UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Ike goes green for Kerr Lake win

Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J. targeted Kerr Lake's hydrilla beds to win the Stren Series event.

HENDERSON, N.C. - Throughout Mike Iaconelli's illustrious fishing career, aquatic vegetation has played a key role in many of his biggest wins. Whether it was his 2003 Bassmaster Classic win in the Louisiana Delta, his FLW Tour win on the Potomac River or his BASS Tour wins on Lake Seminole and Lake Guntersville, fishing grass has been a primary component of his most defining moments. So when the Runnemede, N.J., pro showed up at Kerr Lake for the Stren Series Northern this week with just two days of practice and found healthy hydrilla in the Little Nutbush area of the lake, he immediately fell into his comfort zone. Over the course of four tournament days, he relied on his hydrilla-fishing expertise to refine a dominant grass pattern and win the Stren Series event with a four-day total of 45 pounds, 6 ounces worth $25,000 cash. Kerr Lake, or Buggs Island Lake, has never been known as a grass lake. But that's all changed now thanks to Ike's win. "I'd heard there was a little bit of grass in the lake," Iaconelli explained. "But on my first practice day I discovered there was a lot more than a little; there is a lot of grass here - and it's healthy, too. Down in the Little Nutbush area, it's everywhere; it grows anywhere from 3 feet out to 12 feet." Just a couple of keepers in practice was all it took to light Iaconelli's fire on the grass pattern. From there he spent four tournament days dialing in on the most productive way to mine bass out of the green stuff. Ike discovered that bass were relating to thin spots or bare areas in the grass created by the drains in the backs of pockets and the rounded flat points that connected the pockets. "I basically used a three-prong approach," he detailed. "My primary bait was a vibrating Ikerattling bait - a 1/2-ounce Strike King Redeye Shad in sexy-shad color - it was backed up by a big wooden square-bill crankbait called an Ikon made by Custom Lures Unlimited and a shaky head. Probably 70 percent of my fish came on the Redeye Shad and the other 30 percent were split between the Ikon and the shaky head." Ike fished the Red Eye Shad on 10-pound-test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. "That may sound a little light for a rattling bait, but there's a reason for that," Iaconelli explained. "I actually wanted the lure to get down in the grass so I could pop it out - that's what provoked the strikes. Heavier line would keep the bait up too high over the grass and not as much contact was made with it." He mixed in the Ikon with the Redeye Shad when fishing grass and pitched the shaky head, which consisted of a 3/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten Iky Head teamed with a green-pumpkin finesse worm, to any hard objects he came to such as stumps or docks. The shaky head was fished on 8-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon while the Ikon was served up on 12-pound-test. "Fishing new water every day was a big key too," he said. "Today I caught 12 keepers on water I have never fished before in my life. At first I was worried I might actually run out of grass to fish this week, but it just kept materializing; every pocket I went to had grass." And as for his infatuation with the green stuff, Ike says he grew up fishing it. "Our lakes and ponds up in New Jersey are chock full of milfoil, coontail and eelgrass, and that's what I cut my teeth fishing," he added. "To this day, whenever I get around any kind of vegetation, especially hydrilla, I feel right at home." Wilks winds up second Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., held onto his second place position on the final day with a four-day total of 43 pounds, 5 ounces.Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., held on to his second-place position on the final day with a four-day total of 43 pounds, 5 ounces worth $5,696. Wilks, too, was keying on grass, but he was fishing it with a 1/2-ounce jig on 15-pound-test fluorocarbon. "I probably caught 95 percent of my fish by ripping a jig out of the grass for a reaction bite," Wilks said. "It's a great technique, but it caused me to lose a lot of fish because they would bite it on a slack line after I ripped it up, and the fish would swim straight to the boat and jump. It was pretty frustrating to lose as many fish as I did this week." Powroznik third The comeback limit of day four belonged to Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., The comeback limit of day four belonged to Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., who brought in 13 pounds, 13 ounces today to jump from 10th to third with a four-day total of 43 pounds, 4 ounces.who brought in 13 pounds, 13 ounces today to jump from 10th to third with a four-day total of 43 pounds, 4 ounces worth $5,126. Powroznik spent the week fishing deep, chasing bait pods around with his depth finder and throwing a big 12-inch Berkley Power Worm teamed with a 1/2-ounce Tru-Tungsten sinker into the bait and letting it flutter down to the bass. This approach worked great for Powroznik all week until this morning, when he decided to break out of his deep mold and go shallow with Zara Spook (Saltwater Series). "I'm now kicking myself for not fishing topwater more this week," lamented Powroznik, who boated some 15 keepers on topwaters today, all between 2 and 3 pounds. "All I did was fish over top of the grass, and they would come up and annihilate that Spook." Wright fourth Kerr crankbait legend David Wright of Lexington, N.C., ended up fourth with a four-day total of 42 pounds, 10 ounces.Kerr crankbait legend David Wright of Lexington, N.C., ended up fourth with a four-day total of 42 pounds, 10 ounces worth $4,557. Not surprisingly, Wright spent most of the week fishing a crankbait on wind-blown points and creek channels. Today he gave his co-angler, Moo Bae, a crankbait lesson by lending Bae his crankbait and leading him to the Co-angler Division winner's circle on the deep-diving plug. Pipkens fifth Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., rounded out the top five in the Pro Division with a four-day total Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., rounded out the top 5 in the Pro Division with a four-day total of 41 pounds, 1 ounce for $3,987.of 41 pounds, 1 ounce for $3,987. Pipkens fished over suspended fish and schooling fish with a Lucky Craft Sammy and Pointer 100 to catch his fish this week. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series event on Kerr Reservoir: 6th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., four-day total of 38-6, $3,417 7th: Robert Vogelsang of Jessup, Md., four-day total of 35-10, $3,135 8th: Joshua Wagy of Dewitt, Va., four-day total of 34-8, $2,848 9th: Steve Roberts of Lynchburg, Va., four-day total of 33-14, $2,562 10th: Mike Miller of Trinity, N.C., four-day total of 32-4, $2,279 Coming up The fourth and final Stren Series event of the Northern Division will take place on the Potomac River Oct. 15-18.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 


Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »


Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »


Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »


Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »


Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »


Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »


Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »


New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »


New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »


FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »


6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »


6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »


ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »


10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »


Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »


New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »


ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »