Going Ike

This one’s called Going Ike because it’s been such a wacky and crazy fall, and because we have a new project in the works.

I was grateful for the Thanksgiving break and will be even more thankful for Christmas. Obviously, I welcome the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ, but I have to be honest and say that I welcome the four or five days off, too. If you noticed, you realized that I didn’t mention gifts. Truthfully, they’re not that important to me.

One of the things we’ve been doing, and one that takes up a lot of time, is negotiating with sponsors. It’s no secret that if you’re going to make money as a professional bass angler you have to have good sponsors. Prize money won’t get you very far. There isn’t enough of it and you can’t win the big tournaments often enough.

The key to a sponsor contract is for both sides to win. It’s a delicate balance that forces you to think about things from the other guy’s point of view. Those of you who are thinking about turning pro should never lose sight of that. It isn’t all about what you get. The sponsor has to get something, too.

You’re not doing any company a favor by putting their name or product on your jersey. They pay you – either in cash or product – to promote and sell what they offer. It’s important that you understand what that product will do, what it won’t do and why you think they should fish with it.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time working on product development, but I’m not allowed to release any of that just yet. I’ll tell you what, though; stand by for when ICAST gets close. You’re going to see some amazing stuff.

While Becky and I were doing that we were also working on The Bass University. I’m really excited about that. It’s been such a success that we’re expanding the number of cities we’re going to visit next year to five. And, we’re working on a sixth as I write this.

But the thing I’m most excited about is our new Internet miniseries, Going Ike. We’ve been working on the concept for more than a year. The idea was born out of what we thought was the need to upgrade our digital presence. Let’s face the facts. That’s where it’s at these days.

What it’s about is fishing, not just bass fishing but fishing in general. We’ll visit some wacky, strange and out-of-the-way places and fish with some “unusual” people. I’m not going to say any more about it other than to tell you that it’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The first episode will air on Jan.15 on our website. If you want to see a trailer, click on Going Ike Trailer.

That’s it for now. We’ve covered all the stuff that seems important, but really isn’t. This is the season to think about your family and your friends. Make time for them. 

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, mikeiaconelli.com.