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

I'm a happy man

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.

Today went about as well as I could have expected. I knew this morning that the only way I had a chance with this thing was to bag 25 or 30 pounds. That’s possible. You never give up. But realistically I knew I was up against it.

The reason I’m a happy man is because I did the things I wanted to do this week and performed about as well as can be expected. I fished the areas that I thought would hold the winning fish. That went well. I covered water and did things my way. I boated whatever I could get to bite. I didn’t lose anything, a least not anything that would have made a difference.

What I didn’t get were the giants that you need to win a Classic.

That’s really the way my Classic went. I had a game plan to catch big fish and try to win this thing. I executed it well, except for the trolling motor problems I had yesterday. I’d sure like to have that hour back, and my lack of composure, too. But, that’s something that happened yesterday. There’s nothing I can do about it now. And, looking at things realistically, mechanical issues are a part of our sport.

As I said tonight during the weigh-in, last year wasn’t my best ever. I’d call it mediocre, at best. This year is looking different. I’m off to a good start. Fishing seasons are just like fishing tournaments. If you can get off to a good start you get momentum going forward. That really helps. But, if you start slow or badly then it creates negative momentum. That really hurts.

I have positive momentum going into Texas. I want to keep that going all the way through the Elite Series season. Next year I don’t want to look back and say that 2013 was mediocre. That’s just not me.

Note to all dog lovers:  I swear to you that what I’m about to say is true.

For those of you who don’t know, yesterday I yelled and cursed at a dog on a dock. It happened when I was upset about my broken trolling motor. It was not my finest hour.

Today I passed the same dock. That same dog came out but this time he didn’t bark at me. He just sat down and watched what I was doing. The more I look at him the more I realized that I’d hurt his feelings. Feeling guilty, I moved over to the dock with my trolling motor.  

I apologized from the bottom of my heart. It was genuine. (In truth, he didn’t do anything to me yesterday. I had no reason to say hateful things to the poor creature.) He seemed to understand and I think he accepted my apology. Things are good between us now.

Another note to dog lovers: This thing is bothering me. Maybe I should make a donation to an animal shelter when I get home. It’ll help the dogs and make me feel better at the same time. Becky and I will talk it over next week.

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