Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Mike Iaconelli

As the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series season was coming to an end, iconic bass angler Mike Iaconelli took a few minutes to tour us through his Toyota wrapped Bass Cat Cougar FTD. Before we move on, notice the Hobie kayak riding on top of his Tundra, it's just another way Ike promotes his love for the sport of fishing. While he's on the road, he'll often stop and hit a new body of water that may not be suitable for a big bass boat. The Hobie gets him where a big rig can't reach, and it provides an intimate on-the-water experience.
Photo: Thomas Allen - As the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series season was coming to an end, iconic bass angler Mike Iaconelli took a few minutes to tour us through his Toyota wrapped Bass Cat Cougar FTD. Before we move on, notice the Hobie kayak riding on top of his Tundra, it's just another way Ike promotes his love for the sport of fishing. While he's on the road, he'll often stop and hit a new body of water that may not be suitable for a big bass boat. The Hobie gets him where a big rig can't reach, and it provides an intimate on-the-water experience.
From the front end, you are greeted with his signature jaws, something that may have originally appeared on a fighter jet long ago. It's intimidating, and just badass.
Photo: Thomas Allen - From the front end, you are greeted with his signature jaws, something that may have originally appeared on a fighter jet long ago. It's intimidating, and just badass.
Let's begin at the bow, where Ike does most of his work.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Let's begin at the bow, where Ike does most of his work.
A Minn Kota Fortrex 112 provides the necessary power to work each spot thoroughly.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A Minn Kota Fortrex 112 provides the necessary power to work each spot thoroughly.
He gathers his information from a pair of Lowrance HDS units. One he typically keeps on mapping while the other provides sonar and Side- and Downscan. Having top-of-the-line technology is essential to locating the fish before he ever wets a line.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He gathers his information from a pair of Lowrance HDS units. One he typically keeps on mapping while the other provides sonar and Side- and Downscan. Having top-of-the-line technology is essential to locating the fish before he ever wets a line.
You could organize a square dance on the front deck of this thing, and Ike loves it. He says it's the most angler-friendly boat he's ever ran. He does a lot of dancing when a bass is on the end of his line--you know exactly what we're talking about.
Photo: Thomas Allen - You could organize a square dance on the front deck of this thing, and Ike loves it. He says it's the most angler-friendly boat he's ever ran. He does a lot of dancing when a bass is on the end of his line--you know exactly what we're talking about.
Inside the first storage compartment you'll find an assortment of Rapala crankbaits.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Inside the first storage compartment you'll find an assortment of Rapala crankbaits.
Iaconelli says the DT series of cranks from Rapala are a huge part of his game plan on a regular basis.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Iaconelli says the DT series of cranks from Rapala are a huge part of his game plan on a regular basis.
Ever heard of
Photo: Thomas Allen - Ever heard of "Ike's Ink"? Ya, the Jersey angler loves tats, but he was also instrumental in designing several ultra-realistic colors for the Rapala crankbaits.
He keeps his Flambeau trays loaded with whatever he believes he'll need during each event. This storage compartment gets cycled out based on the bite.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He keeps his Flambeau trays loaded with whatever he believes he'll need during each event. This storage compartment gets cycled out based on the bite.
He said there's always a topwater box in there.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He said there's always a topwater box in there.
How about a walk-the-dog bait? Rapala has those as well.
Photo: Thomas Allen - How about a walk-the-dog bait? Rapala has those as well.
Inside this smaller storage box you'll find fish handling and care tools such as livewell treatment, hydrogen peroxide and a culling system.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Inside this smaller storage box you'll find fish handling and care tools such as livewell treatment, hydrogen peroxide and a culling system.
In the starboard rod locker you'll find lots of goodies, including a backup trolling motor and pedal. You can't be too prepared when there's $100k on the line.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In the starboard rod locker you'll find lots of goodies, including a backup trolling motor and pedal. You can't be too prepared when there's $100k on the line.
