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

Last-minute prep

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.

It’s Thursday, the last day for prep before the Classic starts. It’s been a fairly busy day but nothing got out of control. After breakfast this morning I attended Media Day. That’s when all the anglers get together and make ourselves available to the media — local and national — for interviews and stuff like that.

I enjoy it. It gives us a chance to interact with some of the media outlets we don’t ordinarily have a chance to talk to about our sport. We can get the word out about what a great sport bass fishing is, if that makes sense to you.

After that I spent several hours going over all my tackle to make sure it’s ready for tomorrow. That’s always important but especially so this year. The weather has been cold and wet. Things happen when it’s like that. You can’t be too careful when it comes to making sure everything works. The last thing you need is a reel froze solid or a storage lid you can’t open.

After I get finished with all that, I’ll have dinner with Becky and the kids. That’s one of the highlights of the day. I can relax, enjoy my family and not have to worry about fishing. It keeps everything in perspective, reminds me of what’s really important. I need that sometimes.

When dinner’s over I’ll break out my maps and start planning out what I’m going to do tomorrow based on what I learned in practice. Making a game plane like that isn’t as easy as it might sound. You have to put together something that has lots of detail in it. You want to take advantage of whatever you’ve learned about the lake and the fish. Everything’s important.

At the same time, though, you have to keep things flexible. Nothing goes the way it’s supposed to go. So what you can’t do is chisel something in stone. That’s about as bad as having no plan at all.

When I’m done I’ll have a good idea of what I want to do to start the morning. And, I’ll have a rough idea of what I’m going to do if that doesn’t work out.

By then it’ll be pretty close to 9:00 p.m. I’ll be in bed, not sleeping but doing more prep work. I like to visualize my next day just before I fall asleep. I close my eyes and imagine I’m in my boat. I launch it, run to my first spot and then start casing and catching fish. I go through the whole day that way.

That might sound a little crazy to some of you but I’m here to tell you that it works. It gives me a sense of what should happen the next day. It doesn’t always work out exactly but it makes me feel better and helps me get to sleep.

Tomorrow evening I’ll give you a sense of how my day went and what I think I can do on Saturday to improve.

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