Trinkets, lucky charms and inspirational pieces

Some anglers are super superstitious. Some are not at all. Either way, many anglers have an item they always keep with them, whether it’s in their boat, truck or even their pockets. We asked the Classic anglers if they carried any lucky charms, trinkets or inspirational pieces with them and here’s what we found. Can you tell who this is from the Bass Pro Shops on his jersey, or just his hands?
Photo: Mike Suchan - Some anglers are super superstitious. Some are not at all. Either way, many anglers have an item they always keep with them, whether it’s in their boat, truck or even their pockets. We asked the Classic anglers if they carried any lucky charms, trinkets or inspirational pieces with them and here’s what we found. Can you tell who this is from the Bass Pro Shops on his jersey, or just his hands?
Why it’s Kevin VanDam. He shows a handful of items given to him by his wife and twin sons, including a small metal cross, odd coins and smooth rocks.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Why it’s Kevin VanDam. He shows a handful of items given to him by his wife and twin sons, including a small metal cross, odd coins and smooth rocks.
Chad Pipkens, working to finalize the placement of stickers on his boat, didn’t have his lucky item on him, but one phone call and …
Photo: Mike Suchan - Chad Pipkens, working to finalize the placement of stickers on his boat, didn’t have his lucky item on him, but one phone call and …
… a photo of his lucky cookies, which he left back in the hotel, appeared. His ritual of eating these no-bake cookies began at the St. Lawrence and success starting coming his way. He’s ordering them through the mail now. Say, aren’t you copying someone else with the lucky cookies?
Photo: Mike Suchan - … a photo of his lucky cookies, which he left back in the hotel, appeared. His ritual of eating these no-bake cookies began at the St. Lawrence and success starting coming his way. He’s ordering them through the mail now. Say, aren’t you copying someone else with the lucky cookies?
Speaking of lucky edibles, Mike Iaconelli hopes to appease the dog god and fishing god – they are one in the same – so he’s taking some dog treats on the water in case he runs into the barking golden retriever he offended last time on Grand. (Look for his video apology during the LIVE and the weigh-in shows.)
Photo: Mike Suchan - Speaking of lucky edibles, Mike Iaconelli hopes to appease the dog god and fishing god – they are one in the same – so he’s taking some dog treats on the water in case he runs into the barking golden retriever he offended last time on Grand. (Look for his video apology during the LIVE and the weigh-in shows.)
From the silly to sublime. Trevor Lo actually uses this Iron Man mask as a face saver on runs. “You can take away my boat, all my rods and my lures, but one thing you can't take away - I am Iron Man,” Lo says when he wears the mask. Or maybe not.
Photo: Mike Suchan - From the silly to sublime. Trevor Lo actually uses this Iron Man mask as a face saver on runs. “You can take away my boat, all my rods and my lures, but one thing you can't take away - I am Iron Man,” Lo says when he wears the mask. Or maybe not.
From made-up hero to a real life one. Brandon Palaniuk honors Bryan Kerchal, the only B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier to win a Classic, by keeping a replica whistle that Kerchal reportedly blew each time he caught a fish during his 1994 victory.
Photo: Mike Suchan - From made-up hero to a real life one. Brandon Palaniuk honors Bryan Kerchal, the only B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier to win a Classic, by keeping a replica whistle that Kerchal reportedly blew each time he caught a fish during his 1994 victory.
Palaniuk, also former Nation champ who finished second last time at Grand Lake, gives a little toot on the whistle he keeps protected by wrapping it in tissue and stowing it in his truck.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Palaniuk, also former Nation champ who finished second last time at Grand Lake, gives a little toot on the whistle he keeps protected by wrapping it in tissue and stowing it in his truck.
Probably the most poignant item carried at this Classic was in Billy McCaghren’s boat. His wife, Norma, is very close to Tammy Cook, widow of 1991 Classic champ Ken Cook, who passed late last year.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Probably the most poignant item carried at this Classic was in Billy McCaghren’s boat. His wife, Norma, is very close to Tammy Cook, widow of 1991 Classic champ Ken Cook, who passed late last year.
Norma found this 1990 Ken Cook signature Hart Throb spinnerbait on eBay and bought it for Billy to keep in remembrance of Ken.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Norma found this 1990 Ken Cook signature Hart Throb spinnerbait on eBay and bought it for Billy to keep in remembrance of Ken.
