Good enough to host Major League Fishing’s Summit Cup twice in the past five years. “The
fishing was just phenomenal. Outside of Florida or Minnesota, the sheer amount and access to water is incredible.” said Mike “Ike” Iaconelli,who finished 3rd the last time that the Summit Cup was held in Central Maine. In his fishing career, Mike is the only angler to have won the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year and B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. “We fish all over the U.S and for me, I fish all over the world and the quality of fish in Maine is incredible. It almost seems like the fish have never been caught before. The number of fish and lack of fishing pressure helps to highlight that this is amazing world-class fishing” Iaconelli commented.
Major League Fishing worked with Mid-Maine Bass Fishingto keep the event quiet while the anglers were competing. “It was so much fun to have these professional anglers here,” said Mike Guarino, Maine Guide and owner of Maine Wilderness Tours, “It gives the local economy a boost and it highlights the great fishing that we have here in Maine.” Guarino is also a member of Mid-Maine Bass Fishing.
In order to be a part of the competition, anglers must go through a qualifying process and be one of the top 24 best bass anglers in the world. To be the level of angler that these men are, you need to be really good at reading the water, “I watched them hit the water and begin catching fish within 30 minutes. They were in the same spots that took my three years to find” continued Guarino, “They are a bunch of really great guys that took the time to talk to the community members that came to out to meet them and watch them fish. We are lucky that we had the chance to host them twice within five years.”
|Mike Iaconelli and a Maine smallmouth caught on the new Abu Garcia Ike Series rod and reel!
Iaconelli agreed “Maine is unique in that there are two prevalent species. Normally, we are targeting just large mouth, so it adds to the challenge when you are fishing for both small and large. The Belgrade Lake area is also a fantastic location with the amount of lakes, overall lack of fishing pressure and you can go from a river to a pond to a lake all within the course of a day. Plus, you’re not too far from salt water fishing.”
When asked about what his strategy is for fishing in these types of tournaments, Iaconelli said that he tries to “match the hatch” and use lures that will mimic what bass are naturally eating during that time of year. It is a strategy that fly fishermen know well. The more natural your lure, the more opportunity you will have for getting a bite.
Maine and resources like the Mid-Maine Bass Fishing help all levels of anglers get the information the they are looking for to ensure a great outdoor experience. “If you hunt or fish or like the outdoors, it is the most magical place ever. I really like Maine. In the late summer and early fall, it is a beautiful time to be up here fishing” said Iaconelli.
Mid-Maine Bass Fishing works in partnership with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce to be the go to for all things related to fishing. It is a resource for local and statewide anglers as well as travelers looking to pick a spot for a great trip. It provides information on where and what amenities each boat landing has, where to go shore fishing, where to stay and much more. You can watch interviews of the anglers who took part in the Major League Fishing’s Summit Cup, while they were here in August, on the Mid-Maine Bass Fishing Facebook page.
Starting on Saturday Feb 16th from 2-4pm, you can watch the Summit Cup on the Outdoor Channel, with the finale airing on March 23rd. You can watch all of the anglers fishing the same ponds that you have access to, plan your summer fishing trips AND you can see how far Mike Iaconelli makes it during the competition.