VanDam says purported ‘battle with Ike’ simply media hype
Folks tuning in to IKE Live on Sunday night were probably thinking there would be fireworks between guest Kevin VanDam and Mike Iaconelli, especially after their run-in at BASSfest in 2014.
KVD and Ike didn’t disappoint viewers during the entertaining webcast, but it was a dud as far as conflict. VanDam said he realizes such story lines create interest.
“People are always looking for that,” he said. “I went through the same thing for years with Skeet. And the bottom line is, I’ve got nothing but love for you. I wish you nothing but the best.
“Anybody who is a fierce competitor is going to have times when it may seem like that. In Bassmaster, the media is looking for things. All your career, you’ve had multiple instances where they’re looking for something.”
VanDam said he’s admired Ike’s competiveness since he first saw him in early events. He also respects his successes gained at weigh-ins, with fans and his charitable foundation.
“We’re a lot alike in a lot of ways. Our styles are a lot alike,” VanDam said. “I think just because we’re both aggressive, people just want to see us go at it.”
Iaconelli, who said early encounters with VanDam helped stoke his career, said people need to realize competitors in most every sport might be battling one second but hold respect and admiration for those they compete against.
“My mom is the most competitive person there is,” VanDam said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s baking, playing cards or whatever it is. I know that’s where I get it from. I kind of understand why people are that way.”
KVD appeared live via Skype from his home in Kalamazoo, Mich. That connection was lost but he called back in, giving some nuggets while answering questions from viewers.
He offered some family news of interest to Elite fans — nephew Jonathon VanDam got engaged. He also took on a Twitter question if Bass Pro Shops was buying the North Pole.
“As much stuff as Johnny is buying, nothing would surprise me,” said KVD, referring to rumors BPS owner Johnny Morris has put in a bid to purchase Cabela’s.
Other questions for KVD included what he might be doing if not pro fishing, and who is the biggest partier among the pros. Check out IKE LIVE for the answers.
McClelland finally ate up
Mike McClelland was doing pretty well about not making the 2016 Classic on Grand Lake, where he’d be among the favorites — he finished fifth in 2013. But it’s gotten to him the last month or so.
“It really has ate at me,” he said. “I didn’t let it get to me as bad as I have the last 30 days. Being home, not having a lot going on, has really compounded the situation.”
McClelland got a constant reminder about the Classic as his son, Justin, competed for a berth through the Team Championships in December. And he’s been getting calls from qualifiers, and reporters, trying to get his insight on Grand before the Jan. 1 cutoff.
“The fact that my son was still competing for a Classic spot two weeks ago really started eating at me,” he said. “I wanted him to win that opportunity.
“I’m getting calls from different people who are wanting to bounce ideas off me and talk fishing. I told everybody I don’t want to talk specific locations. I’ve opened myself up to some buddies that are fishing the Classic, just about the way it might fish, and that makes it even tougher.”
Fighting to fish
Mark Menendez won his court battle against a harasser, now Bass Pro Shops Opens angler Ed Loughran is seeking court relief for a similar situation he encountered while practicing for the James River event.
The difference is Loughran is also a lawyer, and he’s fighting in Hopewell General District Court for the right of all anglers to fish public waters.
“This is a matter of principle,” he said. “That’s why I’ve chased it so doggedly.”
Check out Robert Montgomery’s story here.
James Overstreet started with JM Associates doing the telemetry on the bass for the early tournaments. He’d catch a nice bass and he and a biologist would put a tracking unit inside the fish. Each day they’d go out to find it and record its movements.
It wasn’t long before Steve Bowman asked Overstreet, since he was already at the events, to take some photographs of anglers at the weigh-in. That’s some 15 years ago. The rest is history.
Over the past decade, Overstreet has documented anglers doing their thing, and doing it so well he’s earned initial status — he’s known simply as JO.
Here’s his selections for his top 100 images of 2015.
Clunn and done
The headline simply read “Is Rick Clunn done?” Steve Wright’s story covered much more than whether the 70-year-old bass fishing legend was going to continue fishing in 2016. He is.
The question of tournament anglers getting help was broached, with Clunn saying things like, “I resented all these guys getting help,” although it helped him because most of that info was imprecise. “Now days, it’s really changed … it’s like you’ve got drug suppliers everywhere, giving you quality dope. With GPS, they’re giving you precision.”
See the story here, and be sure to check out the comments section. The topic of getting help is well debated. (Ike and Pete Gluszcek brought up this story and the subject on IKE LIVE Sunday night.)
Reporters have gotten stiffed for interviews since the dawn of journalism, even by pro anglers who seemingly would help themselves and sponsors by getting their name out there. Now, Pete Robbins asks for feedback on what to do about pros not answering the call in this article, “Pro Staff Fails.” The question is should writers contact sponsors when anglers don’t answer interview requests?