Mike Iaconelli Keeps Day Two Lead at Bassmaster Elite Guntersville

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BASS Elite Series Guntersville Day Two Leader Mike Iaconelli - photo by Gary Tramontina - Bassmaster

BASS Elite Series Guntersville Day Two Leader Mike Iaconelli – photo by Gary Tramontina – Bassmaster

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – After rocketing into the lead with 28 pounds, 2 ounces on the first day of the Diet Mtn Dew Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville, Michael Iaconelli went back out during Friday’s second round with intentions of fishing the same way.

But after a while, things just didn’t feel right. So he followed his instincts, made a quick adjustment and put together another fantastic catch, a five-bass limit weighing  24-15, to widen his lead in the event with a two-day mark of 53-1.

The remainder of the 5 saw some drastic changes on a day that was delayed one hour by thunderstorms with David Walker (48-6) moving into second, and Carl Jocumsen (46- 8), a rookie from Australia, holding down third. Byron Velvick (45-3) and Brent Ehrler (43-13) are fourth and fifth. With the lake itself undergoing changes, even more shifting could happen atop the leaderboard Saturday.

“On Thursday, I thought I knew exactly what was happening,” Iaconelli said. “After today, I believe there’s a lot more fish moving up to spawn than I thought and a lot more fish coming out for the postspawn than I thought. There are a lot of fish on the move.”

Iaconelli, who never said which lures he was using Thursday, said he switched to a crankbait when things got slow Friday. That’s when he caught two of his largest fish of the day.

“The first cast on a crankbait, I caught one that weighed almost 8 pounds,” Iaconelli said. “The next one on a crankbait was a 6-pounder. That was a key decision, because without those two fish, I probably would have only weighed in about 16 or 17 pounds.”

Several of Iaconelli’s fish had what he called “big quarter sores” on their gill plates. He believed those were identifying marks for bass that have entered the postspawn phase.

Because Guntersville has such an immense bass population, Iaconelli believes the bass don’t stay on bed as long as they do in other venues. With so many fish in transition, he said things were tough Friday – and could get tougher.

“It looked a lot better for me today than it really was,” Iaconelli said. “Yesterday, it was happening. I’d pull up to spot and just know I was going to catch them. I caught over 30 keeper bass. Today, I caught maybe nine keepers.

“I feel like I’m in the winning area, but it’s going to be really important to keep moving with the fish.”

Iaconelli also earned the Livingston Lures Leader award of $500 for being the second-day leader.

Walker, who suffered through a dismal 107th-place finish in the Elite Series event last month on the Sabine River, came to Guntersville worried that another bad finish might jeopardize his chances of qualifying for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. But after landing 23-1 Friday and 25-5 Saturday, he easily made Saturday’s Top 53 cut and put himself within striking distance of his second Elite Series win.

“I started off with a 5-pounder on my first cast, and that’s the way to start the day,” Walker said. “After a while, I had that one good fish and just four others that would measure. But as the day went on, I’d catch another fish that was a big one and then another. My culls were going up really fast, because I started with such small ones.”

Walker, who revealed little about the technique he was using, said confidence played a major role in his Friday success.

“It was one of those days when I had the one thing you always want as a fisherman,” Walker said. “It’s not a secret spot or a secret lure. It was confidence in my choices. Almost every time I thought I needed to try something it would work. And if it didn’t work, I knew that it didn’t because when I got there it just didn’t feel right.”

The biggest catch of the day belonged to Jocumsen, who brought in 26-10 to vault himself into third with 46-8. The popular Australian pro, who is fishing only his second event as an Elite Series rookie, had 21 pounds around noon and actually upgraded his catch while scouting for Saturday.

Jocumsen said the weigh-in took place around 6 a.m. in Australia, and more than 20,000 people in his native country were likely watching live on Bassmaster.com. He said many had also been up most of the night following his progress on the web site through BASSTrakk.

“Because of BASSTrakk, they say no one’s sleeping because they’re refreshing it all through the middle of the night,” Jocumsen said, laughing. “My sponsors and my friends say they haven’t slept the last two nights.