He's also got a stash of spinnerbaits and plastics in the same compartment.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He's also got a stash of spinnerbaits and plastics in the same compartment.
You'll also find a box of Missile jigs.
Photo: Thomas Allen - You'll also find a box of Missile jigs.
Swimbaits and a deep assortment of Berkley Havoc soft plastics.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Swimbaits and a deep assortment of Berkley Havoc soft plastics.
Let's dig into his impressive rod collection.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Let's dig into his impressive rod collection.
Where do you even begin? Care to count?? You'll find Abu Garcia reels married up with Abu Garcia
Photo: Thomas Allen - Where do you even begin? Care to count?? You'll find Abu Garcia reels married up with Abu Garcia "Ike' rods. His line of rods come in three types: Power Series, Delay Series and Finesse Series. They are awesome sticks!
One of his favorite combos is an Abu Garcia
Photo: Thomas Allen - One of his favorite combos is an Abu Garcia "Ike" rods paired with an Abu Garcia baitcaster meant for pulling mid-size Rapala cranks.
Now for his primary bait storage box.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Now for his primary bait storage box.
Ike keeps a vast collection of soft plastics in this compartment including hooks.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Ike keeps a vast collection of soft plastics in this compartment including hooks.
Ike said that he keeps each style of plastic in Ziploc bags to improve organization. It's a wonder he isn't sponsored by Ziploc, or any of the other Elite Series anglers for that matter. It seems that most keep the bags handy.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Ike said that he keeps each style of plastic in Ziploc bags to improve organization. It's a wonder he isn't sponsored by Ziploc, or any of the other Elite Series anglers for that matter. It seems that most keep the bags handy.
Here is one of his signature Havoc baits, the Devil's Spear. A great punch plastic, among other presentation possibilities.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is one of his signature Havoc baits, the Devil's Spear. A great punch plastic, among other presentation possibilities.
He keeps his hooks in the package and sorted by size until the time arises that he needs a new one.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He keeps his hooks in the package and sorted by size until the time arises that he needs a new one.
VMC Hooks provide the color on the package, and contribute to his wrap and jersey as one of his primary sponsors. Iaconelli firmly believes in VMC, and it shows.
Photo: Thomas Allen - VMC Hooks provide the color on the package, and contribute to his wrap and jersey as one of his primary sponsors. Iaconelli firmly believes in VMC, and it shows.
Moving towards the cockpit you'll find a small collection of release tools near the front cooler.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Moving towards the cockpit you'll find a small collection of release tools near the front cooler.
But, there's also a secondary cooler beneath the middle seat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - But, there's also a secondary cooler beneath the middle seat.
Two coolers means twice the refreshment during a hot day. Seems like a good idea to us.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Two coolers means twice the refreshment during a hot day. Seems like a good idea to us.
On top of the middle seat is a glove-box type of storage compartment where he keeps several possibles like electrical tape and extra sunglasses.
Photo: Thomas Allen - On top of the middle seat is a glove-box type of storage compartment where he keeps several possibles like electrical tape and extra sunglasses.
Man, this boat is full of storage! The spare prop is kept beneath the passenger seat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Man, this boat is full of storage! The spare prop is kept beneath the passenger seat.
Every boater worth his salt keeps rope on board. Ike keeps his beneath the driver's seat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Every boater worth his salt keeps rope on board. Ike keeps his beneath the driver's seat.
He also keeps an extra bilge pump on-hand. Iaconelli said he learned that trick from an unfortunate experience; it doesn't weigh much, stores easily and can come in super handy if the original one ceases to work.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He also keeps an extra bilge pump on-hand. Iaconelli said he learned that trick from an unfortunate experience; it doesn't weigh much, stores easily and can come in super handy if the original one ceases to work.
This is where he does a tremendous amount of work when not working with a rod in his hand. He said it's ultra comfortable and a great place to see the world from.
