A huge thanks to all

I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to all the companies, organizations, guys and gals who helped make our 2016 Celebrity Pro-Am Bass Tournament a success. We had a total of 102 anglers fish on 38 teams.

Yamaha pro, Joe Sancho, fished with Jim and Dan Miller for a first place finish. The Millers won a new BassCat boat for their efforts. Most everyone who’s reading this fishes so I don’t have to tell you what a boat like that is like. It’s a dream.

My longtime friend and fellow BassCat pro, Pete Gluszek, fished with Alan Anderer and Marko Weisner. They nailed the second slot and won an Exmark mower. It’s a fancy one, too. I’ve owned cars that weren’t as nice as that thing.

The real winners, though, are the kids who received fishing tackle — as well as those who will in the future — so that they can enjoy the outdoors. And their win was made possible by every sponsor that contributed something and by every person who donated anything, bought something or contributed labor to the effort.

At this point I can’t tell you how much money was raised because some of the 35 companies and organizations that participated are still getting their books together and mailing checks to us. I can say, however, that we had a massive crowd. We gave away Flambeau tackle boxes and assorted fishing lures to 750 kids. Based on that I’d say we had way over a thousand people coming and going while the festivities were underway.

Overall, I have to say that we couldn’t have wished for anything better. The whole deal was super good — for the kids and for our sport.

Before I leave this topic I want to individually name the pro anglers and celebrities who participated. That’s no small thing. They donated their time and money to our cause, and we appreciate it.

The pro anglers: Brandon Palaniuk, Britt Myers, Carl Jocumsen, Chris Zaldain, Cliff Crochet, Fletcher Shryock, Ish Monroe, Jared Lintner, Jay Brainard, Joe Sancho, John Crews, John Murray, Jordan Lee, Kevin VanDam, Mike McClelland, Morizo Shimizu, Pete Gluszek, Randall Tharp.

The celebrities: NHL player Bryan Bickell, UFC fighter Jim Miller, Bassmaster Elite Series emcee and TV show host Dave Mercer, and the host of CMT’s The Ed Bassmaster Show, Ed Bassmaster.

Unfortunately, I can’t name all the companies and organizations. There are too many of them. But, please go to the website and check them out. If you can use their services, do it. They supported us. The least we can do is support them.

OK, let’s get on to something else.

My last tournament was a mess. I was getting seven or eight bites a day with the kind of bass I needed. That worked on the first day. I got eight bites and got them all to the boat for a pretty good sack. But on the second day things didn’t go my way. I did get seven bites but only got two of them to the boat. I have no idea what happened.

If there’s a positive to it, I’d say that things like that happen to all anglers, bass pros and recreational anglers alike. It’s not personal, although it might feel like it at the time.

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