“Everyone in Australia is so excited. It’s going to bring awareness to the sport and put bass fishing on the map a little bit in another country.”

The 53 pros surviving the cut will launch from Guntersville City Harbor at 6:15 a.m. Saturday with the weigh-in scheduled back at the park at 3 p.m. Only the Top 12 anglers after Saturday’s weigh-in will move on to Sunday’s championship round.

Local host for the event is the Marshall County CVB.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2015 Diet Mtn Dew Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville 4/9-4/12
Lake Guntersville, Guntersville  AL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  53-01  100     $500.00
Day 1: 5   28-02     Day 2: 5   24-15
2.  David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  48-06   99
Day 1: 5   23-01     Day 2: 5   25-05
3.  Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA 10  46-08   98
Day 1: 5   19-14     Day 2: 5   26-10
4.  Byron Velvick          Boenre, TX              10  45-03   97
Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   26-06
5.  Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA       10  43-13   96
Day 1: 5   23-08     Day 2: 5   20-05
6.  Derek Remitz           Grant, AL               10  43-11   95
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   24-00
7.  Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             10  43-10   94
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   26-08
8.  Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  43-06   93
Day 1: 5   23-00     Day 2: 5   20-06
9.  John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  42-12   92
Day 1: 5   23-05     Day 2: 5   19-07
10. Matt Lee               Auburn , AL             10  42-08   91
Day 1: 5   23-15     Day 2: 5   18-09
11. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  42-05   90
Day 1: 5   24-15     Day 2: 5   17-06
12. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  42-04   89
Day 1: 5   22-02     Day 2: 5   20-02
13. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         10  41-15   88
Day 1: 5   22-03     Day 2: 5   19-12
14. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  41-13   87
Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   21-06
15. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                9  41-10   86
Day 1: 5   26-01     Day 2: 4   15-09
16. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  41-08   85
Day 1: 5   21-04     Day 2: 5   20-04
17. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL        10  41-02   84
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   24-08
18. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        10  41-01   83
Day 1: 5   22-04     Day 2: 5   18-13
19. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  40-09   82
Day 1: 5   25-08     Day 2: 5   15-01
20. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  40-01   81
Day 1: 5   23-11     Day 2: 5   16-06
21. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI             10  40-00   80
Day 1: 5   21-00     Day 2: 5   19-00
22. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             10  39-06   79
Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   22-01
23. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 10  39-04   78
Day 1: 5   23-02     Day 2: 5   16-02
24. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  39-01   77
Day 1: 5   21-07     Day 2: 5   17-10
25. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  38-12   76
Day 1: 5   20-01     Day 2: 5   18-11
26. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  38-11   75
Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   21-07
27. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               10  38-08   74
Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   21-04
28. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  38-06   73
Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 5   23-00
29. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA            10  38-05   72
Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   22-00
30. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  38-04   71
Day 1: 5   24-04     Day 2: 5   14-00
31. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  38-00   70
Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   20-10
32. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         10  37-05   69
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   25-08
33. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  37-04   68
Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 5   18-08
34. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH          10  36-15   67
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   17-15
35. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR           10  36-13   66
Day 1: 5   20-06     Day 2: 5   16-07
36. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               9  36-11   65
Day 1: 4   19-07     Day 2: 5   17-04
37. Jordan Lee             Vinemont, AL            10  36-11   64
Day 1: 5   18-08     Day 2: 5   18-03
38. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  36-08   63
Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   16-01
39. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  36-06   62
Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   21-02
40. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  35-15   61
Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 5   17-03
41. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         10  35-13   60
Day 1: 5   12-13     Day 2: 5   23-00
42. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX        10  35-13   59
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   19-06
43. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  35-07   58
Day 1: 5   18-00     Day 2: 5   17-07
44. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  35-05   57
Day 1: 5   18-06     Day 2: 5   16-15
45. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  35-02   56
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   17-05
46. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  35-00   55
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   19-07
47. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL             10  35-00   54
Day 1: 5   19-04     Day 2: 5   15-12
48. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               10  35-00   53
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   16-00
49. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  34-14   52
Day 1: 5   20-09     Day 2: 5   14-05
50. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA            10  34-13   51
Day 1: 5   19-04     Day 2: 5   15-09
51. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  34-12   50
Day 1: 5   19-06     Day 2: 5   15-06
52. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  34-11   49
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   18-12
53. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  34-09   48
Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   15-04
54. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             10  34-07   47
Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   14-14
55. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL               10  34-05   46
Day 1: 5   18-08     Day 2: 5   15-13
56. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  34-04   45
Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   15-13
57. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  34-01   44
