The perils of packing up


James Overstreet
You couldn’t miss Mike Iaconelli’s truck; it’s the only one with a kayak on top.

I spent yesterday prefishing the Winyah Bay. This place is massive. I didn’t realize how big it really was until I got back on it yesterday.

Trying to make a decision as to whether or not to make long runs to the Cooper River, one of the other rivers, or stay closer to home is killing me. I can’t decide, and with only a day and a half of practice left I’m running out of time.

That might be good, though. A lot of times — most times, actually — when I’ve had tough practices I’ve had good tournaments. I don’t get dialed-in mentally so when the actual competition starts I’m more likely to fish the moment. 

Even though I’m struggling with my decision making on the water at least it’s on the water and not in my garage. I know I said last week that I was getting ready for this event but at the same time I was getting ready for the next two months. With only a couple of very short trips home, I’ll be on the road that long.

Packing is the toughest part. We can handle the personal stuff and most of the business stuff through the Internet or over the phone. But the packing is as much art as it is science. Basically, we break it into two parts. Becky handles the camper and our “human” things, and I take care of all my fishing needs.

I can’t say I know much about what Becky does, but I can say she does a good job. It seems like no matter what any of us needs it’s somewhere in the camper. And the amazing thing is that she knows where to look. I don’t even want to think about what it would be like if I did it.

The fishing side of it is more complicated that you might think. I have to have specific tackle for several upcoming tournaments. That’s not all that hard for some of them. The choices are obvious. You know exactly what you’ll need, and you put it together.

But for others it can be difficult. This is spring. The weather can change in less than a day. That changes the fish. When you’re fishing those places you have to be ready for almost anything. Your tackle choices are not so obvious.

I try to put the things I’ll need for each event into one or two tubs. That gives me a place to start unpacking when I arrive at a venue. That’s the easy part — the unpacking. The hard part is fitting everything back into my truck — the packing. For some reason I don’t seem to remember how I got everything in the last time. It’s trial and error all over again.  

But I’m used to it. It’s not like I (we) haven’t done this before. It’s a part of the sport, and this sport has been good to me and my family. I’m grateful for that so I’ll not complain too much.

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