Ike's Conroe Pattern

Friday, November 04, 2011

Photo: Jason Miczek
Mike Iaconelli cranked at Conroe with a graphite/glass composite Veritas rod from Abu Garcia.

Mike Iaconelli recently finished 2nd, for the second year in a row, at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) at Lake Conroe. Ike actually tied Keith Combs for the win, then Combs won during the sudden-death fish-off.

Combs said he ran hundreds of waypoints and cranked manmade brushpiles at each of them. Ike did the complete opposite and talks about his pattern for the first time below.

Flat Spots Held Bass

Ike essentially caught his fish from a single hotspot that boasted several features.

"In practice, I started at the mouth of a creek and was working my way back," Ike said. "The water was low and I came across a sandbar about halfway back into the creek. The sandbar actually stuck out because of the low water, and right at the tip of the sandbar, the creek channel came in and made an elbow and just touched the sandbar.

"I found it using Lowrance side imaging, and there was a flat spot that came down off this sandbar that caught my eye. The whole side had a 45-degree angle except for that one flat spot. I made three casts, caught three fish and that immediate success gave me the clues I needed to know what to look for."

He also developed a secondary pattern isolated deep brush in 12 to 15 feet of water plus a third pattern, which was fishing rock.

In the end, that one sandbar that touched a channel bend produced nearly all of Ike's stunning 15-fish, 76-12 total. In addition, he estimated that he culled several 15- to 20-pound limits from that spot each day.

Ike also came to realize there was an identical flat spot on the far side of the sandbar that also held fish. The key was repeated casts to those flat spots that targeted isolated cover.

Critical Gear

Ike had found the fish, but he still needed to make them bite, and to do that he relied on a crankbait and a 1/4-ounce jig. Here's asummary of that gear, along with some notes.

  • Crankbait gear: 7' medium-action Abu Garcia Veritas rod, Abu Garcia Revo Premier casting reel (6.4:1), 12-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon (green), Rapala DT10 (Helsinki shad).

    > The cranking rod was a glass/graphite composite that Ike said will be called the Winch model.

    > He also threw a Strike King 6XD crank a little "to show the fish a different look."

  • Jig gear: 7' medium-heavy Abu Garcia Veritas rod, Abu Garcia Revo Premier casting reel, 17-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon (clear), 3/4-ounce Berkley Ike's Finesse Gripper jig (brown craw), Berkley Havoc The Deuce trailer (cinnamon/purple-fleck).


    > Iaconelli was recently interviewed by BassFan about his recent string of runner-up finishes in championships. To read that interview, click here.

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