2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro
Lake Guntersville - Birmingham, AL, Feb 21 - 23, 2014

And the winner is ...

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 I promised to tell you who the winner of the 20114 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro would be come Sunday evening. No, I’m not going to give you a name.

What I am going to give you are three things that will determine this year’s Classic champion. That’ll tell you who the winner is.  

He’ll adapt and change, fast.

This Classic has more change in it than any I can remember. The water temperature will likely rise, the water will likely clear and the fish will be moving, constantly. The angler who best adapts to those changes, and does it without any hesitation, will come out on top.

Look for guys changing something on a moment’s notice — baits, presentations, locations.

He’ll be doing something different.

This year’s Classic champion will be doing something different but it might not be radically different. Subtle often makes the bigger difference. Maybe it’ll be a different color, a different retrieve or a different rig from what everyone else is doing.

This is a giant fish tournament. Quality fish will get you to Sunday but they won’t be enough to win.

He’ll make good stay and go decisions.

These fish are moving. The winning competitor will move with them. If an angler stays too long, he’ll be fishing dead water. If an angler moves too fast, he’ll be fishing dead water. This is probably the toughest of the three things I’ve given you. Timing fish is a gamble either way you go.

The victor will time things perfectly. Five or 10 minutes off, one way or the other, will put you in the also-ran category of bass fishing history.

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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