A day of firsts

Alan McGuckin
Mike Iaconelli : Winner of the 2006 AOY

About the author

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli is the only angler to have won the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year and B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

Yesterday was a day of firsts for the Iaconelli's. Vegas had his first sponge bath in a sink, he went on his first shopping trip with his mother and I fished with a radar unit for the first time. It's been an awesome 14 hours for our family. For now we'll talk fishing. We can talk more about Vegas later.

We've all been a little concerned about the fog. We're making long runs and delays can be costly as far as fishing time is concerned, not to mention the safety issues involved. So, on Monday I called Lowrance and asked them if there was any possibility of me getting a radar unit installed in my boat before we fished. That's about as last minute as it gets. I was hoping as much as anything else.

They made it happen. The guys at Lowrance are on top of things. They shipped everything overnight and installed it yesterday. It was quite a project. They had to manufacturer a mount for it and install all kinds of wiring and electronic stuff. They worked late into last night to get it done. When they put their tools away I was good to go.

My game plan went perfectly. I really didn't care about fishing too much. As I mentioned yesterday I mostly wanted to see what was going on with the fish and spend a lot of time going over my routes making sure I knew where all the turns were and where I could get gas. I spent more time with my watch than with my fishing rod.

While I was doing that I practiced with my radar. It's about as impressive as anything I've ever used. With the GPS you get a picture of what's in front of you. I really didn't understand what a powerful tool it was until I started using it.

But, there are limits. It's not like a fighter plane. You can't go stupid. You still have to use some common sense, go slow and keep your head up. Nevertheless, it'll make a huge difference if we get low visibility. I'll have a lot more fishing time with it, and a lot less running time.

I'm not the only one with radar, though. Several of the guys — maybe five or six I think — have them down here. I'm guessing by the next Classic they'll be standard equipment for professional anglers. This sport has really come a long way hasn't it?

As a bonus I did do a little fishing in a new area with some new baits. I only fished about an hour but I had 12 good bites. I'm telling you guys I'm excited. Tomorrow is Media Day — we get interviewed and photographed by all the writers — and then, after a few hours sleep, we'll be fishing the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. It can't happen fast enough as far as I'm concerned. I'm ready to go — now!

Tomorrow...

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