CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Michael Iaconelli chose to skip the final few hours of practice for the Florida CITGO Bassmaster Tour presented by Busch Beer event to experience one of the most enjoyable perks of his reign.

The 31-year-old New Jersey pro served as Grand Marshall of Disney World's Share A Dream Come True parade in the Magic Kingdom. Iaconelli enjoyed a place of honor among the many characters and performers that wind their way through Main Street and Frontierland each day.

"Grand-marshalling the parade at Disney was awesome," he said. "That was something I'll always remember."

Skipping some practice last Wednesday obviously didn't hurt Iaconelli as he finished fourth in the Tour season-opener with 58 pounds, 12 ounces.

"I had two days of practice; that was it," Iaconelli added. "But I did what every angler that is good does, which is fishing the moment. That means you pick an area where you get a few bites, and you don't get too concerned about what you did in practice.

"You go there, drop your trolling motor and you just fish the moment. That's what I did here. I didn't really rely on my history or a long, extended practice period. I relied more on just being smart and learning to fish minute to minute, cast to cast."

Prior to leading the parade, a framed portrait of Iaconelli holding up his CITGO Bassmaster Classic trophy was donated by BASS to the ESPN Club on Disney's Boardwalk. It will hang among the memorabilia of other great moments in sports.

THE WAIT IS OVER. Arkansas BASS Veteran Scott Rook finished second on the Harris Chain of Lakes Sunday, but his success was extra special. The second place marked the first time he had ever earned a check in the Sunshine State. "It took me about nine (BASS) tournaments to figure out how to catch fish down here," he said.

FROG FACE. The first date for Jimmy and Lucy Mize, BASS' only husband-and-wife pros, fittingly took place on an Arkansas lake more than 25 years ago. The pair went frog gigging. Lucy recalls that the most memorable part of the date was when a large frog practically gave Jimmy a big, wet kiss.

MARATHON MAN. The pro anglers who instruct the CITGO Bassmaster University seminars held all around the country typically teach in two cities on the same weekend. It involves plenty of closely timed daily flights to pull it off.

According to BU director Gary White, Arkansas pro Mark Davis holds the record for the most travel in a single weekend. The three-time CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year once did a Saturday seminar in Jacksonville, Fla., and then made the lengthy cross-country commute to Seattle, Wash.

DID YOU KNOW? Even the most knowledgeable anglers were surprised with the results of the first tournament of the 2004 Tour season as the Harris Chain of Lakes surrendered three impressive 60-pound-plus catches. Last year, California's Skeet Reese won with 36 pounds, 12 ounces, a little earlier in January.

PRO BIRTHDAYS. A pair of former Classic champions, Ken Cook (57) and Denny Brauer (55) will celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 2 and 3, respectively. California pro Mark Rizk, who lives in Alabama part of the year, will be 40 on Feb. 7.

IF I HADN'T BECOME A BASS PRO... Florida Tour winner Marty Stone could always return to carpentry, the job he held before turning pro.

THEY SAID IT. "From my perspective, the kids today that are coming up are so much further ahead than we were when we started. The education and the intelligence of these young fishermen and their physical conditioning is far superior to what we had in the old days." BASS tournament pioneer Ray Murski competed on the BASS circuit during its fledgling years.