Philadelphia ‘goes Ike’
Native son wins big at home
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Michael Iaconelli hopped five feet down off the Bassmaster Elite Series stage, turned and hoisted his 55-pound winner’s trophy, then practically danced with it up through the roaring audience stacked on the concrete steps of the Great Stage of Penn’s Landing.
Moments before, he had told the crowd exactly what he was feeling as he won Bassmaster Elite on the Delaware River.
“I won today, but not for me. I won for you guys,” said Iaconelli, Philly-born and raised in New Jersey.
Suddenly, “Going Ike” took on a new meaning.
When the fishing goes very right and when the fishing goes horribly wrong, Iaconelli is famous for his, um, unrepressed vocal and physical expression. Now, “Going Ike” also means achieving the win of any pro angler’s dreams.
Sunday, Ike nailed what few anglers have been able to: win a Bassmaster Elite Series event on home water. He topped that by whipping the field by no less than 8 pounds.
His winning total was 47 pounds, 14 ounces — a respectable weight for any midsummer tournament, and, as Iaconelli pointed out, proof that the Delaware River is a fishery worth any bass angler’s time.