Todd Faircloth has an interesting back story to the little figure he has tucked away in his boat. He was at an E50 event years ago in Texas when a camping neighbor learned of Faircloth’s trade. Saying the item helped him in big-stakes gambling, the man gave it to Faircloth in hopes of aiding his fishing.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Todd Faircloth has an interesting back story to the little figure he has tucked away in his boat. He was at an E50 event years ago in Texas when a camping neighbor learned of Faircloth’s trade. Saying the item helped him in big-stakes gambling, the man gave it to Faircloth in hopes of aiding his fishing.
Faircloth said he’s just kept it in his boats ever since. The image looks familiar – no, it’s not the Hawaiian Punch guy -- but Todd and everyone asked don’t know or can’t recall. If anybody knows its origins, please tell us in the comments below.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Faircloth said he’s just kept it in his boats ever since. The image looks familiar – no, it’s not the Hawaiian Punch guy -- but Todd and everyone asked don’t know or can’t recall. If anybody knows its origins, please tell us in the comments below.
Let’s go to
Photo: Mike Suchan - Let’s go to "found" items anglers have hung onto. Brandon Lester found this baseball floating several years ago. It’d be nice to imagine it was a home run that traveled from a creek beyond the ball park to the lake. Lester just likes to know it’s in his boat and that it might rub off and give him a chance at his own home run.
Bobby Lane keeps a sharp eye out for duck decoys when he's on the water, and he's found a good number. He said he mostly keeps them stowed below. This is his latest find, and he said he believes it’s the prettiest one yet.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Bobby Lane keeps a sharp eye out for duck decoys when he's on the water, and he's found a good number. He said he mostly keeps them stowed below. This is his latest find, and he said he believes it’s the prettiest one yet.
Bugs Bunny sang, “I’m looking over a four-leaf clover, that I overlooked before.” James Elam can belt that over and over and over with this clover chain found by his sister, Casey, and his niece, Neely, and given to him.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Bugs Bunny sang, “I’m looking over a four-leaf clover, that I overlooked before.” James Elam can belt that over and over and over with this clover chain found by his sister, Casey, and his niece, Neely, and given to him.
There are dozens and dozens of pressed four-leaf clovers – hermetically sealed, I believe. Elam wasn’t sure exactly how many, but the Oklahoma angler did have great fortunes late last season, including his Opens win, so maybe they are working.
Photo: Mike Suchan - There are dozens and dozens of pressed four-leaf clovers – hermetically sealed, I believe. Elam wasn’t sure exactly how many, but the Oklahoma angler did have great fortunes late last season, including his Opens win, so maybe they are working.
Fabian Rodriguez, who was born in Washington, D.C., but moved back and forth to Argentina in his youth, also carries a special plant in one of his boat compartments. His mother gave him this Meadow Rue, grown from Argentina seeds.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Fabian Rodriguez, who was born in Washington, D.C., but moved back and forth to Argentina in his youth, also carries a special plant in one of his boat compartments. His mother gave him this Meadow Rue, grown from Argentina seeds.
According to South American lore, carrying the plant is supposed to ward off ailments, bad mojo, evil and bad hair days. (See Things you didn’t know about Classic competitors) Rodriguez’s mother tied the traditional red ribbon around it, but that certainly looks like Fabian’s NASCAR ticket.
Photo: Mike Suchan - According to South American lore, carrying the plant is supposed to ward off ailments, bad mojo, evil and bad hair days. (See Things you didn’t know about Classic competitors) Rodriguez’s mother tied the traditional red ribbon around it, but that certainly looks like Fabian’s NASCAR ticket.
Let’s head way back north to Canada, where Charles Sims, our MENSA math guy, shows off a special item he fiddles with from time to time. Sims said he’s addicted to increasing the speed in which he can solve a Rubik’s Cube – he’s down to around 3 minutes.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Let’s head way back north to Canada, where Charles Sims, our MENSA math guy, shows off a special item he fiddles with from time to time. Sims said he’s addicted to increasing the speed in which he can solve a Rubik’s Cube – he’s down to around 3 minutes.
Greg Vinson said he’s turned this new Mercury hat into a lucky piece. He thought it blew out of his boat on a run only later to find it stuck under the cables running to his motor. That’s pretty fortunate.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Greg Vinson said he’s turned this new Mercury hat into a lucky piece. He thought it blew out of his boat on a run only later to find it stuck under the cables running to his motor. That’s pretty fortunate.
