If you're watching Bassmaster LIVE this morning, and you've seen the replays of Mike Iaconelli catching his first two bass of the day, you'll understand why Ike has a reputation for "big-eyeing" his fish. The first one he caught? "Five-pounder!" Iaconelli says, more than once. The second one? "Four-pounder!"
Keep in mind the two biggest fish caught in this tournament are a 5-2 by Jason Christie on Day 1 and a 5-4 by Brandon Coulter on Day 2. Iaconelli's "five-pounder" didn't appear to be in the same class.
But I'm not knocking the guy. For someone like me, reporting on this sport, Iaconelli is like an August cool breeze in Arkansas. I don't care what Iaconelli says about the weight of his fish catches. He could be 20 pounds off the mark, and it would still be worth every moment simply based on Iaconelli's entertainment value. He puts on a show, and he's not faking any of it. It's genuine, freak-out, finger-in-the-light-socket excitement. Always has been, always will be.
It's just so much fun to watch, like today when he hit himself in the head with the empty plastic water bottle after the "five-pounder," and mentioned how he'd like to punch himself in the face. Who else wants to punch himself in the face?
One minute Iaconelli can be offering you some of the keenest insights into catching bass that you'll ever hear. The next minute, when he's fighting and landing a bass, he'll turn into a rabid squirrel juggling razorblades, or whatever it was that Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders called him.
The weigh-in scales will tell the tale anyway. And if you've noticed BASSTrakk, it has Iaconelli with a 4-pounder and a 3-pounder, which appears closer to reality.
One thing is certain: Bassmaster LIVE becomes BASSMASTER LIVE!!!!!! when Iaconelli hooks a bass.