Photo: Thomas Allen - This is where he does a tremendous amount of work when not working with a rod in his hand. He said it's ultra comfortable and a great place to see the world from.
What's missing here? Mike Iaconelli doesn't use a Hot Foot, which is rare in the Elite Series. He said that he was never comfortable operating the boat throttle with his foot, and it's one less thing to break on a boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - What's missing here? Mike Iaconelli doesn't use a Hot Foot, which is rare in the Elite Series. He said that he was never comfortable operating the boat throttle with his foot, and it's one less thing to break on a boat.
A Lowrance HDS 9 and 12 provide him with vital information while operating his Bass Cat from the cockpit.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A Lowrance HDS 9 and 12 provide him with vital information while operating his Bass Cat from the cockpit.
On to the back deck. If you've ever watched Ike land a fish, you know he uses the rear deck all the time. He loves the layout and depends on having plenty of room in the back to do his thing.
Photo: Thomas Allen - On to the back deck. If you've ever watched Ike land a fish, you know he uses the rear deck all the time. He loves the layout and depends on having plenty of room in the back to do his thing.
The storage compartment directly behind the driver's seat contains other baits and rigs he may need. For example you'll find a box with VMC jigs.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The storage compartment directly behind the driver's seat contains other baits and rigs he may need. For example you'll find a box with VMC jigs.
On the other side is Ike's on-the-water tool chest.
Photo: Thomas Allen - On the other side is Ike's on-the-water tool chest.
Sockets.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Sockets.
Electrical connections and tools.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Electrical connections and tools.
And hoses and wires... Can't be too prepared when making a living from a bass boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And hoses and wires... Can't be too prepared when making a living from a bass boat.
Jumper cables and...
Photo: Thomas Allen - Jumper cables and...
A Weego. This device is a portable temporary power source. It's small, but capable of jumping a deep cycle or starter battery. Ike said it's saved his bacon more than once.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A Weego. This device is a portable temporary power source. It's small, but capable of jumping a deep cycle or starter battery. Ike said it's saved his bacon more than once.
These storage boxes seem to keep going. Here's a few more possibles he keeps on hand--the chunk of lumber is used in the event that he has to swap props.
Photo: Thomas Allen - These storage boxes seem to keep going. Here's a few more possibles he keeps on hand--the chunk of lumber is used in the event that he has to swap props.
Bass Cat livewells are deep offering traveling bass ample room for comfort.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Bass Cat livewells are deep offering traveling bass ample room for comfort.
Here's an overhead look at the powerplant of Ike's Bass Cat. What the heck is he holding??
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's an overhead look at the powerplant of Ike's Bass Cat. What the heck is he holding??
It's a stiff-bristled brush on a telescoping pole. It fits best under that back compartment, but what does he use that for? Iaconelli said that when fishing ultra-shallow water, his outboard intakes often get clogged, which is standard with every outboard out there. The extendable brush gives him the necessary reach to occasionally clean off each intake to keep his Yamaha running smoothly. This is a genius idea, really.
Photo: Thomas Allen - It's a stiff-bristled brush on a telescoping pole. It fits best under that back compartment, but what does he use that for? Iaconelli said that when fishing ultra-shallow water, his outboard intakes often get clogged, which is standard with every outboard out there. The extendable brush gives him the necessary reach to occasionally clean off each intake to keep his Yamaha running smoothly. This is a genius idea, really.
The Yamaha SHO V-Max 250 provides the required horses to run mach 10 to each fishing spot.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The Yamaha SHO V-Max 250 provides the required horses to run mach 10 to each fishing spot.
Power-Pole blades are Ike's shallow water anchoring system, and they certainly add a nice visual touch to his rig.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Power-Pole blades are Ike's shallow water anchoring system, and they certainly add a nice visual touch to his rig.
That's one sweet ride, Ike! Thanks for taking a few minutes to walk us through it.
Photo: Thomas Allen - That's one sweet ride, Ike! Thanks for taking a few minutes to walk us through it.