Mike Iaconelli Leads Day 1 at Elite Series BASSfest

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Elite Series Bass Fest 2014 Day One Leader Mike Iaconelli - photo by Seigo Saito - Bassmaster

Elite Series Bass Fest 2014 Day One Leader Mike Iaconelli – photo by Seigo Saito – Bassmaster

DAYTON, Tenn. — There are few secrets on Lake Chickamauga this week among the 140 anglers in the June 11-15 Bassmaster BASSfest event.

Even Michael Iaconelli, who caught 25 pounds, 12 ounces of bass within one hour to take the first-day BASSfest lead, claims not to have a spot to himself or a unique technique to catch the bass he’s located on the Tennessee River impoundment.

“I found five schools of fish — and they were all found by others, too. I have nothing to myself. There are no secrets here,” said the Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Pitts Grove, N.J.

“But seeing them and catching them are two different things. Ask anyone here. They’ve all found amazing, winning schools of fish. You have to get the first one to bite and fire up the school,” he added.

Camped on one of the five schools, Iaconelli did just that. But, he added, perhaps what he tempted the bass with wasn’t as important as his timing.

“My timing was right. I figured out how to get the first one to bite, and the rest of the school was ignited. I was there for that. You take away that hour, then I had a really tough day,” he said.

Iaconelli, a seven-time Bassmaster champion, including the 2003 Bassmaster Classic, has never competed before on Chickamauga.

Edwin Evers’ account of his first competition day was almost identical to Iaconelli’s. A 30- to 40-minute flurry late in the afternoon yielded 24-3 from one school of bass. His last-hour bounty was good enough for second place, just 1 pound, 9 ounces behind Iaconelli.

“It was all timing,” said Evers, an Elite pro from Talala, Okla.

Evers said he’s sharing water with other competitors, and everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

“I don’t think there are any secrets here,” Evers said.

At least one Elite pro has a secret he’s trying to keep. Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., was cagey about the bait combo he used to land 24-1 and third place.

“I am doing something different. It’s working pretty well,” Biffle said.

But Biffle was candid about where he found his quality bass: outside grasslines in about 16 feet of water.

His bite was slow; he didn’t have a limit until 11:30, he said. He hooked into about six keepers all day, including a 5-pounder that came unhooked, and would have improved his weight via a cull by about 2 pounds, he said.

“Seemed like every time I caught one, it was a good one,” he said.

Biffle weighed the day’s largest bass, an 8-6, making him the frontrunner for the event’s Carhartt Big Bass bonus of up to $1,500.

Fourth place was taken by an Elite pro and 2004 Classic champ, Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas. He weighed 22-15. In fifth place was another Elite pro and four-time Classic champ, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., with 22-9.

Part competition, part festival, BASSfest is a unique event. The field includes the 107 pros of the Bassmaster Elite Series plus 33 anglers from the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens circuit. They are competing over five days for a first-place prize of $125,000 and a berth in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

Wednesday was round No. 1 with the full field on Chickamauga. All 140 pros will return to Chickamauga Thursday.

But come Friday, the Top 50 from Thursday will stay on shore. The other 90 anglers will go into a shootout on nearby Nickajack Lake. The 10 pros who survive the shootout will rejoin the 50 anglers Saturday for the next round on Chickamauga. Sunday, the Top 12 will return to “The Chick” to compete for the trophy.

While the pros are fishing Friday through Sunday, fans can enjoy the BASSfest Expo and Bassmaster University seminars solely on Friday at Point Park in Dayton. Bassmaster University sessions will feature some of the Top 50 anglers teaching their techniques for catching bass on Chickamauga and other fisheries. Fans also are invited to watch the pros take off from the park’s docks at 6:15 a.m. Thursday and at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Weigh-ins — free, like all BASSfest events — will begin at 3:15 p.m. Thursday and at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Nickajack weigh-in will be streamed live to the park on Friday beginning at 2:30 p.m.

All times are Eastern.

The local host of the event is the City of Dayton.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, 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, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Chickamauga Lake 6/11-6/15
Chickamauga Lake, Dayton  TN.
Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts

