New Jersey kids enjoy Night with Ike

BORDENTOWN, N.J. — The New Jersey B.A.S.S. Nation takes great pride in its progeny, Mike Iaconelli.

And the Bassmaster Elite Series pro takes equal pride in his roots. Iaconelli makes it a point to visit the youth in the state each January for the annual Night with Ike.

This past January, more than 80 anglers — including children and their parents — attended the Night with Ike at The Sportsman in Bordentown.

“It was a great turnout,” said Randy Baran, New Jersey B.A.S.S. Nation youth director.

Baran kicked the night off with an overview of the state’s youth division’s plans for the year, including building more youth clubs and getting more adults involved in the effort.

Iaconelli then took the stage to talk to the young fans.

“Mike started off by discussing his love of the sport and why it is so important to him,” said Baran. “Mike shared his amazing techniques and his knowledge about the sport of bass fishing and also provided insight to other areas of freshwater fishing. Our fans gained information about Mike’s tournaments, his traveling, his sponsors and his favorite baits.

“Mike spent some good time answering questions from the youngsters and also the adults,” Baran continued. “He didn’t miss an opportunity to make every child in the room smile and feel important.”

Afterward, Iaconelli took photos with the fans and signed autographs, and he brought prizes from his sponsors, including Berkley, Rapala and Tackle Warehouse, to give away to the kids.

“He did a great job,” said Baran. “The B.A.S.S. Nation appreciates everything he does for the sport and our young fans.”