This week brings a welcome break


Shaye Baker
Mike Iaconelli (28th, 9-4)

Last week I said that I was struggling with my decision making on the water. I’d like to report that the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay presented by GoRVing cured that, but it didn’t. I made a poor decision on the second day, and I’ll tell you straight-up that it really sticks in my craw. It’s one of those things that hard to turn loose.

On the first day I decided not to run to the Cooper River. I stayed closer to home. That worked out OK for me. I ended up with five fish that weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces. That wasn’t great but I figured if I could repeat that on the second day I’d be able to fish on Saturday and do whatever I wanted.

That was a really bad decision. I only caught three bass that weighed a little over 6 pounds. Missing the cut wasn’t a part of the plan.

Why I didn’t run to the Cooper River on Friday is complicated. It’s a long run with a lot of things that can go bad, and I knew that several of the guys who made the run didn’t catch them on Thursday. At the same time, I had keepers marked without taking the chance.

There’s also a little bit of fishing conservative in all of that. That’s really not my style. I don’t do it very often, but I did it this time. I suppose the good thing about this mess is that it reminded me of why I don’t fish conservative.

Anyway, I made the wrong call. I’m now in 44th place in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. That’s a polite way of saying I’ve started out the year in a hole, again. It’s not too deep, though. It’s nothing I can’t dig my way out of given all the tournaments we have left in our season.

So, you can understand why I’m looking forward to a week off, although technically it’s not really off. I’m attending the annual BassCat tournament on Bull Shoals. Of course I won’t be fishing it. That would be a B.A.S.S. rule violation. But at least I get to help with the weigh-in and talk to other anglers who own the same type of boat I own.

No matter if you’re a recreational angler, a serious tournament angler, an up-and-coming professional or an established professional you appreciate a quality boat. This is an opportunity to sit around and tell stories about our boats and how they help us catch bass.  

It also gives us a chance to make new friends, friends that you’re guaranteed to see somewhere else along the way. It’s nice of BassCat to put this together. It takes a lot of work and commitment. I’m sure every owner out there appreciates what they do.

When the BassCat thing is over it’ll be time to go back to work. We have two tournaments back-to-back before we get another break. I actually like that — no time to think, just fish. Maybe that’ll help my decision making.

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