2013 Bassmaster Classic Grand Lake O' the Cherokees - Tulsa, OK, Feb 22 - 24, 2013

Friday's in the books

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.

 

If you could imagine how a first day of a Bassmaster Classic would go, this would be it. I couldn’t be happier. There was a good bite in the morning and then another good bite in the afternoon. That’s something I’m familiar with. We see that all the time in New Jersey.

We fish a lot of cold water events back there during the winter. It’s kind of funny but you often see a good bite sometime in the morning. The middle of the day is usually dead. And then at some point in the afternoon things pick up again for a little while. We’ve been fishing that cycle for years. Everybody knows about it.

That’s exactly how things developed for me here in Oklahoma. Once I realized what was happening out there things started to fall into place. It all made sense. I was comfortable with what I was doing and with my overall game plan.

The trick is to understand the timing and take full advantage of it. If I can do that — pick up an extra fish or two during an active period and maybe another one in the middle of the day — I could have an even better day tomorrow. 

What I think happens is that the fish are in 20 or 25 foot of water and then for some reason they start moving shallow. That’s when they’re feeding and it’s when you can catch them. If you can figure out exactly when that’ll happen you can catch the daylights out of them for the whole time they’re active. If you miss the move it’ll be a long day.

The problem is that there’s no science to their moves, or at least none I know about. Some days they’ll move early in the morning and some days it’s later. It’s the same thing in the afternoon. About all I can do tomorrow is hunt around some of my places and hope that I start fishing at just the right time.

One good thing is that I’m pattern fishing this Classic. That plays into the timing thing real well. It lets you run around the lake and time you presentations to when you think the fish will go active. If I were spot fishing I’d be anchored to one place and would be wasting most of my time. That’s not how you win against these guys.

Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail about how I’m catching them until after everything’s over. I will tell you, however, that I’m using a combination of power fishing and finesse fishing. It’s not that one is any better than the other. It’s the combination that’s putting them in the boat. I’m hoping that pattern holds for tomorrow and Sunday.

I’m going to close this out right now. I need to weigh my fish so that I can get to work on my tackle for tomorrow and still get into bed at a reasonable hour. Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to give you another positive report.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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