End of Season Report (minus Table Rock) 


Michele Fanfani

It isn’t easy for anyone – not for me, the writer, and not the least of all for Jacopo – to confront results that are decidedly unfavorable. The previous four tournaments developed as we might have wanted them to but they did not result in checks (even if we appreciate the result at Cayuga). But then Lake of the Ozarks turned out to be a beast (and not the good kind) for Jacopo; in consecutive events (Bassmaster Open and MLF Toyota Series) he failed to fish up to any standard of sufficiency.

In any case, analyzing what went wrong has to be done so as to shine light on the errors and increase our know how of modern bass fishing. Let’s begin with practice.

During the days Jacopo had at his disposal to explore the lake, he had at least one daily limit of at least eighteen pounds. He did so primarily by fishing with a prop bait or a buzzbait, while also picking apart floating docks with a jig.

While searching for a back-up plan, he also noted that some keepers could be caught on points, including a few big fish.

As a result, Day1 of the Bassmaster Open did not begin badly. Jacopo brought four fish to the weigh in, for a total weight of eight and one-half pounds. Although he had lost a few important fish, the fact was that he was also making the right decisions.

With respect to his place in the standings, however, he knew he would have to adopt a more aggressive strategy on Day 2. He would fish a different area and rotate his baits. But the strategy didn’t work.

The primary error was that of not having had a solid strategy to begin with; that is to say, a strategy that would allow him to make a run at the top of the standings. It is possible that he also relented, from a psychological perspective. This last item was due to the fact that this Open tournament was on the calendar prior to the Toyota Series – the latter being an event that was more significant for Jacopo. And so the first tournament on Lake of the Ozarks allowed room for adjustments heading into that second event. These factors likely conditioned his approach.

For the Toyota Series, his thought process was that things would improve given the prior experience. In reality, however, the general situation worsened becaus ethe bass population had certainly felt the effects of the previous tournaments, and good bites were hard to come by.

Whatever the effect, Jacopo departed for the second tournament with a more logical strategy, which was to fish docks near the launches, which is where many fish are released after tournaments. It was a good strategy because the fish that would fill out a respectable limit in the event were there to be caught. But Jacopo only had five bites, and brought only four fish to the scales, for a total weight of seven pounds, ten ounces.

He decided to fish the same area on Day 2. The fish were there, because other anglers and co-anglers catch limits fishing a similar pattern. Jacopo did not however find bites, as he focused on depths of fifteen to eighteen feet, catching only smaller bass that are not keepers. In the last hour of competition he realized that the fish are setting up closer to shore, in shallow water. But it’s late and he manages to put only one keeper in the boat.

In this case, it was an error of judgment, in that Jacopo lacked the flexibility to grasp much earlier how the fish were setting up and within time to adjust and perhaps place higher in the standings.

The analysis of errors and self-evaluation was nonetheless completed. Now, it is time to turn the page for the final and important appointment of the season. That is the Toyota Series Championship on Table Rock in Missouri. According to Jacopo, it is a tournament that will depend on his use of electronics. It is a style of fishing that Jacopo doe snot particularly care for.

But as always, he will face the challenge with his customary passion and professionalism, qialities that to date have permitted him to compete among the best pro anglers in America.


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Michele Fanfani
Michele, 60 years old, Florentine like Jacopo, followed him during all phases of his sporting career in Italy and accompanied him to America at the start of his professional career. He achived several successes fishing along with Jacopo but above all he conceived and created the Italian magazine “Bassfishing” and the publication “The Secrets of Bassfishing”. He currently follows Jacopo along his career and is the creator and administrator of the “Curva Gallelli” Fans Club.