Talk about a “catch” phrase!
In an epic comeback bid last week in the Bassmaster Classic, Rapala® Pro Michael Iaconelli coined a new catch-phrase – pun fully intended – when he began exclaiming, to the delight of spectators watching from the bank, “DT®-6 in his face!” after catching many of the largemouth bass that gave him a shot to win the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.
Although Ike’s comeback bid ultimately fell short – he ended up in 4th place – he climbed from 27th place to in contention for his second Classic title, all while putting on a clinic, broadcast live, on how mastery of a bait can put fish after fish into your boat.
After determining the perfect angle to cast and retrieve a Rapala DT®-6 crankbait over a small ridge of flat rock in a back bay of Turkey Creek in Tennessee’s Fort Loudoun Lake, Iaconelli at times caught a bass on almost every, or every other, cast. And he did so all three mornings, each time broadcast in real-time on Bassmaster Live! on Bassmaster.com.
“This flat rock is in about four to five foot of water, so I’m throwing a DT-6, the perfect bait [in this situation],” Iaconelli explained during the Bassmaster Live broadcast.
“DT” stands for “dives to.” Therefore, a DT-6 will dive to six feet. Fished in four to five feet of water, it will bump and grind into the bottom, deflecting off rocks and other obstructions – and that’s when you get bites.
“Making sure the crankbait deflects on every cast is really important,” Iaconelli explained in the Live! broadcast. “You want that crankbait touching, bumping. You want it rubbing.”
Built of balsa wood, Rapala’s signature material, DT’s swim with an inimitable tight wobble and can back out of shallow cover better than copycat crankbaits, floating up and minimizing snags.
In stained to muddy water brightly-colored DT’s generally out-produce brownish and greenish patterns. In clearer water, more natural color patterns usually prevail.
When Iaconelli fished the “DT-6 in his face!” spot on days 1 and 2 of the Classic, his best color pattern was Caribbean Shad, an Ike’s Custom Ink offering with a light blue back and chartreuse sides and belly and an orange throat. After 15 minutes without a bite on the third and final day of competition, he switched from Caribbean Shad to the Smash color pattern, which has a silver-black back, green sides, a white belly and orange throat. Both color patterns mimic shad, a main forage species in Fort Loudoun Lake. The very first cast with a Smash colored DT6 produced a quality largemouth and he proceeded to catch them hand over fist, a clear result of simply switching colors.
In a pre-tournament interview, Iaconelli had predicted that the majority of fish caught by the Bassmaster Classic 2019 winner would be caught on a DT crankbait, “whether it’s by me or somebody else.”
He was “in-your-face” close to making that prediction come true.