Mississippi River: Feeling upbeat

The Mississippi River was a decent event for me. I can’t say it was great. My goal is never to finish 35th. Still, I’m upbeat. I think I made good decisions and fished about as clean as anyone can reasonably hope to do.

If I can do a little better in the last two tournaments, or win a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open, I’ll make the Bassmaster Classic. If not, I’ll pay the price for a tough start this year. For right now, though, I have a lot of other things to keep me busy.

Today (Monday) I’ll be fishing on the Mississippi with Mark Zacher. He’s from South Dakota and he’s the winner of the “Fish with Ike” Sweepstakes held on Bassmaster.com. That’s a pretty good deal. It’s held with other anglers, too. The winners get a bunch of free tackle and stuff as well as a day on the water.

I don’t know Mark but I’m sure we’ll have a good time. I did notice that when they posted his picture he was holding up a couple of really big bass. This could be an interesting day. It’s obvious he knows how to bass fish.

After that I’ll be heading out to do a publicity gig with Rapala. I always like those. It’s a chance to get together with the top company people and get a little publicity for everyone. From there I’m going to meet with the men and women from Fishidy.

That’s a relatively new site that I’m really excited about. They have maps and other information about thousands of bodies of water around the country. They also have a fishing log feature that’s really neat. We’ll talk about why a log will help you become a better angler some other time. But for now let me say that if you’re not keeping one, you should.

When I’m done with that I’m heading home to spend some time with the kids. My oldest two daughters will be there along with Becky and the two youngest kids. My goal is to do nothing but spend time with my family and try to set a record for grilling the most hamburgers and hotdogs in one week.

You’d be surprised by how much you can learn about your kids when you just spend time with them. I’m not talking about doing anything special or going anyplace special. It’s the time that helps you learn. You can actually talk with them — not to them — and learn a lot about who they are and why they do what they do. I love it.

At some point it’ll be time to get ready for the end of the Elite Series season. Come August, we’ll fish the St. Lawrence River and then Lake St. Clair. They’re northern fisheries so I don’t suppose I have to tell you that I’m excited about competing on both of them.

Before I go I want to encourage everyone to make plans with their family and loved ones for the Fourth of July holiday. And make sure you take a few minutes to say thanks for our independence and for our freedoms.  

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