UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga
Jacob Wheeler

A day ago, the question was if anyone could catch Jacob Wheeler. It was meant in terms of chasing him down on the final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga, but ask the same question today and the context is completely different. 

Now, people are asking if anyone can chase him down for the title of best angler in the sport right now. Because, without a doubt, Wheeler is the No. 1 angler in tournament bass fishing. 

Wheeler had won five events since the start of 2019, and today, he capped off his sixth major victory in resounding fashion, besting one of the largest and most talent-laden fields in the sport’s history. His 21-6 bag on day four gave Wheeler 93 pounds, 12 ounces for the event, which was more than 11 pounds better than the next closest competitor. 

Complete results

“Man, this is crazy,” says Wheeler. “I had a lot of emotion running into today. I started tearing up, you know, because … it means a lot.”

Fishing his home waters and his first FLW Pro Circuit event since 2016, Wheeler admitted that coming into this week, he had a lot of pressure on him. He says he put more time in on the water practicing for it that any event before, and the results speak for themselves. 

While many pros focused solely shallow or deep, Wheeler was constantly adapting and switching between the two over the course of the event. He figures he hit more than 50 different spots throughout the tournament and caught fish on eight different lures. Yet, what truly set him apart from the rest of the 200-plus field of anglers was seemingly making the right call to catch the right fish time and again.

Today may have been the epitome of that. 

Jacob Wheeler

A two-hour fog delay threw a wrench in just about everyone’s plans, including Wheeler’s. Not only was there less time to fish, but it also meant his timing and rotation of different spots – one of the biggest keys to his success, he says – was now entirely thrown off. 

“I had a game plan, and I felt really confident about it,” admits Wheeler. “This morning really messed that rotation up because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I had to run to stuff a little bit too early; kind of push it a little. 

“I knew I had to be patient. Things on the Tennessee River, they develop throughout the day, and you have to let the fish set up before you go over there and catch them.”

That patience paid off at around 1:30 p.m. Sitting on a limit in the mid-teens, Wheeler revisited one of the three spots that was a major player for him this week; the same spot he caught his 10-pounder from on day three.

A quick idle over it showed him exactly what he wanted see.

“I saw three really big dots and a whole bunch of little ones,” explains Wheeler. “And they were set up tight and they were set up right. I’m going to catch them cranking in there.”

The first two he caught culled him up a little. The third one was a “dodo” 8-pounder that sealed the victory. 

Jacob Wheeler

Wheeler knew he’d catching them burning a crankbait – in this case, a citrus shad Rapala DT20 – just by how they were set up. He cycled through numerous baits throughout the event, not only because his offshore spots were so different from one another, but also because he figured out the fish wanted different presentations on different spots on different days based on how they were set up. A day ago, he caught the 10-pounder on an 8-inch green pumpkin worm. At that same spot today, they were set up differently, and he caught them on the crankbait. 

The DT20 and a big shad-colored Rapala DT16 were definitely two of his main lures, along with the worm, a 5/8-ounce white hair jig, a scrounger with a soft-plastic jerkbait trailer and a jig. 

The open-mindedness also played into where Wheeler fished.

“Each place was so unique,” he says. “They’re completely different. It’s not like it was a pattern. It was just finding places that were a little bit less obvious was really what it came down to. Those fish weren’t as pressured and easier to get to bite. That was my game plan the whole week.”

It was a game plan that couldn’t have worked out better, as Wheeler once again held up a big check and a trophy. Though, this one, he says, is pretty special.

“I started with FLW,” says Wheeler. “I wouldn’t be here without FLW. It means a lot. Not only to win here at Chickamauga, but also this event, with this field, with so many people from FLW that watched me grow up … that’s what means the most.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Jacob Wheeler – Harrison, Tenn. – 93-12 (20) – $125,00

2. Cole Floyd – Leesburg, Ohio – 81-15 (20) – $35,500

3. Jason Reyes – Huffman, Texas – 76-12 (20) – $30,000

4. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 72-13 (20) – $25,000

5. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 72-12 (20) – $22,000

6. Miles Burghoff – Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. – 71-3 (20) – $21,000

7. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 70-1 (20) – $19,000

8. Joshua Weaver – Macon, Ga. – 65-10 (20) – $18,000

9. David Williams – Maiden, N.C. – 65-0 (20) – $17,000

10. Alton Jones – Lorena, Texas – 61-4 (20) – $16,200

Complete results

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2020-06-23-chickamauga-super-tournament 

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

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Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

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Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

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Strong Day One Carries Sifers

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Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

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Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

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King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

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Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

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Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

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Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

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Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

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Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »