COLUMBIA, S.C. – Berkley pro Mike Iaconelli earned his seventh professional tournament victory this past weekend and his first BASS Open Title. The Runnemede, NJ, native had a two-day total of 48-pounds, 8-ounces of smallmouth on Lake Erie besting second place by more than four pounds. Iaconelli has been on a tear as of late, getting voted into BASS All Star week and punching his ticket to the 2014 Bassmaster Classic with the recent win.
"This is crazy," said Iaconelli. "It has been a difficult season for me. I've battled through and luckily stayed focused. I've had some wild times, but in the end it is how you perform in the moment that dictates the outcome. I'm not saying I haven't been focusing on the W all year round, but this event was do or die time. I feel that I executed flawlessly on this event from start to finish."
Success on Lake Erie was made possible by a small vial of concentrated Berkley Gulp! Alive! Marinade and a bait designed by the man himself. "I really hate to let the cat of the bag on this one. I really just dialed in with the minnow flavored Gulp! Alive! Marinade in a bag of Berkley Havoc Flat Dawg baits and it was on. These fish couldn't stand it. That bait is designed to be a shallow water stickbait, but in practice I found it's a killer drop shot bait." He rigged the bait wacky style and his best color was watermelon silver with red flake. When the fish weren't eating the drop shot Ike switched to a deep diving crankbait.
"The Flat Dawg paired with the Marinade was key. It only takes a few drops to make a potent bait," he said. "I've used this in the past weeks up in the north, and I am floored by its effectiveness."