UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Wheeler goes wire to wire

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: david-a-brown  headline-story  2011-05-19-bfl-all-american-cross-lake 

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »