Red River system.
Q: It looked like Texoma had plenty of cover and places to flip. How were you able to decipher which spots would be productive?
Hackney: “The big misconception about BASSfest is that ‘Oh, Hackney just went out and flipped bushes.’ That wasn’t the case at all. The key for me at Texoma was to find something on the bottom that makes the visible cover more productive. It’s always about the bottom, not just what you can see above the water. The big deal for me all week was following ditches: there were these tiny little breaks in the backs and turns of ditches where I knew bait and fish would most likely be. If I could find a piece of cover – a willow tree or brush – setting just off those breaks, I knew that’s where I’d find my fish.”
Q: So how did you utilize your practice days? Did you spend four full days just driving around looking for those conditions?
Hackney: “You bet, I did a whole lot of driving around. I had never been to Texoma before, so I had a lot to learn about this system. I was constantly having to look at my 7616xsv to identify those breaks, and to find these specific little spots where fish would set up. It wasn’t random. Almost all of my fish came from spots where these little drains would intersect with the old shoreline. The water was several feet high, so a lot of the shoreline was flooded. But the fish were all in very specific, steep spots just off that new shoreline. They were all very, very small spots: like, one-cast spots. But I found a lot of them.”
Q: What was it about those small drop-offs/drains that made them such fish attractors?
Hackney: “All the nutrients were pulling out of the drains, and the lake’s shad were out there feeding. If I looked on my screen and saw one of those drains near a piece of cover, I knew I was in a good place. It was a real textbook set of conditions.”
Q: Did you have a head start on your planning for Texoma because of your LakeVü HD Ultra mapping?
Hackney: “Garmin’s mapping is a world apart from other mapping. Basically, if they’ve surveyed a lake with LakeVü HD, I have an advantage. That MaxDef detail was a big deal for me on Texoma in looking for the beginnings of those drains. I really helped me out.”
Q: You’re running the big screen on your console, the 16-inch GPSMAP 7616xsv monitor. Why did you go with the single big screen versus two smaller ones, like most anglers do?
Hackney: “As far as I’m concerned, I have the DEAL with the GPSMAP 7616xsv. Honestly, I’m completely sold on that 16-inch screen. I can split the screen and do the same thing with that big screen as I can do with two smaller screens, and I don’t have one screen hanging off the side. Plus, when I’m running a pattern, my map is so big on that 7616 screen that I can look at more real estate on my map. I simply run a bigger map than guys with smaller screens, and I feel like a get a cleaner picture.”
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