Wheeler goes wire to wire

At 20 years of age, Jacob Wheeler became the youngest angler to win a BFL All-American title.

SHREVEPORT, La. - The only downside of Jacob Wheeler's BFL All-American victory on Cross Lake was that his margin shrunk by 6 ounces. Going into the final round, the Indianapolis boater held a 9-pound, 8-ounce advantage over his nearest competitor. Today, he bolstered that 28-10 mark with a limit weighing 7-9 and ended with a three-day total of 36-3 and a margin of 9-2. Wheeler will probably overlook that stat, in favor of two more significant numbers. The first is 20 - his age makes him the youngest angler to win a BFL All-American. The other is $100,000 - his tournament winnings. Icing that cake is a berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita, Aug. 11-14. "I've been fishing since I was four and I've always wanted to be a professional fisherman," WheelerJacob Wheeler won the All-American by a margin of 9 pounds, 2 ounces. said. "All I do is fish - I'm ate up with it. So, winning something like this means the world to me." Notably, Wheeler not only competed against 48 of the BFL's top boaters, he also competed with Mother Nature and a lake with an extra level of challenge. Wind and clouds dominated the first two days and, while day three saw a few partly sunny periods, a strong blow persisted as thunderstorms moved through the area. On top of all this, Cross Lake has a protected slot limit of 14 to 17 inches. That means anglers can only keep fish of at least 12 inches (statewide minimum), but under 14, and those over 17. Of the tournament's 5-bass limit, only four could be over 17. Needless to say, winning on a slot limit lake is no easy feat. Wheeler set the bar high on day one by weighing the event's heaviest sack - a limit of 18-6 that gave him the lead by 7 1/2 pounds. The next day, one of his key factors - water drainage from a local aquaculture farm - disappeared and the week's strongest winds limited where he could fish. Wheeler All-American champion Jacob Wheeler is joined by his sisters Kaitlin and Amber and his 3-month-old nephew Kade.bagged a decent limit of 10-4 and held the lead. Today, he fished about 30 spots with a mix of cypress trees and docks. One of his fish came early on a shad colored Pop-R fished near a cypress tree and the others bit a green pumpkin tube. Skipping the tube far under docks was essential to finding the fish, Wheeler said. Going into the final round with such a commanding lead could have easily lured an angler into a false sense of security, but Wheeler kept things in perspective, thanks in part to his younger sister Kaitlin who met him at the dock each morning for a pre-launch prayer. That quiet time, he said, helped him remain humble and realize that he had to go out and fish smart regardless of his advantage. "My mindset was to go catch five - whatever they may be, go catch five fish and go from there," Wheeler said. "It worked out beautifully." Morris makes big move into second Starting the day in eighth place, Jake Morris, of McKee, Ky., caught just three fish in the final round,Jake Morris made a big jump into second place on day three. but his 11-pound, 13-ounce bag was the day's heaviest. After catching 8-5 and 6-15 on the first two days, Morris made a change on day three that delivered the big bites and gave him a tournament total of 27-1. "The first two days, I fished crankbaits all over the lake, catching a few here and there," he said. "Today, I figured I had to do something different to try and catch some bigger fish, so I tied on a Rico popper and a frog and went as shallow as I could." Morris caught two of his fish on the bone colored Rico, lost a big one on the black and yellow frog and caught his third on a green pumpkin 3/8-ounce jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer pitched under a dock. The topwater fish bit in the morning and the jig fish came around 1 o'clock. Cummings improves to third Third-place boater Charles Cummings had one of two day-three limits.Charles Cummings, of Leeds, Ala., improved from seventh place to third in the final round with a three-day total of 24-10. Cummings caught the only other limit of day three - his weighed 8-3. He caught 7-6 on day one and 9-1 on day two. Wind limitations drop Pickett to fourth Opting to get away from the banks where the rest of the field was pounding the boat docks and cypress trees Lloyd Pickett, of Barlett, Tenn. focused on working ledges in six to seven feet with Carolina rigs. His plan took him to second place on day one with 10-14, but windy conditions got the better of him yesterday and today. Day two saw Pickett catch 7-12 and slip to third. Today, he caught only two fish for 4-12 and lost another spot to finish fourth with 23-6 "Today, there was just too much wind," Pickett said. "I tried to stay out there and fish as best I could, but it was just too rough. It was rockin and rollin out there." Pickett baited his Carolina rig with an 8-inch green pumpkin Zoom Magnum Lizard, a Strike King RageWindy conditions hindered the Carolina rigging efforts of Lloyd Pickett Jr. Craw and a Zoom Brush Hog. Mike Hicks, of Goochland, Va. placed fifth with 22-14. Hicks fished areas with bream beds with a Rico popper Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: George Kapiton, of Inverness, Fla., 22-7 7th: Mike Brueggen, of La Crosse, Wisc., 21-12 8th: Kip Carter, but the Loganville, Ga., 19-14 9th: Harry Barton, of Sterrett, Ala., 18-0 10th: Don Boeger, of Caldwell, Idaho, 16-1

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-college-title

Gamecocks Win College Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-lake-murray-midday-update-day-3

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-college-championship-race-tightens

College Championship Race Tightens

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-hallman-out-front

Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-lake-murray-midday-update-day-2

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-liberty-leads-college-championship

Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-castledine-stands-tall-on-grand

Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-lake-murray-midday-update-day-1

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hanselman-wins-back-to-back

Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-white-takes-bragging-rights-on-kentucky-lake-

White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-taylor-targets-bluebacks-for-hartwell-win

Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-chenoweth-wins-on-kerr

Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-rayburn-day-3-midday-update

Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hansen-holds-lake-of-the-ozarks-title

Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-frog-carries-lowery-to-victory

Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-gordon-grabs-title-on-dardanelle

Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Gordon earned $7,244. READ MORE »