UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

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Wheeler Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Wheeler Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2
Jacob Wheeler

Day two of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart at Wheeler Lake proved to be a wild ride full of ups and downs. Though the weather and conditions remained stable – hot, humid and stagnant – the leaderboard shifted all about.

John Cox opened up a hefty lead up front, but several shakeups occurred behind him. Some who charged to the front yesterday with strong 14-pound-plus limits fell today. Meanwhile, a bunch of 14-pound-plus stringers bounced Jacob Wheeler, Michael Neal, Darrel Robertson, Todd Auten, Jimmy Reese and David Dudley into top-10 territory. Here is a look at how the rest of the top five fared.

Day 2 leader story

 

Jacob Wheeler

2. Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind. – 25-14

After checking in just 8 pounds, 5 ounces yesterday, Jacob Wheeler jumped 30 spots to second with a 17-pound, 9-ounce catch on day two.

The two most prominent patterns going inside the top 10 are chasing schooling fish on the main lake and running back into creeks to catch resident bass. Of the two, Wheeler is running the latter.

The big difference in his weights from day one to day two was improving his landing ratio today.

“I blew a couple of big opportunities on some key bites yesterday, and that’s why I ended up with what I had,” Wheeler says. “Today, I converted two big bites early, and that really got me off on the right foot. When that happens, I can relax, fish comfortably and it helps in making the right decisions the rest of the day.”

Wheeler indicated he is running the backs of several creeks with traditional creek-fishing tactics, including tossing topwater lures.

“It’s not like I’m committing to one creek all day,” Wheeler says. “I’m running and gunning several ones, hitting key stretches in each one. I’m pretty sure the 4 1/2-pounder I caught today was one that I missed yesterday. I caught it on basically the same place with the same bait where I lost it yesterday.

“I don’t have anything saved or anything I’m holding back on,” he adds. “I found a couple of new areas today that I might go back to tomorrow. But other than that, I’m running as much water as I possibly can in a day.”

 

Michael Neal

3. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 25-14

Michael Neal improved on his day-one 10-pound, 2-ounce limit with a 15-12 catch today that propelled him into third place going into the weekend.

Unlike the two pros in front of him running backwaters, Neal found success with schooling fish, haunting one spot most of the day and waiting on visible fish to surface.

“I caught just as many fish yesterday, but today they were just bigger and I don’t know why,” Neal says. “The little ones would break for a few minutes, like they did yesterday, but then today the big ones would come up feeding, too.”

Instead of chasing the little breaking fish around on the trolling motor, Neal would pole down and patiently wait for the fish to break around him in casting range.

“It’s pretty much a waste of time to chase them around and randomly cast,” Neal adds. “I’d rather sit still in one spot, ready to fire at them when they come up near me. If I can get a bait to them right as they’re breaking my chances of catching them are much greater.”

 

Darrel Robertson

4. Darrel Robertson – Jay, Okla. – 25-3

Darrel Robertson landed inside the top five thanks to his 14-pound, 8-ounce effort on day two.

Robertson’s reason for his better catch on day two is fairly simple.

“Because I went flipping,” he says. “I’ve just been flipping any green treetops or bushes that are laying out in the water creating shade over a bluff end. I’ve got a couple of stretches in the Elk like that and a couple of stretches up here in the main river like that. I’d rather flip up here in the river because I think the quality [of fish] is better, but I really need current to position them better.”

 

Todd Auten

5. Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, S.C. – 25-2

Todd Auten also put himself in the top five with a much stronger day two, checking in 14 pounds, 6 ounces for the day compared to 10-12 on day one.

Auten’s strategy this week has been to run schooling fish in the mornings to get a few fish in the livewell and then run creeks for better quality in the afternoon.

He was one fish short of a limit yesterday, but made up for it today with a 5-pound-plus kicker.

“I pitched a jig into a tree and was reeling it in to make another pitch when that big one chased it out,” Auten says. “I just dropped my rod, the jig went down and I watched the fish chase it to the bottom and thump my line. I only had 4 feet of line out when I set the hook, and that thing went ballistic.”

 

Complete results

 

Top 10 Pros

1. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 32-5 (10)

2. Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind. – 25-14 (10)

3. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 25-14 (10)

4. Darrel Robertson – Jay, Okla. – 25-3 (10)

5. Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, S.C. – 25-1 (9)

6. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 24-10 (10)

7. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 24-4 (10)

8. Bill Chapman – Salt Rock, W.Va. – 22-5 (10)

9. Jimmy Reese – Witter Springs, Calif. – 22-3 (10)

10. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 21-11 (10)

Complete results

 

Day 1 Stats

Total limits: 39

Average bag: 9 pounds, 3 ounces

Average number of fish: 4

Total catch weight: 451 pounds, 10 ounces

Total number of fish: 218

 

Tournament Details

Forrest Wood Cup Takeoff Show: 6:30 a.m. CT at Ditto Landing, 293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville, Ala.

Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Ditto Landing

Weigh-in: 5 p.m. CT at Von Braun Center (Propst Arena), 700 Monroe Street SW, Huntsville, Ala.

FLW Expo: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., at the Von Braun Center – More info: Seminars and Celebrities and Giveaways and Contests

Format: All 50 pros fish Thursday and Friday. The top 20 pros based on two-day cumulative weight make the cut to fish on Saturday. The top 10 anglers based on three-day cumulative weight make the cut to fish on Sunday. The winner is the angler with the heaviest four-day cumulative weight.

 

 

 

 

Tags: john-cox  forrest-wood-cup  wheeler-lake  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-08-04-forrest-wood-cup 

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