I want to publicly apologize to anyone I have offended by my recent actions during the 2006 Bassmaster Classic. As you know, I am a very passionate person. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me and that is exactly what happened. After finding several of my fish dying, I handled this crisis in the wrong way. I wish I could take back my actions but, I am human and I made a mistake.
I want to ensure everyone that my frustrations and anger were in no way purposely directed toward damaging safety equipment or degrading the American Flag. I love this country and I love everything that the flag stands for. I am very patriotic and totally support our troops. No group more than professional anglers should feel as fortunate to live in a country that provides opportunity for so many to chase their dream.
By quoting the famous American President John F. Kennedy, "When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters — one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity." In the spirit of this statement, I ask for the forgiveness from my fans, peers, sponsors and all others who may have been offended by my actions.
This has been an unfortunate incident and I regret what I did. When things like this happen you have to learn from your mistakes, keep fishing and move forward. This is what I intend to do and hope you will move forward with me.
— Mike Iaconelli