“It’s a giant!” is an expression often hollered aloud by Mike Iaconelli while fighting a bass. Sometimes they turn out to be 2-pounders, and folks snicker. But nobody laughs when Iaconelli rolls into the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. His history of success at the annual event is nearly unparalleled, and his history with true “giants” here is a magical one.
Day Two of the 2015 TTBC being no exception, when among 35 of the absolute greatest professional bass anglers in the world, Iaconelli was the only one to catch a bass over Lake Fork’s 16 to 24” slot limit regulation. His bass was an 8 pound 3 ounce beast.
Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s Lake Conroe or Lake Fork, spinning rods and shaky heads, or baitcasters and ultra-deep crankbaits – there’s a nearly unexplainable connection between Iaconelli and Texas’ fat green fish.
“I’m not sure what it is. Different conditions, different lakes, different lures, but the one commonality is we’re in Texas – and when I get down here I know I have a chance to catch a true giant on nearly any cast,” admitted Iaconelli, as he sat in the back of a TTBC Toyota Tundra with Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists, awaiting a ride to the stage with his lunker in the oxygen rich holding tank beside him.
Iaconelli has competed in eight of the nine Toyota Texas Bass Classic events, and when asked if one big bass stood-out in particular over his numerous years of success in the tournament, he reflected more on memories of a scene in his mind, more so than the actual size of the bass.
“It’s the jump,” he punctuated. “When I close my eyes and think about the 9-pounder I caught on 8-pound line and a shaky head at Conroe, I can still see that giant just porpoising out of the surface, and it’s the same way with this fish from Fork. It’s that jump I’ll always remember,” says Iaconelli.
Adding to the big fish drama of the TTBC is the fact that the angler that catches the single biggest bass of the tournament wins a free Toyota Tundra. “I may not win the tournament, and I may not win the Tundra, but I’ll remember this 8-pounder jumping out of the water forever,” concluded the slayer of true Texas giants from New Jersey.