1.  Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  25-12    0
Day 1: 5   25-12
2.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  24-03    0
Day 1: 5   24-03
3.  Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  24-01    0
Day 1: 5   24-01
4.  Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  22-15    0
Day 1: 5   22-15
5.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  22-09    0
Day 1: 5   22-09
6.  Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  22-07    0
Day 1: 5   22-07
7.  Jacob Wheeler          Indianapolis, IN         5  22-06    0
Day 1: 5   22-06
8.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  22-05    0
Day 1: 5   22-05
9.  Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           5  21-08    0
Day 1: 5   21-08
10. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                5  21-03    0
Day 1: 5   21-03
11. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  20-10    0
Day 1: 5   20-10
12. David Smith            Del City, OK             5  20-06    0
Day 1: 5   20-06
13. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  20-05    0
Day 1: 5   20-05
14. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                5  20-00    0
Day 1: 5   20-00
15. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  19-07    0
Day 1: 5   19-07
16. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  19-02    0
Day 1: 5   19-02
16. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  19-02    0
Day 1: 5   19-02
18. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  19-01    0
Day 1: 5   19-01
19. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  18-14    0
Day 1: 5   18-14
20. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID               5  17-15    0
Day 1: 5   17-15
21. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                5  17-05    0
Day 1: 5   17-05
22. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  17-03    0
Day 1: 5   17-03
23. Randall Tharp          Port Saint Joe, FL       5  17-01    0
Day 1: 5   17-01
24. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX                5  16-13    0
Day 1: 5   16-13
24. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL         5  16-13    0
Day 1: 5   16-13
26. Joseph Sancho          New Windsor, NY          5  16-12    0
Day 1: 5   16-12
27. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA             5  16-05    0
Day 1: 5   16-05
28. Tracy Adams            Wilkesboro, NC           5  16-04    0
Day 1: 5   16-04
29. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  16-02    0
Day 1: 5   16-02
30. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  16-01    0
Day 1: 5   16-01
31. Stephen Mui            Bartlett, IL             5  16-01    0
Day 1: 5   16-01
32. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  16-00    0
Day 1: 5   16-00
33. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  15-15    0
Day 1: 5   15-15
34. Michael Murphy         Lexington, SC            5  15-13    0
Day 1: 5   15-13
35. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA             5  15-10    0
Day 1: 5   15-10
36. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         4  15-10    0
Day 1: 4   15-10
37. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        5  15-08    0
Day 1: 5   15-08
38. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL              5  15-05    0
Day 1: 5   15-05
39. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI              5  15-03    0
Day 1: 5   15-03
40. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  15-00    0
Day 1: 5   15-00
41. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  14-15    0
Day 1: 5   14-15
42. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            5  14-13    0
Day 1: 5   14-13
43. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               4  14-13    0
Day 1: 4   14-13
44. Rich Howes             Oviedo, FL               5  14-08    0
Day 1: 5   14-08
45. Jared Knuth            Wahoo, NE                5  14-03    0
Day 1: 5   14-03
46. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  14-03    0
Day 1: 5   14-03
47. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR            4  13-15    0
Day 1: 4   13-15
48. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  13-14    0
Day 1: 5   13-14
49. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               5  13-13    0
Day 1: 5   13-13
50. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        3  13-13    0
Day 1: 3   13-13
51. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  13-11    0
Day 1: 5   13-11
52. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          5  13-10    0
Day 1: 5   13-10
53. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  13-09    0
Day 1: 5   13-09
54. David Lefebre          Erie, PA                 5  12-15    0
Day 1: 5   12-15
55. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  12-14    0
Day 1: 5   12-14
56. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  12-13    0
Day 1: 5   12-13
57. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  4  12-13    0
Day 1: 4   12-13
58. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX              4  12-12    0
Day 1: 4   12-12
59. Chad Wiley             Pineville, LA            4  12-11    0
Day 1: 4   12-11
60. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  12-10    0
Day 1: 5   12-10
60. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             5  12-10    0
Day 1: 5   12-10
62. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  12-08    0
Day 1: 5   12-08
63. Glenn Browne           Ocala, FL                5  12-02    0
Day 1: 5   12-02
63. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  12-02    0
Day 1: 5   12-02
65. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  12-00    0
Day 1: 5   12-00
66. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  11-11    0
Day 1: 5   11-11
66. Bobby Lane             Lakeland, FL             5  11-11    0
Day 1: 5   11-11
68. Jamie Horton           Centerville, AL          4  11-09    0
Day 1: 4   11-09
69. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  11-08    0
Day 1: 5   11-08
70. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  11-06    0
Day 1: 5   11-06
70. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  11-06    0
Day 1: 5   11-06
72. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          3  11-05    0
Day 1: 3   11-05
73. Brian Clark            Haltom City, TX          5  11-03    0
Day 1: 5   11-03
73. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL         5  11-03    0
Day 1: 5   11-03
75. Jim Dillard            West Monroe, LA          5  11-00    0
Day 1: 5   11-00
75. Morizo Shimizu         Osaka JAPAN              5  11-00    0
Day 1: 5   11-00
77. JT Kenney              Palm Bay, FL             4  10-14    0
Day 1: 4   10-14
78. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  10-12    0
Day 1: 5   10-12
79. Boo Woods              Oneida, KY               4  10-11    0
Day 1: 4   10-11
80. Michael Simonton       Fremont, OH              5  10-08    0
Day 1: 5   10-08
81. Joel Baker             Talala, OK               5  10-05    0
Day 1: 5   10-05
82. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  10-04    0
Day 1: 5   10-04
83. Charlie Evans          Gilbertsville, KY        5  10-00    0
Day 1: 5   10-00
84. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          5  09-15    0
Day 1: 5   09-15
85. Jeremy Starks          Scott Depot, WV          4  09-15    0
Day 1: 4   09-15
86. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR            5  09-11    0
Day 1: 5   09-11
87. Jared Miller           Norman, OK               2  09-11    0
Day 1: 2   09-11
88. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               4  09-10    0
Day 1: 4   09-10
89. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  09-07    0
Day 1: 5   09-07
90. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL                3  09-07    0
Day 1: 3   09-07
91. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS               4  09-06    0
Day 1: 4   09-06
92. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         3  09-06    0
Day 1: 3   09-06
93. Randy Howell           Springville, AL          4  09-00    0
Day 1: 4   09-00
94. Mike Elsea             Mooresville, IN          3  08-15    0
Day 1: 3   08-15
95. James Biggerstaff      Odessa, TX               3  08-14    0
Day 1: 3   08-14
96. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               3  08-11    0
Day 1: 3   08-11
97. Tommy Durham           Whitney, TX              4  08-10    0
Day 1: 4   08-10
98. Trevor Romans          Plano, TX                3  08-08    0
Day 1: 3   08-08
99. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK         3  08-07    0
Day 1: 3   08-07
99. Byron Velvick          Boenre, TX               3  08-07    0
Day 1: 3   08-07
101. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              3  07-13    0
Day 1: 3   07-13
102. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         3  07-12    0
Day 1: 3   07-12
103. Derek Fulps            Broken Arrow, OK         3  07-10    0
Day 1: 3   07-10
104. Rick Morris            Lake Gaston, VA          4  07-04    0
Day 1: 4   07-04
105. Kelly Jordon           Palestine, TX            3  07-04    0
Day 1: 3   07-04
106. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            2  07-00    0
Day 1: 2   07-00
107. Paul Pagnato           Reston, VA               3  06-14    0
Day 1: 3   06-14
108. Matt Lee               Auburn , AL              2  06-11    0
Day 1: 2   06-11
109. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              3  06-08    0
Day 1: 3   06-08
110. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                4  06-07    0
Day 1: 4   06-07
111. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            3  06-07    0
Day 1: 3   06-07
112. Brian Potter           Claremore, OK            2  06-07    0
Day 1: 2   06-07
113. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              3  06-06    0
Day 1: 3   06-06
114. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          3  06-05    0
Day 1: 3   06-05
115. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX           3  05-04    0
Day 1: 3   05-04
116. Al Farace              Cockeysville, MD         2  05-03    0
Day 1: 2   05-03
116. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK               2  05-03    0
Day 1: 2   05-03
116. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               2  05-03    0
Day 1: 2   05-03
119. Kendall Newson         Decatur, GA              2  04-14    0
Day 1: 2   04-14
120. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                2  04-11    0
Day 1: 2   04-11
120. Powell Kemp            Scotland Neck, NC        2  04-11    0
Day 1: 2   04-11
122. David Kilgore          Jasper, AL               2  04-07    0
Day 1: 2   04-07
123. Steve Sennikoff        Forney, TX               2  04-02    0
Day 1: 2   04-02
124. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            2  04-02    0
Day 1: 2   04-02
125. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            2  03-15    0
Day 1: 2   03-15
126. Bill Weidler           Helena, AL               2  03-13    0
Day 1: 2   03-13
127. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                 2  03-12    0
Day 1: 2   03-12
128. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ              1  03-10    0
Day 1: 1   03-10
129. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          2  03-08    0
Day 1: 2   03-08
130. Jeff Cloud             Lubbock, TX              1  02-15    0
Day 1: 1   02-15
130. Pete Ponds             Madison, MS              1  02-15    0
Day 1: 1   02-15
132. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            1  02-13    0
Day 1: 1   02-13
133. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH           1  02-10    0
Day 1: 1   02-10
133. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            1  02-10    0
Day 1: 1   02-10
135. Gary Clouse            La Vergne, TN            1  02-02    0
Day 1: 1   02-02
136. Patrick Pierce         Jacksonville, FL         1  02-01    0
Day 1: 1   02-01
137. Grant Goldbeck         Boerne, TX               1  00-00    0
Day 1: 1   00-00
138. Jamey Caldwell         Carthage, NC             0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
138. Lucas Ragusa           Gonzales, LA             0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
138. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        75       542      1617-01
———————————-
75       542      1617-01