2011 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #1 James River - Richmond, VA, Jul 7 - 9, 2011

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood

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.

The break, short though it was, recharged my batteries. I really need that. Time to watch the kids practice their extracurricular activities and relax without the pressure of competition is important. It gives the mind and body an opportunity to think about something besides bass fishing.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and had a chance to recharge your batteries. I spent mine fishing — working — but that’s OK. It’s in my neighborhood. That’s something that doesn’t happen often. I love it. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I spent it in Becky’s neighborhood, although the girls are here so it’s partly mine, too.

One of the reasons I’m fishing the Northern Division of the Opens is because of the James River venue. It’s right where Becky’s family lives. That gives her a rare chance to spend time with her family and to share some of the childcare duties with her family.

Her mom had back surgery the other day, but other than that everything’s perfect. Becky’s with the girls, Vegas, her nephew and family while I’m out on the water. We’re not staying together, though. She’s about an hour from where I am. We’re doing that so that our schedules don’t conflict.

I want to get up before daylight and hit the river. She wants to sleep in a little longer and have a more relaxing day. Today (Tuesday) will be really special. It’s my nephew’s birthday and the family will be able to celebrate it as a group. That’s sweet.

The fishing is going well enough, I guess. I can’t say I’m all over them, but it’s still early. On the bright side I can tell you that I know where a lot of them aren’t, and I know what baits they aren’t eating. Is that a crazy thought?

We always say stuff like that if we aren’t catching them. We (anglers) are never at a loss for a positive perspective on things. I suppose that’s a necessary component of being a fisherman, especially a professional. If we didn’t say we’re eliminating water — talking positive — we’d have to admit we aren’t catching them. No one wants to do that.

Maybe today will bring the mother lode my way. I hope so. I always want to catch fish, but this tournament is special. My family’s here. I really want to bring a couple of heavy sacks to the scales so they can see me fish when things are going my way.

It’s not like they won’t love me or anything if I blank. I know better than that. Our family is about much more than career and financial success. Still, it’s better to catch them than to not catch them. That’s especially true when your kids are watching.

We’ll talk next week about the James River. Hopefully, I’ll be able to report I met another of my goals for the year.

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