Monday, October 1, 2012

Fishing on the Edge - The Mike Iaconelli Story

I just finished Mike Iaconelli's book Fishing on the Edge last night. Ike is one of the greats, with a BASS Master Classic win in 2003, BASS Angler of the Year in 2006, and many other notable achievements along the way and since. I decided to read it because I wanted to hear the story of how a boy growing up fishing the same waters I'm fishing now in South Jersey managed to become a major player in the professional circuits. It turns out it just took an insane love of the sport and a lot of hard, relentless work.

His story, told through his own words, is inspirational and I felt it really got to the heart of what it means to be a professional bass angler. He talks about the sacrifices he had to make along the way to his 2003 Classic win, and what getting there meant to him. It also solidified the fact that I have no desire to be a professional (or even semi-professional) angler. It's definitely not a lifestyle I would enjoy (well, at least not until there's a kayak division..)

Ike can be a polarizing figure in the sport, with his over the top style, marketing savvy, and willingness to push the envelope a bit further than most, and it was interesting to hear the whole story from his perspective. You can't deny his genuine enthusiasm for the sport.

Whether your first impression of him hit you the right way or not, this is a good read. He puts some tips throughout the book, but this is definitely a biography, not a how-to. All in all I have to say my opinion of him really changed after reading this. To hear how much he cares about the sport itself, the insane amount of work he puts into it, and the thought process behind his showman style really helped to put him in perspective for me. Ike's doing his best to attract new (and younger) people to the sport and break bass fishing into the main stream - to 'make it the next NASCAR' in is own words.

And I'm all for that. I can't stand NASCAR and it's about time for something I enjoy to go mainstream.

You can buy an autographed copy off his site, or save a few bucks and get a digital version like I did.