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   18-09
58. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  33-15   43
Day 1: 5   19-02     Day 2: 5   14-13
59. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                10  33-14   42
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   19-04
60. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  33-13   41
Day 1: 5   22-04     Day 2: 5   11-09
61. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  33-06   40
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   13-11
62. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX          10  33-06   39
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   19-01
63. Randy Howell           Springville, AL         10  33-00   38
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   19-00
64. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        10  33-00   37
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   18-06
65. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  33-00   36
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   17-07
66. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  32-14   35
Day 1: 5   13-00     Day 2: 5   19-14
67. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX             10  32-13   34
Day 1: 5   14-14     Day 2: 5   17-15
68. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  32-12   33
Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   16-01
69. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           10  32-09   32
Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   13-14
70. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR           10  32-07   31
Day 1: 5   12-00     Day 2: 5   20-07
71. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA          10  32-04   30
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   16-12
72. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           10  32-03   29
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   16-06
73. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  32-02   28
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   15-09
74. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  31-12   27
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   17-03
75. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  31-09   26
Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   13-15
76. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  31-06   25
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   18-01
77. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            10  30-15   24
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   17-06
78. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  30-15   23
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   16-11
79. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK        10  30-10   22
Day 1: 5   15-01     Day 2: 5   15-09
80. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS              10  30-08   21
Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   15-04
81. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  30-07   20
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   13-06
82. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               10  30-05   19
Day 1: 5   15-03     Day 2: 5   15-02
83. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      10  30-04   18
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   16-11
84. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        10  30-01   17
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   19-00
85. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           10  30-01   16
Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   14-12
86. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN   10  30-00   15
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   16-04
87. Kevin Ledoux           Choctaw, OK              6  29-15   14
Day 1: 5   24-03     Day 2: 1   05-12
88. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  9  29-11   13
Day 1: 5   20-06     Day 2: 4   09-05
89. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          10  29-11   12
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   13-15
90. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  29-10   11
Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   13-09
91. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  29-10   10
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   15-08
91. David Williams         Maiden, NC              10  29-10   10
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   14-02
93. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL        10  29-09    8
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   18-09
94. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN         10  29-07    7
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   14-12
95. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX               10  29-03    6
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   15-05
96. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  28-15    5
Day 1: 5   15-03     Day 2: 5   13-12
97. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS              10  28-14    4
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   15-03
98. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX              10  28-10    3
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   15-00
99. Stephen Longobardi     Northford, CT           10  28-04    2
Day 1: 5   12-11     Day 2: 5   15-09
100. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK              10  27-10    1
Day 1: 5   12-13     Day 2: 5   14-13
101. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ             10  26-09    0
Day 1: 5   10-13     Day 2: 5   15-12
102. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               9  26-01    0
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 4   10-02
103. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            9  25-15    0
Day 1: 4   09-14     Day 2: 5   16-01
104. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  25-11    0
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   11-13
105. Joseph Sancho          New Windsor, NY         10  25-11    0
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   12-01
106. Jared Miller           Norman, OK               9  25-02    0
Day 1: 4   11-00     Day 2: 5   14-02
107. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  24-13    0
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   13-07
108. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC          10  24-12    0
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   13-04
109. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL           10  23-10    0
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   12-01
110. David Smith            Del City, OK            10  23-06    0
Day 1: 5   10-14     Day 2: 5   12-08
111. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              9  23-01    0
Day 1: 4   09-14     Day 2: 5   13-03
112. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          9  22-03    0
Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 4   10-01
113. Boo Woods              Oneida, KY               7  20-13    0
Day 1: 2   05-11     Day 2: 5   15-02
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1       108       558      1930-13
2       108       557      1939-03
———————————-
216      1115      3870-00