Ike working the tide on the James

Mike Iaconelli has an enviable record on tidal water in general — remember the win on the Delaware in 2014? — and the James River in particular. In six past Bassmaster Opens here, he's finished in the top four on four occasions, including a victory in 2019. The worst he's finished was 36th in 2017. It's like money in the bank. Entering Day 2 of competition today he sat in 26th place with 15 pounds even, just 1-15 out of the Top 10. A lot of dominoes may have to fall for him to make it to Day 3, but he has a healthy start on that process.

Andy Crawford ran into Ike on the Chickahominy and saw him catch one fish over 2 pounds and another over 4. Ike reported that the outgoing tide will be low at 11 a.m. — but it's already out far enough that he couldn't get where he wanted to go and had to switch gears to something more low-water-friendly. Apparently the one-two punch is working, which is good because he has an early weigh-in time today and won't get to see high-water conditions in this area.

He said that the fish are in all three phases of the spawn, most of them prespawn and spawning, but a few already done. That gives him options, and few anglers are better able to put together a gameplan of disparate elements than the 2003 Bassmaster Classic champ from Jersey.