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IACONELLI 4TH, JONES 6TH IN BASS ANGLER OF THE YEAR

Posted 9/23/2009

Yamaha Pros Michael Iaconelli finished fourth and Alton Jones sixth overall in the final Bassmaster® Angler of the Year standings as competition ended Friday after two separate two-day tournaments concluded on Lake Jordan and the Alabama River near Montgomery.

Yamaha-sponsored anglers filled half the 12-angler field, who qualified for the fish-off competitions after eight regular season Bassmaster® Elite tournaments. Behind Jones, they included Kelly Jordon, 7th; Cliff Pace, 8th; Mark Menendez, 11th; and Todd Faircloth, 12th.

The 12 pros began by fishing two days at Lake Jordan, an event won by Iaconelli. They then moved to the Alabama River for the final two days. The overall Angler of the Year title was won by Kevin VanDam, who also captured the title last year.

"Every angler realized it would take four solid, competitive days to win the overall title," acknowledged Jones, winner of the 2008 Bassmaster® Classic. "It was an exciting event, and while I am disappointed at not winning, I am very proud to have qualified among the top 12 and will work hard to qualify again next season."

Iaconelli, winner of the 2003 Angler of the Year title and who started the event as the 11th qualifier by virtue of his regular season point total, had moved into third overall after winning on Lake Jordan, but dropped one position after finishing fourth at the Alabama River. Like Jones, the Yamaha Pro was pleased to have been part of the 12-angler final.

"It was a new format and it was fun to fish it," he noted. "I had not ever fished Lake Jordan before so it was a thrill to me to win there. I had a good season and this was a nice way to finish."