Aaron Martens has led us back to the railroad bridge where he began today, and it's crowded with Mike Iaconelli's entourage of spectators. As you know, Ike's on "baby watch," waiting for a phone call to beckon him back home for the birth of his child. His wife, Becky, is two days overdue. Iaconelli told me it's a little hard to concentrate on fishing with the blessed event bound to happen any day now. "I'm doing my best to stay focused," he said. Kevin VanDam isn't making it easy on him. Just before takeoff this morning, VanDam dialed Ike's cell phone, making iaconelli think THE call had arrived. As Iaconelli was scrambling to answer the call, VanDam walked over to him and showed him his cell phone, proving that the call was a prank. All in good fun, I guess, although these pros never resist an opportunity to put a competitor off balance.
Iaconelli hasn't caught a keeper today, although we just watched him swing a 13-incher aboard. Too short to keep. He complained that the fishing here is extremely tough. The water temperature has dropped about 3 degrees (down from 73) since practice. He caught a few fish in practice, and all were related to rocks, he said. He echoed Marten's comment that the water needs to warm up a tad for the bite to turn on. Ike is cranking along a gravel point at his typical speed -- "high 36." It's all we can do to keep him in camera range.