Mike Iaconelli said Friday evening that there's still a slim chance he'll compete at the rescheduled Sabine River Bassmaster Elite Series in June, but the odds are heavily against it. The tournament, which was postponed from this week due to high-water conditions, now conflicts with a major television project the angler has had scheduled since last fall.
"I'm going to keep pushing and pushing and see what happens, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to take a zero for that tournament," he said.
He called the impending TV project "life-changing" for him. He said he can't reveal specifics about it at the moment, but an announcement is forthcoming within the next month or two.
"I found out about it at the St. Clair tournament last year and we set the schedule for it about two weeks after the (Elite Series) schedule was announced. This isn't like doing a sports show where I can call the promoter and say, 'Hey, I can't make it.' It's bigger than that and at this point I'm 99-percent sure the schedule for it can't change.
"I'm more disappointed than anything. I've had the mixed emotions – at first you're angry, but then you eventually calm down and get to the point where you say that it is what it is. I can't change anything at this point, and I did try."
In his opinion, B.A.S.S.' decision to delay the event was the right call.
"I'm not bashing them – anytime conditions are dangerous and unsafe, they've got to look out for the anglers. They were also under a lot of pressure to come up with new dates and I understand that as well.
"The thing that's disappointing to me is that the anglers weren't included more in the rescheduling decision – even our advisory board wasn't consulted on it. For this sport to move forward, the athletes have to have more of a say like they do in other sports. We may not get there in my career or my lifetime, but the anglers need more of a voice in these kinds of situations."