Working without a net II

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.

Anyway, like I tried to say last week, I’m really excited about this. It’ll be one of the few shows — maybe the only one — out there that’s really real in the sense that we’re going to work with ordinary anglers doing what they want to do. There’ll be no professional guides and no private ponds or lakes—real-world anglers fishing public waters. That’s pretty neat when you stop to think about it.

I was up with Randy VanDam (Kevin’s brother) at the D & R Sports Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan a couple of weeks ago doing seminars and the response was overwhelming. Absolutely everyone wanted to know about the show and how they can get their video into the mix.

We’ll probably do something in their neck of the woods but one thing we really want to do is make sure we have geographic diversity. That means more than just different parts of the country, though. We want different species of fish, too. It’s really about sampling the fishing culture around the country.

Not everyone worships black bass. Walleye, or salmon, or big catfish, or bluegill, or whatever might be the thing with some anglers.  I’ll head out and try to catch them. Heck, the producers I’m working with might even send me out after a tuna or something else that lives in the ocean. Who knows? We want this to be different, and it will be. We want to experience different things and meet the challenge if we can.

Actually, meeting the challenge is the neat thing about this project. We’re not going to edit a show down to make it look like we catch a big fish on every cast, or that we caught them so fast we didn’t know what to do. And, it won’t be one where the host catches all the fish. This will be real.

If I struggle, you’ll see it. If the boat breaks, you’ll see it. If I can’t find the fish we’re after, you’ll see it. There’s a risk in that. I could end up getting my clock cleaned on TV. I can’t say I want that to happen but I can say I’ll live with it if it does. I can take it.

Most of the people watching the show will be anglers. They know that no two days are the same. Sometimes you catch them and sometimes you don’t. Being a professional angler doesn’t mean the fish jump in the boat. It means you earn your living fishing, and sometimes that’s different from catching.

The bottom line is: Bring it on! I can take it!

That’s enough about Going Ike for now. It’s time to start thinking about Bull Shoals. You know, it’s funny but in all the years I’ve been fishing for bass I’ve never fished that lake, not once. I do know something about the nearby lakes but not a thing about Bull Shoals itself. The last time B.A.S.S. was there I wasn’t fishing professionally. I’m looking forward to the challenge.    

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