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Loeffelman gets the shakes on Wheeler

Loeffelman gets the shakes on Wheeler
Missouri co-angler Nick Loeffelman Jr caught all his fish on a Crock-O-Gator shaky head.

DECATUR, Ala. - Things were looking pretty shaky this week for Nick Loeffelman Jr. but that's just what the Missouri co-angler wanted and his plan paid off with a victory in the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake.

Every fish that Loeffelman weighed this week came on a 3/16-ounce Croc-O-Gator shaky head with aCo-angler winner Nick Loeffelman Jr shows off his catch for the TV camera. Zoom Magnum Trick Worm. Coming into day three in second place, he was admittedly nervous about his fellow top-5 competitors, but when all were weighed, Loeffelman had amassed a three-day total of 33 pounds, 7 ounces, with a winning margin of 5-5.

"I brought 12 rods, but I ended up using one rod all three days," he said. "I kept trying other things when it got tough, but the Croc-O-Gator is a good jig head. It has long hook shank and I think it helped me get some good hooksets.

"I worked the bait pretty fast this week and I think that could have helped. I worked it fast, but I kept it in the same place. I really didn't move it that much. I think I just aggravated the fish so much they thought 'If you aren't going to get out of here, I might as well eat you.'"

Nick Loeffelman Jr claimed his first tournament win on Wheeler Lake.Loeffelman thanked his three pros Steve Kennedy, Jerry Lawler and Blake Nick. "They all gave me water to fish. I knew that if I just did my thing and catch the fish, I'd (finish well). I thought I needed at least a 5-fish limit," he said. "I got my limit by about 9:30 and it was a tough day. I don't think I caught another fish after that."

Loeffelman caught his fish on 12-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon. He typically spools with 10-pound, but he figured he might need more strength in the depths he was fishing.

"I'm not much of a deep fisherman," he said. "Most of the fish were caught in 15-20 feet of water. I'm from Lake of the Ozarks and I fish a lot of docks on my home lake. I still use that same bait; it was just about 10 feet deeper (here).

Jonathan Henry, of Grant, Ala. moved up one spot to second with 28-2 and Alan Hults, of Gauthier,Johnathan Henry of Grant, Ala. moved up one spot to finish second. Ms., gained three spots to finish third at 26-7.

Richard Peek, of Centre, Ala. placed fourth with 25-15. Peek posted his best score of the tournament, 12-2, in the final round and moved up 9 spots from 13th. Mark Horton, of Nicholasville, Ky. took fifth with 23-10.

Best of the rest

Mississippi co-angler Alan Hults improved three places on day three and finished in third place.Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake:

6th: Ben Todd, of Pierson, Fla., 23-0
7th: George Yund, of Albany, N.Y., 21-14
8th: Casey Martin, of New Market, Ala., 21-6
9th: Kevin Brumfield, of Madison, Miss., 20-6
10th: Philip Jarabeck, of Lynchburg, Va., 20-6

Tags: david-a-brown  co-angler-headline  2012-09-20-wheeler-lake 

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