Ike: Santa’s been busy

The past couple of weeks have been really busy. Two weeks ago we did some more filming for Going Ike, and we put the finishing touches on a few sponsor contracts. In between those two things I had some Santa duties to take care of. I have to help no matter how busy I am. Becky can’t do it all.

When that was done — well, it’s sort of done — I packed my things and headed to Oklahoma to take a look around before everything goes off limits. I know Grand Lake fairly well and I have excellent waypoints and notes, but it’s still important to update things. Honestly, I doubt I’ll see anything new or come up with anything I don’t already know. But there’s no reason to take a chance.

I just think it’s a good way to approach a Classic. It helps to remind me that this is the most important tournament in all of bass fishing. That alone is worth the 20 hour drive. The last thing I ever want to do is to start taking tournaments for granted … any tournament.

Let’s be honest. The past three years I’ve qualified for the Classic by the skin of my teeth. It’s not a given no matter how long you’ve fished professionally or how many times you’ve qualified in the past. Every year you earn a ticket is a year to be treasured.

Once I get finished in Oklahoma I’ll head towards BassCat headquarters to drop my old boat off and pick up my new one. They rehab my old boat before it’s sold. What they do is amazing. It’ll look brand new when they get finished with it.

On my way home I’m going to try to stop at Bull Shoals/Norfork and look around. I don’t know that area as well as I’d like. Fishing a tournament is about more than knowing the water. You also need to know where the gas stations are located, the boat dealerships, motels and restaurants. Wasting time is a waste, on or off the water.

After that, I should be home early the week of Chrstimas, but there’ll still be more work before the holiday. I have a sponsor’s photographer stopping by to do some publicity photos early on and then we’ll have another Ike Live! to get ready for.

No matter what I get done, or don’t get done, starting that Wednesday I’m going to shut down everything until after Christmas. My schedule has been brutal this year. My family deserves some time, too. There’s no point in being successful at your job if you’re not successful as a husband and as a father.

I want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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