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Mike Iaconelli enjoys Bassmaster Classic experience at Grand Lake

The former champion finished fourth and worked on techniques to help him the rest of the season.
BY MIKE IACONELLI, For The Oklahoman Published: March 2, 2013

Editor's Note: Mike Iaconelli is a former Bassmaster Classic champion and one of the top pros on the Bassmaster Tour.

He competed in last weekend's Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake ‘O the Cherokees.

My return to Oklahoma was outstanding. Not only did I get to fish some wonderful bass water at Grand Lake but I also competed in my 14th Bassmaster Classic.

I figured going in that it would take around 18 pounds per day to win and my total weight of 48 and a half pounds was good for fourth place. But I have no regrets as I was able to develop and follow a great plan and didn't make any mistakes.

I also refined a technique during the Classic that will help me throughout the season and will help you not only as winter winds down, but also as we get into the prime of spring bass fishing.

The conditions at Grand were not ideal for sure with wind chills in the single digits and clear skies. But knowing the fish were not really affected, I kept to my plan.

Waters I trusted to hold fish were first worked with crankbaits and jerkbaits with slow and shallow retrieves, looking for pre-spawn bass.

As always, every bite was critical and no lapses in concentration were allowed. Once I had made my preliminary pass, primarily on main and secondary points, where I caught fish I retraced my boat path with my clean up bait.

I changed to a new Berkley bait, first used at this Classic. The bait, the Havoc Beat Shad, is one I designed for simple applications. For Grand Lake, I chose oyster pearl.

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