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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I saw the Delaware River on the Elite schedule, I was ecstatic....... I grew up in West Deptford, NJ , the river borders my hometown (Straight across from the Navy Yard). Fished all over this river and its creeks and I knew that people would be surprised what would come out of this river..... Twenty - thirty years ago you wouldn't even stick your toe in the water but about 10 years ago it got cleaner, clearer, grass started growing, largemouth and smallmouth started thriving..... Tides and all I love this river and now it was going to get shown on the big stage...........

Is it a big fish factory? No ..... Does it have holes and ledges and huge schools of bass? No...... but its a challenge, its fun, its city fishing and backwater no mans land fishing all in one...... The River and all of its tributaries support an eco-system unlike one I have ever been on before.......... The biggest smallmouth I have ever caught was 4 lbs. 13 oz. and was caught on a pier on the main river that will probably be seen on the BASS TV Show (not my fish; the pier, Iaconelli and Crews both caught fish from it).

I was really nervous as the Facebook updates during practice were really trashing the river. Swindle, The Lanes were just destroying it, so when Boyd Duckett laid out that 16+ lb. limit I was freaking...... By the way he pretty much received the biggest cheers after Ike and that day one now made him an honorary Philadelphian.

Let me add that the river also provided a unique way to watch the fishermen from shore. Tons of bridges, overpasses, parks to find them and that we did......... Friday morning I went and camped out on the bank of a creek that I was sure would house some competitors... Lots of guys came in and caught fish (Jason Christie fished up it almost the entire weekend)....... I decided to come back to that creek on Saturday am...

Saturday am, show up , set up a chair , my coffee, camera and guess what... Not one guy (except Christie) came into the creek and he was going pretty far in...... I could hear the boats roaring down the main river but no one heading in...... About 30 minutes in, Pete Gluszek posts a Facebook update with Ike footage and lo and behold, I recognize the electrical tower in the background , its in Woodbury Creek (you'll see alot of this creek on the show).... Pick up the chair and coffe and jump a few miles down the road and park at one of my favorite old water holes on the creek that has a long dock where boaters coming all summer long to eat and listen to music......... About 10 minutes into my sit and wait-fest, a Bassmaster boat with Mark Zona aboard comes into the creek and motors past. He asks me what time Coconut Grove opens and I tell him hopefully soon (not really because its 8am and to early to drink).. Twenty minutes in Iaconelli comes idling down and past the dock I am perched at and gives me the I got (2) sign........ This was my favorite creek to fish....... I go to the weigh in at Penns Landing later that day and it was NUTS...... Philly turned out big and loud, just like I expected..... All of the MC's and Competitors loved it.

Sunday am, heading straight to The Coconut Grove dock...... Planted myself there at 6:00am....... I hear the boats roaring (there's only twelve so can tell most of them are heading South on the river)....... 6:45am and no boat, no Ike.......... A boat motors in and stops at the dock.... Its Bassmaster writers and they are asking if any boats came in yet, told them no but Ike will be here soon as he caught some nice ones yesterday..... They head back out to the main river..... 20 minutes later the teeth come around the bend and Ike is idling back with 20-25 boats behind him.. It was an awesome site..... He rolls right up to the dock and tells me thanks for coming out stops, idles up to a laydown at the overpass 20 feet from the dock and catches his first fish for day 4 basically right in front of me.... He goes Crazy the spectator boats go nuts, another awesome moment.... He pulls up the trolling motor and heads further into the creek....... Now here is the moment that makes me love our community, one of the spectator boats pulls up to the dock and says "jump on you're going with us".... Awesome ride following him down the creek, he catches one more, spends one hour and then heads back out..... My taxi dropped me off back at the dock, I thanked them 1,000 times and off they all went.......

I decided to skip the final day weigh in as I had to start on my drive back to Raleigh.... Awesome, awesome time and I really hope they come back up here again someday..................
 

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Great story..... Thanks for sharing
 
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Good write up Larry. I like seeing them fish some tougher holes off the beaten path. BASS is always talking about trying to get spectators and all. I think if they started fishing some smaller waters it would give spectators better opportunities than if they fish vast bodies of water where everyone makes a 30-50 mile run from the take off.
 

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Very, very cool story. Pretty awesome for Ike to win the whole deal. Not many match his outward passion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very, very cool story. Pretty awesome for Ike to win the whole deal. Not many match his outward passion!
The weigh in on Saturday was insane....... Sorry I wasn't able to get there on Sunday but love the Philadelphia crowd. Ike is a really good guy and even better fisherman, not liked by some but his personality is for real......
 
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