Elite Man Caves Elite Man Caves: Mike Iaconelli Posted on November 12, 2016 Photo: Mike Suchan - Thereâs a stretch of road in southern New Jersey where motorists pass horse farms, a number of rural residences, a few businesses and â¦ wait, whatâs this? All captions: Mike Suchan Photo: Mike Suchan - Thereâs a rather large homestead kind of hidden behind two cornfields in Pittsgrove Township. Why, this is the address of Mike and Becky Iaconelli. Ike, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro who was born and raised nearby, found this plot of land about a half hour due south of his hometown of Philadelphia. Photo: Mike Suchan - While the house was built in 2008, the structure on the left was built new in the past year, and Ike calls it the âbarn.â Itâs his dream rig/tackle area, but it also houses Beckyâs office for The Ike Foundation, which they started to get more kids fishing. Upstairs is an unfinished room where fishing tackle targeted for youth groups is stored. Photo: Mike Suchan - âWe built the house in â08, and it had a standard garage attached. Right away, I knew thatâs not an ideal space. Youâve got cars, kids, toys. Having an actual place for the truck and boat, its own spot, has been a dream since I was a kid. Up until we built this barn, Iâve always had my boat outside, covered up, and then put my tackle wherever I could put it.â Photo: Mike Suchan - The left bay is long enough and tall enough to accommodate Ikeâs truck and boat. Ike has a 6-inch lift on the truck and has a kayak on top, so the ceiling is Ike-sized. Photo: Mike Suchan - With a door on the back side of the barn, itâs a convenient drive-through garage. âEspecially coming home late at night from a tournament. Drive 20 hours, pull in one side, drop the door, pull straight out the next day,â Iaconelli said. Photo: Mike Suchan - Another nifty feature is the line spooling station placed right where he can easily work from the boat. âI came up with that concept with my builder over lunch. Iâve got all my line right on the wall on dowels. The spools for casting reels are horizontal on dowels and the spools for spinning reels vertically on dowels. Thatâs how you want the line coming off when you spool reels.â Photo: Mike Suchan - âIâve got everything from 6-pound fluorocarbon to 20 and then all my braid, literally every size category sitting on that wall. And I positioned it right in front of where the front deck would be. Go out and peel it straight off the wall. Those dowels have tension springs on them where itâs like winding them at a sporting goods store.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Another feature Iaconelli is proud of is his rod locker storage, something unique he hasnât seen many other guys utilize. âMy deal and the way I operate as a tournament angler, I have a tremendous amount of rods and I separate them by action,â he said. âI can get back, have one go down and replace quickly.â Photo: Mike Suchan - The lockers that line the wall are tall enough for 8-foot rods, and each locker fits about two dozen rods. âI separate by action, the light action spinnies, medium light, medium heavy, then I go to my lighter casting rods to my heavier ones. I have a section for my flipping sticks, cranking rods. For me, itâs awesome I can grab and go.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Right next to the rod lockers are shelves for Iaconelliâs reels. âIâve got that organized by spinning, casting and then the different types of casting reels.â Photo: Mike Suchan - âIf I have a reel go down, I know right where to get to it. If I want to put a new combo together, itâs right there next to each other. Every year, I would think of little things â if I ever get a chance to build a space, wouldnât it be cool to have this? Thatâs what Iâve done.â Photo: Mike Suchan - On the wall, starting from the back of the garage and going to the line station, is Gorilla board. Photo: Mike Suchan - Thereâs 30 feet of this metal pegboard, and it holds an enormous assortment that would make most any bait shop owner jealous. Photo: Mike Suchan - âThe whole thing with the shop is to make it easy to grab and go,â Ike said. âIâve got every product that I use regularly â¦ Photo: Mike Suchan - â¦ from Berkley Havoc, to Berkley Powerbait, to Molix to the Rapala DT series, to VMC hooks and weights â¦ Photo: Mike Suchan - â¦ and theyâre all pegged and organized on that 30-foot section.â Photo: Mike Suchan - âI basically tried to solve every storage/organization issue Iâve had in the past in this space.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Ikeâs storage racks with Flambeau boxes are broken into two sections. This is the storage unit for tackle heâs currently using. âThe crankbaits, the rattling, the topwaters, everything that Iâm using on a regular basis, I have there.