Hackney captures Forrest Wood Cup

Staff reports

PITTSBURGH — Greg Hackney of Gonzales caught a final-round total of nine bass weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces to win $500,000 in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol — the World Championship of Bass Fishing — on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh.

Hackney topped his closest rival, Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., by 3 ounces to earn the win before a capacity crowd at Mellon Arena.

“This is by far the highlight of my career,” said Hackney, who won the 2005 Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year title. “Words don’t describe it. It’s one of those things that’s going to take years to soak in.”

Hackney, who qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Series’ BP Eastern Division, said the rivers underwent a variety of changes in both level and clarity during the course of the event. As a result, Hackney said he had to use a variety of baits.

“I caught a big bag of bass on a ø-ounce spinnerbait, but all of my other fish I caught on a drop-shot, a buzzbait, a jerkbait . . . I had 20 rods on the deck this week,” Hackney said.

Hackney said he started the tournament in the Pittsburgh pool of the Allegheny River. The second day, he made a run up and fished his way back to Pittsburgh.

Hackney opened the tournament Thursday in 36th place. Incredibly, he jumped to first place Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces to advance into the final round of 10 pros.