Photo by Brenda Butenewicz/The Ike Foundation

Mike Iaconelli's Youth Celebrity Fishing Tournament a Big Success

Hundreds of kids receive fishing tackle and instruction from top pro anglers.

The Ike Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Outdoor Program sponsored a day of family fun and a series of fundraising events on Saturday, August 6 on the Camden Waterfront near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Known as “The First Annual Ike Celebrity Pro-Am Bass Fishing Tournament,” the event consisted of a giveaway of free Flambeau tackle boxes and assorted fishing lures to the first 750 kids, carnival games, kids fishing instruction, silent auctions, along with music and food on the waterfront.   In addition, attendees visited Camden Children’s Garden and the Adventure Aquarium, both just steps away. All proceeds benefit The Ike Foundation‘s mission of getting more kids into fishing and the outdoors. To donate, go to

For the fishing competitors, thirty eight teams made up of 102 competitors competed for first place and a 2016 BassCat Margay boat & trailer valued over $20,000.  The winning team consisted of Yamaha pro angler Joe Sancho and mixed martial arts fighters Jim and Dan Miller. Jim Miller competes in the UFC lightweight division and his older brother Dan was a welterweight fighter. Second prize and an Exmark lawn mower valued at $12,000 went to the team of BassCat pro Gluszek, Anderer, and Weisner.  Third, fourth and fifth prizes included $500 Rapala gift cards, Flambeau gift packs and other items.   

A benefit dinner hosted at the Children’s Garden offered an opportunity for ticket-holders to mingle with the tournament competitors, enjoy dinner and refreshments, and participate in a silent auction filled with prizes such as a vacation package to Costa Rica, sports memorabilia, and many fishing tackle items.

Thirty Five businesses or organizations offered their support to assist the kids fishing fundraiser. Bassmaster Elite Series angler Kevin VanDam stated “It’s really great to see so many companies that sponsor Ike for the tour get involved and understand how important this is – to be able to get as many kids involved in the sport of fishing” he said.  “That’s his focus, so he can provide equipment and opportunity for kids to fish. It’s very cool to be here and to see the support from everybody. That’s why I think it was a no-brainer for the companies that got on board. It’s a great thing for all of us in the sport.”

Photo by Mike Suchan/Bassmaster

Top 5 Finishers:

Joe Sancho, Jim Miller, Dan Miller- 11.51 lbs

Pete Gluszek, Alan Anderer, Marko Weisner-10.53 lbs

John Crews, James Reilley, Colin Stewart- 10.36 lbs

John Valdez, Keith Cowan, Zach Cowan- 10.36 lbs

Michael Sentore, Sean McKee, Jack Rinkers- 9.91 lbs

Professional anglers included: 

Brandon Palaniuk, Britt Myers, Carl Jocumsen, Chris Zaldain, Cliff Crochet, Fletcher Shryock, Ish Monroe, Jared Lintner, Jay Brainard, Joe Sancho, John Crews, John Murray, Jordan Lee, Kevin VanDam, Mike McClelland, Morizo Shimizu, Pete Gluszek, Randall Tharp

Celebrities included: 

NHL player Bryan Bickell, UFC fighter Jim Miller, Bassmaster Elite Series emcee and TV show host Dave Mercer, and the host of CMT’s The Ed Bassmaster Show, Ed Bassmaster.

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