Fishing & Boating News

"Ike" Joins Bass Cat Family

Mike Iaconelli joins the "Bass Cat Family".
Photo by courtesy Yamaha Marine Group
(Dec. 21, 2006 - Mountain Home, AR) The Bass Cat Family of Owners, the Pierces and staff of Bass Cat Boats are pleased to announce that Mike Iaconelli will be joining the "Bass Cat Family".

He comes into a rich history of over 35 years for Bass Cat this season. Mike will be embraced and welcomed to the Elite angler group of the "Bass Cat Family" and by the entire "family" of Bass Cat Owners. The first open "Family" Ownership exposure to Mike will be at this seasons Bass Cat Invitational to be held on Lake Norfork, May 4th and 5th, 2007.

"Our Owners have become known and acknowledged as "Family", and they will all be anxious to meet the real Mike Iaconelli. That interaction will allow them to see the Mike they meet and compare him to the 'Ike' of television." Stated Rick Pierce

Mike's angling achievements are numerous, and his winnings totals speak for themselves, along with his many titles. He worked his way up through the BASS regime from the roots of the Federation. Mike is the reigning Angler of the Year from the BASS Elite Series and has multiple BassMAster Classic qualifications. Though Bass Cat is most excited about the relationship and the youth that Mike brings to the sport.

His character plays well to youth and children everywhere. He will stay hours on end to get that last autograph signed, when others have gone on to their rooms. That dedication is going to bode well for him as a part of the "Bass Cat Family". It shows he cares.

This merging of Mike and Bass Cat will reach out that younger market base, which BCB want's to appeal to. The traditional market for a Bass Cat is a baby boomer market. That market is changing and Mike as well as other new staff members to be announced after the first of January.

The BCB company is poised for growth in the bass boat market after redirecting the bass boat line up in 2003.

"Both Jan and I are in support of this move, as we strive to change in a changing bass fishing market. Mike will be here soon to just spend time and visit with all of us, and learn more of what we are about." Commented Ron Pierce

Memo From Rick Pierce:

The first time Mike and I met, was many years ago on Lake Norman while participating in a BASS Top 100 competition. At the time he was a co-angler and as I recall it was a lackluster event for us both. Mike was a scrappy guy with a big enthusiasm for fishing, and that he has not lost. His passion and exhuberance are expressive and that passion is not waining.

It is a wonderful sight to watch the 'Ike' at work. This season at Kentucky, Shaw Grigsby, who is a friend, and I were in the parking lot after the weighin visiting. He was exploiting the virtues of "Ike", in that Mike was the last to leave and he really admires that in him. Just then as the crowd was gone, here came Mike the last out of the water and stopping to sign an autograph as he exited the parking lot. Whether you like him or not, that is a true quality trait.

This is very aggressive and could have been viewed as a controversial move for us, with our very dedicated and conservative Bass Cat Family of Owners. Mike comes to us knowing full well how we are with our anglers and our direction for the future. He knows we stay in touch and are here to help him move his career forward. Through that we will gain in our historical position of bass fishing heritage.

Mike knows how involved we are and how we share his passion for the sport. He knows we are interactive with our anglers, and we will be in constant communication. Together we both anticipate great things to come out of this relationship. Mike and I both viewed this as a relationship as much as a business matter. It has been over a year, going back into 2005 in the making. This was not a decision we neither one took lightly. We look forward to many years together.

I can't say it any better than he did today as we were preparing for the release of this news. The comment below is a presonal note from Mike to me in preparing for this moment.

So here are Mike words below. We are pleased and honored to have him as a Bass Cat Family member.

Thank you for your time and Merry Christmas to all!

Rick Pierce

Mike Iaconelli personal memo to Rick:


After brainstorming this last night and this morning, I came up with a few ideas and quotes. I think the perception that we want to getacross should be deeper than that this was a business deal. We want to get to the heart of why Basscat and myself are in the fishing business. Words like passion, love, excitement, andcommitment to grow, come to mind. The funny thing in fishing is that although anglers are from many different backgrounds (male, female, east, west, south, central, old, young, traditional, etc.), all anglers do it for the same reasons. If we can make that the message it will be heart felt by all.


Statement on the relationship with Bass Cat by Mike Iaconelli:

I've been watching and admiring Bass Cat from the sidelines for many years. Two good friends of mine, Matt Newman and Marty Stone,are members of theBass Cat family. Last year, while on a photo shoot with Matt, I got to experience a Bass Cat boat first hand. It had everything in a boat that I'm looking for. From a first class smooth fast ride, to a great layout that is unlike any other, to amazing fish-ability, I was super impressed. Also last year, during a hunting trip with Marty, I got to learn more about the Pierce family and their values and commitment to the sport. So with all of this, I'm very pleased and happyto be joining theBass Cat family. I know that Bass Cat will help to move my fishing up an entire notch!

Comment by Marty Stone on Mike Iaconelli:

I remember having Mike come to my home two years ago and spend three days with me and my family deer hunting. I remember Mike spending two hours with my two year old daughter playing tea party (Did I mention she warms up to nobody, but a select few and she took to him immediately). I remember Mike agreeing to go to Eureka Springs barber shop (a place where local legends are made and discussed-so far I am just a conversation piece definitely not legend material) to meet a couple of teenage young men who heard he was coming to town.

I had the privilege of seeing a side of "Ike" that few will ever see. I also got to spend a couple of days in a deer stand with a loaded weapon with a guy from Jersey and we all (including the deer) lived to tell about it. I thought at the time would it be "cool" to have Ike a part of my Bass Catfamily. I knew at the time that he was with another company, but that there was an opportunity. So I did what anybody in my shoes would do. I picked up the phone and called Rick Pierce. (I actually do this a lot, but he did not tell me how crazy this idea was.)

So here we are. I stepped out of the picture and let Rick and Mike do their thing. I have recently found out that Mike is now a part of this family. Every family needs a black sheep and we got the best in the business. Is Mike controversial, passionate, prone to make a few mistakes (for those that have never made one go ahead and throw the first rock), outlandish with his out burst, and sometimes plane "goofy." Does he have a bad taste in his dress (especially those shoes and socks)?- absolutely! Has he elevated a sport that has needing elevating more than anybody in recent memory? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

More importantly Mike is now a part of the Bass Cat family. A family member who I am proud to call a friend. I am excited about Mike joining our family (now Rick will have a new member to help with the Cat work load and as a"bigger" brother I can helpin making sure it gets done! HA! HA)!

Does this mean he will never be "Ike" again? I truly doubt it and more importantly hope not. He is who he is and I am thankful that he is not afraid of being different! So I say to everybody in our family. Welcome him into his new home and sit back with a sheepish grin and see what he does next. Oh by the way did I mention that he can fish. Classic win, Angler of the year, multiple winner on tour, quickest in BASS history to a million, Federation champion, etc., etc.!

Mike welcome! Your friend!

Marty Stone

For more information, please contactBass Cat Boats at 870-481-5135.