Edges New Jersey’s Mike Iaconelli by 11 Ounces to Win 2009
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – (Feb. 22, 2009) – After Skeet
Reese of Auburn, Calif., realized his first career goal in 2007 of
winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year award in the
Bassmaster Elite Series, he set his sights on winning bass fishing’s
Just 1 ½ years later, Reese fulfilled the dream, winning the 2009
Bassmaster Classic Sunday on the Red River with 54 pounds, 13
ounces, barely beating 2003 Bassmaster Classic winner Mike Iaconelli
of Runnemede, N.J., who had 54 pounds, 2 ounces after a Day Three
haul of 20 pounds, 3 ounces.
So what goal will the 39-year-old Reese set for himself next?
“Repeat, repeat, repeat,” Reese said.
“Winning Angler of the Year – at the time – was the biggest
achievement of my career, that was my lifelong dream. Since I won
that title in 2007, I’ve had a new focus and a new dream, and this
is it. You don’t know when it’s going to be your time. To win a
one-derby event like this – our Super Bowl, with everything on the
line, it is tough to do.
“Now I’m going back to working on another Angler of the Year.”
Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, the 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion,
awarded an emotional and excitable Reese the 2009 trophy on stage at
the CenturyTel Center in front of a capacity crowd. Jones finished
14th with 46-11.
Just behind Reese and Iaconelli, Brian Snowden of Reeds Spring, Mo.,
was third with 52-14; Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., was
fourth with 52-1; and Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., rounded out the
top five with his 51-5.
Jami Fralick of Martin, S.D., who was second after Day One and lead
the Classic after Day Two, fell to eighth with a final weight of
Changing weather conditions forced the 25 competitors to change
their plans Sunday as water temperature dropped overnight.
Reese, whose Sunday total was 16 pounds, 12 ounces, concentrated on
a few areas just outside Caspiana Lake to find groups of fish. He
said the water cooled by four or five degrees and he couldn’t catch
fish Sunday on the spawning areas he worked Friday and Saturday.
“My bigger fish came out of the muddy water,” Reese said. “Anytime
we fish high-pressure, post-front conditions, clear-water fish are
the hardest to catch. They’re moving up there to spawn, but when it
gets cold like that, they pull back out and into ditches. If you
have fish in dirty water, those fish are going to be easier to
catch. The fish felt more comfortable staying shallow where the
water temperature stayed warmer.”
Reese fished most of the tournament at the neck of Caspiana Lake. He
caught his first three fish Sunday on a 3/8-ounce white Redemption
spinnerbait with a nickel blade, and the others came while he was
flipping a black and blue Berkley Crazy Leg Chigger Craw.
“I made a conscious decision to stay in Pool 5 and put myself in the
area that had the highest possible potential for me winning the
tournament,” Reese said. “That lake back there, every local knows
about it. I read a little about it online, something about Caspiana
Lake, and you look on a map and it’s one of the best looking lakes
in Pool 5.”
Iaconelli, who worked the edge of a slope in a cove, was grateful
Sunday for what he called a magic day, bringing to the boat every
fish that bit, unlike his first two days when he lost a few lunkers.
“I had a two-pronged approach out here,” Iaconelli said of his three
days on the Red. He used reaction baits to cover water, and then a
LaserLure crankbait in a custom black and blue; he also fished an
Ike’s Revenge, a Chatterbait style lure by Longshank, in black and
blue; a black and blue Ike’s Finesse Jig by Berkley; and finally a
Tru-Tungsten black and red metalflake tube.
“All week I used all four of those baits interchangeably,” he said.
“When I got in there today the water was 50 degrees. It was 10
degrees colder than at the start of the tournament. So I threw that
reaction stuff for 10, 20 minutes and nothing. I realized I had to
slow down, so I fished a 4 ½-inch tube all day. I caught all my
stuff today on that tube.”
Louisiana’s own Greg Hackney, of Gonzales, had the big bass of the
day, a 7 pound, 1 ounce lunker. Kenyon Hill of Norman, Okla., had
the big bag of the tournament with his Sunday haul of 24 pounds, 2
The 2008 Toyota Tundra Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year
Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., who made history Friday in
becoming the first woman to fish the Bassmaster Classic, missed the
cut Saturday, finishing the tournament in 47th place with a two-day
total of 12 pounds, 2 ounces.
Two-time Classic champion Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., the 2008
Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, finished 30th with
ESPN2, ESPN360.com and Bassmaster.com are providing extensive
coverage of the three-day competition. Schedules are posted at
Sponsors of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic: Toyota Trucks, Berkley,
BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries,
Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.
For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With
its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament
trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans.
Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS
Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive Web properties
in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is
committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally,
television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant
content – from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage –
to passionate audiences.
The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament
trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens,
Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate
celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network,
the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events
BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000
members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues
related to conservation and water access. The organization is
headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
Courtesy of BASS Inc.