During the 42nd annual Bass Master Classic media day event, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk with Mr. Iaconelli and ask him a few questions. I want to start by saying IKE was one of the most enjoyable and informational interviews I have done. Not only did he answer my questions but he went above and beyond adding more information and giving specifics on his views and techniques, this is an interviewers dream! I have watched this man fish the BASS Federation, Elite Series and FLW tours successfully while at the same time entertaining viewers with his one-of-a-kind personality and hands down becoming a favorite amongst bass fishing fans. This experience was truly an honor and I look forward to speaking with Mike again soon. His sponsors include but are not limited to TOYOTA TRUCKS, RAPALA, ABU GARCIA, YAMAHA, BASS CAT and Berkley-HAVOC.
Ultimate Bass: Mike, this is your 13th Classic appearance, finishing second in 09’ here at the Red River. What is your confidence level right now?
Mike: It does give me extra confidence. Not only the 2009 Classic but I cut my teeth on river fishing. Rivers are different because of how they move and how the fish move in them. There’s constant current in river systems and the fish are also constantly moving in them.
Ultimate Bass: Mike did you take advantage of the early practice back in December? What did you do while you were here?
Mike: In November, I was here for three days. I was traveling the river and studying changes. As I said, the river is always moving well it’s also always changing. Ledges or pockets that were here in 2009 and way-points on my GPS may not even be there now its crazy!
Ultmate Bass: What research did you do leading up to this tournament?
Mike: Honestly since the last time I was here in November and now, I have replayed the 2009 Classic event over and over in my head a thousand times. Just to get here and discover the water is higher, its dirtier, and there’s more wind…it’s a different fishery. However, to answer your question other than practice and mental preparation I haven’t done much research.
Ultimate Bass: Mike I’ve heard you talk about your “Fishing in the Moment” strategy before explain that to us…
Mike: Well this is somewhat contradictory to what we just talked about but even I’m guilty of not always practicing what I preach, but I try my hardest. Fishing in the moment is learning how to forget about last year, last month, even yesterday and focusing on the now. Now don’t get me wrong, don’t totally block out your previous experiences because patterns are important, but just because you caught them on a jerkbait in practice doesn’t mean you fish a jerkbait in the tournament until noon even though you haven’t gotten a bite on it in three hours. Forget about the jerkbait and start fishing in the moment and listen to the fish. That’s why guys like KVD and Aaron Martins are so good as consistently as they are because they fish for today and not yesterday.
Ultimate Bass: Tell me your opinions on Social Media in the sport of bass fishing. Do you think it has benefitted the sport or hindered it and why?
Mike: I personally think it’s awesome for the sport. It has helped so many people including me learn more and more about the sport. In the 1980’s and 90’s all we had were magazines to read about baits and anglers techniques and that was limited. Also, we as professionals use it as a tool to promote our brands and communicate with our fans. Most importantly, it allows us that are on the road for nine months out of the year to connect with our families through technology. Skype, Facebook and email make a tough situation a little easier when spending time with the wife and kids.
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