BORDENTOWN, N.J. — Youth anglers in the New Jersey B.A.S.S. Nation got a real treat earlier this month when Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike Iaconelli came to visit.
For several years, Iaconelli’s home state has hosted a Night With Ike, an opportunity for Iaconelli to speak to the teens and their parents. This year, more than 80 guests attended the event, Jan. 11 at the chapter’s monthly meeting place, The Sportsman.
“Iaconelli took the stage and started sharing his knowledge with all of the young fans and adult fans in attendance,” said Randy Baran, youth director for the New Jersey B.A.S.S. Nation. “He discussed his love of the sport and why it is so important to him. Mike shared his amazing techniques and his knowledge about the sport of bass fishing and also provided insight to other areas of freshwater and saltwater fishing. Our fans gained information about Mike’s tournaments, his traveling, his sponsors and even his favorite things in life!
“Mike spent some good time answering questions from the youngsters and also the adults,” Baran continued. “He didn’t miss an opportunity to make every child in the room smile and feel important!”
During the event, Baran spoke to the crowd, addressing issues such as the importance of adult involvement in youth angling and the sustainability of the sport in New Jersey.
“We would like to thank Berkley, Rapala and Dick’s Sporting Goods for their generous donations of tackle, baits and certificates,” added Baran. The New Jersey B.A.S.S. Nation chapter also donated three spinning rods and a tackle bag for a raffle.
“Thank you to all for making Night With Ike a great success!” concluded Baran. “What a great start to 2013 from the B.A.S.S. Nation.”