I Rap- by Mike Iaconelli

Dec. 22 2012- OK, here’s something you might not know about me. I’m a hip hop rapper with a couple of recorded songs. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to give up my day job and go on American Idol or anything, but I do think my latest project is interesting. Basically, I look at it as another opportunity to expand fishing to groups that may not know a lot about it.

It all began several years ago when I met a fellow angler from Connecticut named Mike Morazzini. He’s a serious angler, serious environmental advocate, serious school teacher and serious hip hop artist. Over time we developed a real relationship. Most of the things he likes, I like. Most of the things I like, he likes. We were a natural.

I love to fish with him and talk about the environment. But the thing I found the most fascinating was his hip hop music. He’s really good at it. He records at East Rock Studio in New Haven, Connecticut, so everything is professionally done. His songs all have something to do with fishing. He fishes so he knows what to write and rap about.

The thing is, we need to expand fishing as much as we can. That’s critical if our sport is going to survive and grow. One way to do that is to show groups of people who don’t traditionally fish why it’s fun.

I don’t have any real evidence to support my thinking, but I’d guess that traditional hip hop audiences don’t do much fishing — most of them anyway. They aren’t exposed to it so they really don’t know anything about it. We can change that. They can be exposed to what we do. That will increase the number of anglers in our country.

How many people do you know who go fishing for the first time and come home with a frown on their face? Not very many would be my best guess. It’s fun to fish. Everybody likes it even if they squirm when they put a worm on their hook — or make you do it.

You don’t have to be a serious tournament angler or a professional to enjoy a day on the water with a rod and reel in your hand. If you doubt what I’m saying, take someone out this next year — someone who’s never been fishing before — and see what happens.

Anyway, Mike’s got some really good stuff out there. I contributed but the big picture is really his. You can listen to what he’s done on his website or through iTunes. It’s free to listen. You don’t have to buy anything.

I’m really proud of what Mike’s doing, and I’m proud that I could contribute in some small way. The more we can spread the word about what a great thing it is to go fishing, the more success we’ll all have ... and maybe the better our world will be.

Next time we’ll talk about what fishing has done for me. Not the catching fish part, the life part.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.