2013 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #3 Lake Erie - Sandusky, OH, Sep 12 - 14, 2013

Forward march

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.

This last week I’ve been messing around with smallies. Some days were better than others. I hope what I learned will help me with the upcoming Bass Pro Shops Northern Open. You can’t get too much practice, you know.

I’ll be spending this weekend on Lake Erie. (I’m writing this on Friday because of the Labor Day weekend.) That’s something I have mixed feelings about. It’s great to have the opportunity to launch out of Sandusky and fish the exact same waters we’ll be fishing in the tournament. That makes getting ready a lot easier than if I had to mess around somewhere else.

As most of you know, I like to have at least three patterns going for me when I launch in competition. That’s about the right number for a successful tournament. Less than that and you’re taking a chance on changing conditions. More than that gets to be too much.

Up here, three’s pretty much the minimum. The weather and the wind is what I’m talking about. You can have the best pattern and spot of your career and not be able to get to it, or not be able to get back to weigh your fish. Having alternative game plans is a necessity on the Great Lakes.  

The other thing about this weekend is, though, that the pleasure boat traffic will be really heavy. This is the last holiday weekend of the year, and it gets cold up here pretty early so it really is one of the last chances to go boating. You can’t blame anyone for taking advantage of that. Nevertheless, the boats are big, they throw big wakes and there are lots of them.

After a couple of days on Erie I have to go to Rapala headquarters and film a commercial. That’s always fun, although the travel can be a drag. I don’t know anybody who likes to sit in airports and be away from their family. That looks like it’s going to be my fate for the next couple of months, however.

There’s something going on every week until early November. If it’s not travel, it’s trying to find big bass. And when neither one of those things is happening it’s smiling for the camera.

It’s not easy on the family, either. Becky will have the house and kids to worry about all by herself. That’s no small thing. Both of our children are young. They require constant care and constant supervision. That’s a full day for anybody. It might be a labor of love, but it’s still labor.

That said, this is our way of life. It’s what we do, and I can’t say that I have many regrets. Professional bass fishing has been good to me and to my family. There are a lot tougher ways to earn a living.

Speaking of tough — this Classic thing is going down to the wire. I have to snag a win somewhere along the line. So, I’m going to stop writing and go work on tackle.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, MikeIaconelli.com.

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