Matt Herren can’t say for sure if his 15-year-old culling system is a good-luck charm, but he said it’s a must-have in his boat. Despite having other cull units, he enjoys this one so much he’s given it tune-ups, like replacing cables, for years.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Matt Herren can’t say for sure if his 15-year-old culling system is a good-luck charm, but he said it’s a must-have in his boat. Despite having other cull units, he enjoys this one so much he’s given it tune-ups, like replacing cables, for years.
Alton Jones doesn’t require charms, but he does find great inspiration from above. That is why he has a proverb front and center on his boat. This one states that God created man in his image, blessed man and told them to go forth, multiply and rule over the animals.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Alton Jones doesn’t require charms, but he does find great inspiration from above. That is why he has a proverb front and center on his boat. This one states that God created man in his image, blessed man and told them to go forth, multiply and rule over the animals.
Close-by physically and spiritually is Jordan Lee, who keeps a Bible in his truck. At 24, he said it’s important for him to read as it teaches him about life and most everything else.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Close-by physically and spiritually is Jordan Lee, who keeps a Bible in his truck. At 24, he said it’s important for him to read as it teaches him about life and most everything else.
David Walker has always placed his girls’ artwork and messages here in his boat. He pointed out that Lilly and Olivia began drawing simple stick figures and have gotten so much better with their artwork and messaging.
Photo: Mike Suchan - David Walker has always placed his girls’ artwork and messages here in his boat. He pointed out that Lilly and Olivia began drawing simple stick figures and have gotten so much better with their artwork and messaging.
John Proctor shows the frog that his daughter, Kinley, made for him in preschool. He apologized about it because it wasn’t in a plastic baggy yet when hard rain at the BNC damaged it.
Photo: Mike Suchan - John Proctor shows the frog that his daughter, Kinley, made for him in preschool. He apologized about it because it wasn’t in a plastic baggy yet when hard rain at the BNC damaged it.
Bill Lowen said the people who have made his boat wraps over the years include stickers with his children’s names.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Bill Lowen said the people who have made his boat wraps over the years include stickers with his children’s names.
Lowen puts them in a place he can always see them when he’s in his boat working on tackle.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Lowen puts them in a place he can always see them when he’s in his boat working on tackle.
Chris Lane owes us some proof. He said his wife and children pack him a box with messages of good wishes and love as well as “Magic Muffins” – say, what are those? We took his word but would still like to see it.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Chris Lane owes us some proof. He said his wife and children pack him a box with messages of good wishes and love as well as “Magic Muffins” – say, what are those? We took his word but would still like to see it.
Randy Howell pulled these photos from a plastic baggy stowed in a compartment. The photos support the message of “We Love You” and “You are the Best” for the 2014 Classic champ.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Randy Howell pulled these photos from a plastic baggy stowed in a compartment. The photos support the message of “We Love You” and “You are the Best” for the 2014 Classic champ.
Chris Dillow, the Opens winner from Virginia, carries a number of items of significance into his first Classic, including photos of him with his wife and daughter, a letter from his twin brother, Curtis, a personalized pole a friend gave him and a horseshoe turned into an ichthys by his jig maker.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Chris Dillow, the Opens winner from Virginia, carries a number of items of significance into his first Classic, including photos of him with his wife and daughter, a letter from his twin brother, Curtis, a personalized pole a friend gave him and a horseshoe turned into an ichthys by his jig maker.
“So I can take grandpa fishing with me every day,” was James Watson's answer to why he keeps a prosthetic arm with a hook in his boat. Perry Abbiatti was a World War II veteran and double amputee and also lost an eye.
Photo: Mike Suchan - “So I can take grandpa fishing with me every day,” was James Watson's answer to why he keeps a prosthetic arm with a hook in his boat. Perry Abbiatti was a World War II veteran and double amputee and also lost an eye.
Watson, an army drill sergeant for two years, said his grandfather could still outfish anybody with his two hooks – wait, did I just walk into a joke? Not so sure now, since Watson is quite a card. Here, he holds up Abbiatti’s glass eye, which he also keeps on the boat because “Eye don’t know why.” Omg.
Photo: Mike Suchan - Watson, an army drill sergeant for two years, said his grandfather could still outfish anybody with his two hooks – wait, did I just walk into a joke? Not so sure now, since Watson is quite a card. Here, he holds up Abbiatti’s glass eye, which he also keeps on the boat because “Eye don’t know why.” Omg.