by Dave Landahl
We all make mistakes. If not every day, at least every week. It's just human nature to not be perfect, no matter how hard we strive for perfection.
So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that elite professional bass anglers such as Pure Fishing pro Mike Iaconelli make their fair share of foul-ups, even during competition.
Iaconelli shares his reoccurring mistakes and surprisingly enough they are the type of thing we all do as fishermen.
Leaving a Good Thing
"I could give a million specifics about my first regular mistake," said Iaconelli. "In 20 years of fishing tournaments, I still do this. I'll leave active fish to go and find better fish.
"I try not to do it, but that inner voice will call you and lure you away to that spot you just know has better fish. It's like 9 out of 10 times when you move, the better fish don't bite, or you can't find them. It stems from the urge to always win in the back of my mind."
Staying Too Long
"On the opposite end of the mistake spectrum is staying put too long," said Iaconelli. "Once again, you'd think after 20 years you'd know better, but it still happens.
"I no longer blow a whole day wasting my time, but I'll often find a spot in practice or on the first day of the tournament and you kill them. Then something happens overnight and something has changed, but you stay put thinking it's gonna happen, but it isn't.
"During the 2017 season on Lake Dardenelle, I had a chance to win. I had a great crankbait bite going on, but the water dropped a bit overnight and it killed that bite. I stayed with it too long and couldn't catch a keeper. I'd leave then it kept pulling me back.
"You have this image of a 4-pounder in your mind. It messes with your common sense."
"The older I get, the more I chicken out of things," said Iaconelli. "You tend to get more conservative as you get older and are established, versus going on long runs to fish spots you know can produce winning fish or going into areas that are difficult to maneuver through.
"You start to look at the big picture, and worry about a variety of things. That willingness to make the crazy long run helped me win the Classic. In recent memory, chickening out cost me on the Winyah Bay tournament and the one on the California Delta."