To the thousands who viewed his first show in February, Ike said, “We created this because there are a lot of fish heads out there. . . and I want to have constant communication with my fans. And we want to have fun.”
His goal is to shape the show around the interests of the fans. “This is your show,” he said. “It’s real important over the next year I want this show to cater to your needs. You tell me what you want to hear, what you want to watch, and we’re going to make this your show.”
He is soliciting comments about the show, along with fishing related questions, for future shows via his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MikeIaconelliFishing) and Twitter (@Mike_Iaconelli).
The March show features Randy Howell, 2014 Bassmaster Classic Champion, as Ike’s guest. In addition, for those who hate Ike’s winter face warmer (a.k.a. his beard), a professional barber will be on hand to give him a close shave, in celebration of the new fishing season.
Highlights of the Debut Ike Live! Show.
“Folks at home. Folks at home. Mike Iaconelli here.” That introduction kicked off the first Ike Live! show, following several months of planning, technical preparations, and set building.
Mike made a round of introductions and Mark Jefferys, executive producer, started the conversation with the first Hot Topic: the Alabama rig. Producer Brian the Carpenter admitted not throwing it; Mark called it “power flinging,” and Mike confirmed Bassmaster doesn’t allow it. BigDaddy, the first fan to tweet a response, said “A-rigs rule.”
During the Fish Soup-Clip of the Week segment, Mike and his guest, Ed Bassmaster, critiqued a video of a Russian fisherman trying to free his arm from a fish’s mouth using a 2”x4”. (The guy succeeded, without blood, but not before Mike and Ed skewered the efforts of the guy’s friends.)
Moving on, Mike and Ed talked about keeping fishing logs, favorite fishing rod sizes, fishing the Delaware—it’s part of the Classics this season, how to breakdown a lake, the pros and cons of different baits, and the brand of gum Ed was chewing. (He didn’t know because he swallowed it when he saw how bad it looked on camera.)
In the second half of the show, Mike and Pete Gluszek, past BASS champion and co-founder of the Bass University, chatted with fans on the phone and offered fishing advice on some 30 different questions.
Among the many topics, the two talked with callers about different lakes– from Guntersville (Al) to Champlain (VT), Union Lake (NJ) and Falcon (TX). They touched on their experiences starting out in fishing, advised Nathan, a young caller, on how to move toward professional status, and explained the unwritten rules for settling a fishing site dispute during a tournament.
Baylor, a fan from Texas, successful answered the Fishing Trivia question, “In what year did Paul Elias win the Bassmaster Classic?” Jefferys closed the show with a second Hot Topic: Should the Bassmaster have a Stanley Cup-like trophy that stayed with the winner for a year. Everyone agreed such a trophy would make an exceptional beer stein.
About Mike “Ike” Iaconelli
A South Philadelphia native now living in South Jersey, Mike Iaconelli fell in love with fishing at his grandfather’s side in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He began fishing in tournaments after high school, joined the pro-am circuit in 1992 and turned pro in 2000. In 2003, he won the Bassmaster Classic. To date, he has won Bassmaster Elite, Classic, and Open championships and earned over $2 MM in prize money. He and fellow fishing champ, Pete Gulszek, run The Bass University, which offers intense 2-day fishing classes that bring avid amateurs and professional fishermen together.