45-year-old Greg Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana, is the newest member of the Mossy Oak Fishing Team. In 2018, he won the Major League Fishing (MLF) World Championship and stands at the top of this professional bass-fishing circuit. Hackney has won over $3 million in his tournament fishing career, while fishing on several different circuits. The MLF championship lasts several days on multiple bodies of water. But the last day of the tournament was held in Florida, and he caught his winning catch punching mats of grass with a Strike King Rodent.
I’m often asked why many of my wins have come when I’ve been using the flipping technique. The answer to that question is that flipping produces the right size of bass to win tournaments, and certain lakes are just perfect for flipping. The Major League Fishing World Championship was held in Florida on Lake Kenansville. Because there was so much grass in this lake, this was a perfect lake to flip, punch through the grass and catch the bass that were holding under the grass.
I grew up in the South, in Louisiana, and fishing in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama was where I learned to flip and use that technique in many if not most of the lakes I fished when I started out bass fishing. Thick, matted vegetation, cypress trees and other types of thick cover are where I’ve caught most of my winning limits of bass.
One of my favorite colors to fish is black and blue. I was fishing a black-and-blue Strike King Rodent when I won the World Championship. My two favorite colors of lures to fish when I’m punching grass are black-and-blue and green-pumpkin. These two colors of lures are ones you can fish in all 50 states and be very successful.
An advantage that I have when I’m flipping is that I’m using either 55- or 60-pound-test braided line. That line’s really low-stretch, and it cuts through vegetation really well, especially when you have a big bass on the end of your line. Another advantage of using braided line is that I can tie my lure on in the morning and never have to re-tie all day long.
Your rod is important too. I’ve developed the 8-foot Quantum Hack Attack Flipping Stick rod. With an 8-foot rod, you can control the line better than you can with a 7- or a 7-1/2-foot rod. Shorter rods are either too limber or too stiff, and in my opinion, an 8-foot length gives you the right amount of tip action and backbone in the rod. When you’re fishing braided line, you need a parabolic rod to give you a certain amount of bend from the tip of the rod all the way down to the butt of the rod. When I’m fishing braided line, I need a rod with a softer action than most flipping sticks have. Because that braided line doesn’t stretch, you don’t need a rod that’s as stiff as a broomstick.
In Florida, where I won the MFL World Championship, I was using a 1-1/2-ounce weight to punch through the grass. But with that big weight, you have a tendency to knock the bass’s mouth open, so, don’t lose the bass.
Flippin’ and pitchin’ are great techniques for successfully catching bass, but you must be accurate with your bait placement.