â Photo: Mike Suchan - He has another 30 foot of shelving for old tackle, items that he has used in the past and might use in the future. Photo: Mike Suchan - âCall me a hoarder or whatever, but a lot of that stuff I havenât used in years and years, I donât like to get rid of it because a lot of stuff comes back around. The old Wiggle Wart is an example.â And even his old tackle is organized by category. Photo: Mike Suchan - âA lot of that older stuff, I canât get on a regular basis, but if the situation arises and something comes back around Iâm able to go back into my historical collection,â he said. Photo: Mike Suchan - He pulled out some rarely used Mission swimbaits. âIf we go back to the California Delta, you better believe Iâm going to grab this box,â he said. Photo: Mike Suchan - Iaconelli has some practical storage in the barn, including his eXmark mower and ATV for running the grounds, which include a fishing lake. Photo: Mike Suchan - For all his joking around, Ike said his work bench area is rather important. "And itâs actually going to get a bit nicer. We do so much work with product development, so thatâs a key space for me." Photo: Mike Suchan - Ike only had a Dremel and some odd tools before, but now he has a grinder, a drill press, a vice, a fly tying device and an airbrush station. âIâm going to put a 20-gallon aquarium where I can actually test things in the water.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Under the work area is more storage. âMy thing, and Iâve always been that way since I fished for a club, is to always have spares and to always prepare. I use some of the best equipment in the world, but eventually somethingâs going to happen, thereâs an accident or something goes down.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Say, what happened to these guys? And what exactly are you doing with that âarmored giant,â the apex predator from around 400 million years ago? Photo: Mike Suchan - Thereâs even room for extra seats to the BassCat, which of course have gotten a bit dusty. Photo: Mike Suchan - This Porter Cable air compressor does double duty, helping Ike air brush lures and fill his tires. âI make sure every time I leave that shop my truck and trailer tires are at maximum pressure.â Photo: Mike Suchan - One always might need another anchor or another life vest. The barn also has unique electrical access, with retractable cords on the ceiling and walls to charge up anything and everything. Photo: Mike Suchan - Flambeau boxes are at the core of Ikeâs organization. âTheyâre on the front line â thatâs what I put into my boat. I have a lot of empties in the house because Iâm continually creating new boxes. At La Crosse, Iâll take an Ike-approved Flambeau, and Iâll fill it with things I think Iâll use during the course of the day for that event.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Iaconelli had bigger work getting everything ready for an extended trip of six weeks. âItâs great having that organization at the house. Then you have these extended mini-trips where you have to recreate what I have in the barn on a smaller basis.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Before the first annual Ike Foundation Celebrity Pro-Am fishing tournament, Ike was already packed for the Elite on the Potomac, the Open on the James, an MLF event, the Elite season finale at La Crosse and the AOY Championship on Mille Lacs. âI was thinking out those five events â I needed a scaled-down version of everything in the back of the truck.â Photo: Mike Suchan - And there it is, including labeled Rubbermaid tubs and things like a spare trolling motor, prop, light pole, extension cords and batteries. On top of his truck he utilizes rod tubes to bring 30 more blanks along. Photo: Mike Suchan - âOrganization makes it so easy â everything is at your fingertips. Itâs all about time management; Iâd love to do the math. Iâd like to add up, in the course of a year, all the minutes Iâve saved by using this system. Iâve like gained an extra couple days to a week of fishing, that Iâm not spending digging, or frustrated, or having to order stuff or on the phone with Becky. If I can get to it, it means 20 more casts in the course of a day, it means an extra hour. Itâs just time. Saving time.â Photo: Mike Suchan - Hereâs the aftermath of an event â a box loaded with used tackle. âAfter each event I end up with a little pile â¦ switched crankbait colors on the fly, or got back to backs. By the end of the year in October, thereâs eight or 10 boxes to sift through and put them back in appropriate places.â The offseason is when he catches up restocking the shelves, preparing it all again for next season.