Iaconelli: crawfish cranks and crazy socks

The AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork is starting out raw. Cloudy, 46-degrees, and lots of cold rain that’s only comfortable if you’re a duck.

However, Team Toyota’s Mike Iaconelli seemed happy as a drake mallard to begin the day, and a new pair of crazy socks, along with a mindset of doing things his way in the day ahead seemed to be the major reasons why.

Knowing the recent Bass Fishing Hall of Fame inductee had a penchant for crazy socks, I couldn’t help but buy him a pair embossed with largemouth when I spotted them on a recent trip to a Skiatook, OK boutique with my bride.

I gave them to him prior to Day 1 take-off Thursday morning, and you’d have thought I handed him a hundred bucks. The lover of fashion and life itself was genuinely thrilled to get them and promised to wear them this weekend when the weather gets better.

“My love of silly socks began when I was in high school. My mom got me my first pair. I have at least 100 pairs of crazy socks. I have some with beer on them, others with flying pigs, and some with magic mushrooms. My sock drawer at home is busting open, because I have so many,” smiles Iaconelli.

His wife Becky confirms he’s not exaggerating and passed along a current image of his sock drawer back home in New Jersey. “The guy loves socks! Even in the middle of summer, he’s likely to wear some sort of crazy socks pulled up over his ankles. Family members are always competing to see who can buy Mike the silliest socks – from sasquatch to rubber duckies – he’s got tons,” says Becky.

He’s also got tons of tight wobbling, thin bodied, red-orange crawfish colored shallow crankbaits like the Berkley Frittside.

“The water’s still cold here, and when this major cold front rolled-in to Fork two days ago, a lot of those big bass that had moved shallow to spawn, backed off a bit. They didn’t swim three miles away. They just back off. My job today is to intercept them, and there’s no better lure to do that than a red crawfish crankbait!” exclaims Iaconelli.

His plan to stay shallow and crank without staring at a sonar screen got off to a great start. According to Bassmaster’s BassTrakk, his first bite of the day weighed 6-pounds.

That makes for a really happy Iaconelli. Happy like the hundreds of socks stuffed in his drawer back home in Jersey, that will soon have a pair of largemouth prints added to his beloved collection.