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Fueling the Fire at Smith Lake

Posted by jacob on April 1, 2015

Jacob Wheeler Smith Lake.jpg

Being able to catch bass nearly any way you want is usually a good thing.  But, sometimes when there are a lot of things going on it’s hard to pick the right thing, or things to do.  At the second stop of the FLW Tour at Smith Lake this week that is what happened to me.

The fish were pulling up to spawn, but there was also a lot of fish still in prespawn mode.  In practice I got caught up in the sight fishing thing which ate up a lot of my time.  I also spent some time throwing a big swimbait to see if I could illicit some strikes from some giants.  Neither of those patterns really materialized for me, but I was able to get onto a bit of a schooling bite.  I figured that I could milk that bite for twelve to fifteen pounds each day and then spend the rest of the days trying to cull up by sight fishing for some biggins.

The first day of the tournament I figured would be a good day to do some sight fishing because of the conditions.  That never really proved to be “the deal”, but I was able to scratch together a limit throwing a Rapala Shadow Rap and mixing in some junk fishing.  It cooled down significantly the next day and I figured the sight fishing would be thrown off.  Once again, I junk fished, but never truly felt comfortable and ended up with not quite enough to snag a check.

It was a tough event and the positive to take from the second FLW Tour stop at Smith is I definitely got an attitude adjustment.  In the past, when I’ve had a couple tough events it really puts a fire in my belly and this is no different.  I’m driven by the competition in this sport, not the money or fame.  I crave that competition and when I get knocked down it drives me harder to do well.  Whether it’s putting in more study for the next event or whatever it may be, I’m going to look for ways to put myself in a better position to succeed.

Beaver Lake is coming up next.  I really like fishing there as the weights have consistently been getting better every year.  It fishes a lot like Smith and it’ll be in a similar phase as Smith was this past week.  It’ll almost be a like a do-over when we get to Arkansas.  I’m going to be going back to my strengths.  I’m normally a shallow water guy and with the water up and warming, I’ll probably put a flipping stick in my hands and head as far up the river as I can. 

After the Smith Lake event I talked to a buddy from back home who has given me the nickname, Buzzbait Jig.  The reason being, in the past that was about all I threw.  If they were feeding up I’d have a buzzbait tied on and if they were feeding down I would have a jig on.  He was like, “what are you doing?  Fish your strengths and do what you know.”  That’s what the plan is at Beaver Lake.

FLW Tour Season Opener at Lake Toho

Posted by jacob on March 12, 2015

Wheeler Toho XRap Prop Fish.jpg

It’s always great to start the season in Florida whether it is at Lake Okeechobee or Lake Toho.  I know it was a shocker for a lot of guys not to have the FLW Tour season opener at Lake Okeechobee, but personally I think it was a nice change of scenery. 

Florida is its own animal as far as bass fishing goes and specifically tournament fishing.  There is a lot of luck involved when you are fishing down there because any given cast could produce a game changing giant!  It really puts you on point with the thought of an eight or nine pounder in the back of your mind.

Going into this event, realistically I felt I would have a good chance to do well.  I ended up walking away with a $10,000 check which is always the goal when you are trying to make a living in the fishing industry, but on the other hand I feel as a competitor, that wasn’t my best.  In practice I knew I had figured something out.  I felt comfortable with a number of areas and honestly I think that was the problem.  In tournament fishing sometimes having a lot of areas and things going on in your mind can work against you.  In this event, I felt like because I had so many areas in my head, I fished too fast through areas thinking I would catch them at the next spot instead of spending time to figure out what had changed.

Day one of the event I was able to put together a decent limit quickly throwing an X-Rap Prop.  It felt good to start the day on the right foot.  Soon after I recognized the conditions were ripe for doing some sight fishing.  I stumbled upon a nice one in the 5.5-6 lb range set up on a bed and I committed to putting her in the boat.  She proved to not want any part of what I was serving up. With that decision I ended up weighing the fish I had caught earlier and found myself with a middle of the pack start to my event.  That’s truly the nature of the game though.  It’s all about decisions and that first day, I made a decision that I thought was the right one, but it didn’t work out this time.  The second day I was able to get a little redemption in the morning though and stuck that big spawner on the X-Rap Prop and managed a better limit and a 43rd place finish.

I have to say congrats to JT Kenney for the win.  He fished awesome all week and it was his event to win.  I’m really jacked to be fishing Smith Lake at the next stop.  The biggest spotted bass I’ve ever weighed in a tournament came from there at 4.96 lbs.  It’s an awesome lake and I love the way it sets up. 

I want to take a minute to welcome Academy Sports and Outdoors on board as my title sponsor this season.  I’m very excited to be working with such a great company.  They carry a wide variety of fishing products for about any situation. 

With a solid start to the season I’m really looking to carry my momentum to Smith Lake and continue my quest of making the Forrest Wood Cup!


Jacob Wheeler Fishing is live with Pro Sites Unlimited

Posted by admin on February 11, 2015

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I'm gearing up for the 2015 Professional Bass Fishing Season with my new website powered by Pro Sites Unlimited. Stay tuned for the latest news from the tournament trail along with new product releases from my sponsors, photos, videos and exclusive deals you'll find here. Stay tuned. It's ON - Jacob Wheeler