The Site: A few years ago it became very clear to me that I needed to start some type of website that was dedicated to my competitive bass fishing endeavors. Status updates on Facebook just weren’t cutting it anymore as more and more of my friends and family began asking me for more detailed accounts of how I was doing in my tournament fishing here in Texas. Well, that’s what got this site started. Since then, I have also become involved in guiding on several of the lakes here in the Austin area, so my website has evolved a bit to help promote my guiding business as well. On my site, I try to keep everyone up to date on how things are going with pursuing a potential future career in professional bass fishing as well as updates and stories on my services as a guide. You’ll also get an inside look at what I do to prepare for each of my tournaments as well as how successful I am in each of them.
Guide Services: Please visit the “Guided Fishing Trips” page of my website for details.
My Background: Let’s just say that I’ve been obsessed with fishing my whole life. In fact, the word “obsessed” might be a slight understatement. From the time I first went fishing at the age of three, pretty much the only thing that is ever on my mind is fish and catching them. My nick name throughout elementary school was “Fish Boy.”
Up until I was about 13, I fished for whatever type of fish I could get to bite my line. At that point, the bass fishing bug bit me. I had watched the tournaments on television my whole life and learned a lot about bass, but hadn’t done much to apply what I had learned. I finally started focusing more on perfecting my bass skills. I fished my first tournament when I was 14 and was offered my first sponsorship after I’d turned 15. After that, I fished tournaments heavily as a non-boater up until I was 19 and ready to serve a mission for my church. I had several tournament wins and top finishes under my belt. I must admit, I was pretty skilled for my age, but I have since learned that I was no where near as good as I thought I was. I’ve learned a lot since then and have realized that I will continue to learn a lot for the rest of my days.
That’s kind of my fishing background. Here’s some additional background info about me. I was born in the San Francisco Bay area in California. My parents divorced at a young age and my mom moved to live in Utah. I lived with my mom in Utah, but still would visit my dad in California for holidays and the three months of summer vacation. For those of you who may not know, competitive bass fishing in Utah is nearly non-existent, but is extremely popular in California. I’d fish some very small club tournaments occasionally in Utah, but most of my tournament experience came from northern California.
Like I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I turned 19. I served in the Arizona Tempe Mission for the next two years. Best decision I ever made in my life. This was the only period of my life where I had to put down the fishing poles and Bassmaster magazines for a while, and focus more on studying the scriptures and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, I did still get to go fishing from shore on occasion at some of the small community lakes in Arizona, but it was a pretty rare occurrence. Making that sacrifice of my time to go teach the gospel though I believe has ultimately helped prepare me for the remainder of life’s challenges. Including the challenges presented in professional bass fishing.
My Life Recently: After my mission, I came home focussed and ready to tackle life. I thought I was going to get right back into the swing of the whole tournament fishing scene right away, but God proved otherwise. I began dating a girl I knew from high school and quickly realized she was the love of my life. Yes, even more so than fishing. We were soon married in February of 2007. Anyone who has been through that process knows that the rest of your life kind of comes to a stand still for a while. Bass fishing was again put on hold. During the first two years of our marriage we lived in Utah, but somewhere in there I did manage to buy a bass boat and began fishing those small club tournaments I mentioned earlier in Utah. We soon realized though that Utah was not the place for us to be in order to progress with our lives. That brought us to where we are now…Texas!
We’ve been in Texas for 9 years now, and we’ve loved every minute of it. Texas is home now. We’ve got a good life going for us. As of right now (July 2017), we have a two-year old girl and our dog, May-May (she appears in a lot of my videos). It’s been a wild and exhausting ride, but we’re loving life right now.
Since moving here nine years ago in the middle of bass fishing country, I’ve been putting my skills to the test against some of the best anglers. So far, it’s been going pretty well, and I’ve been able to achieve the goals I set for myself every year. I’m thinking it will be time to expand my fishing outside of Texas within the next year or two here. Bring it on…
What Else?: Did I mention that somewhere in the middle of all of that, I have ten years worth of experience teaching break dancing? Can the world handle a break dancing professional fisherman? Luckily, a guy named Michael Iaconelli has proven that they can. Not only that, but he’s proven the fans love it. Looks like I’m in good shape for a good career.
Austin Fishing Guide