More News With Jacob Wheeler
Posted by jacob on January 9, 2016
I just got back to Florida yesterday after a great trip for the Evinrude Pro Staff meeting to Milwaukee. It was great catching up with everyone and talking about what’s new for 2016. The past few weeks have been crazy busy, beginning with the Okuma meetings in California.
My good friend, Matt Arey, and I went out to California for the meeting and to do a little fishing. It was cool to see all the new rods and reel prototypes coming soon for Okuma and then getting to go out and test them on some big California bass. The first couple of days we messed around throwing some big swimbaits and had some follows, but never connected with a bass.
We decided to hit up another lake that was tough to get a boat on since it was one hundred and twenty feet down, so the only way was to rent one at the bottom. We decided to do a half day and started heading out. When we got to our first stop we put the trolling motor down and found that the battery was dead so we turned around and headed back to the shop. The guy in the shop came out and asked us what was wrong, we told him, then he sent us out in another boat. You would think everything would be good, so we headed out again.
After driving for a short time the alarm on the engine started going off so we headed back once again. He came out and said, “What’s up bro? What’s going on bro?” We told him how the alarm was going off and then he said, “Truthfully bro, that’s one of our better boats; just keep running it.” So, that’s what we did. Fortunately, we didn’t have any more major issues and in the three hours we jacked them up pretty good. We caught fifteen with our best five going eighteen to nineteen pounds. We caught them dragging a jig, using an A-Rig, and jerkbaiting with a Shadow Rap. All in all it was a great time. The new Okuma prototype rods and reels were sick!
I came back from California and soon thereafter headed to Pennsylvania for the holidays. My girlfriend’s family lives in Corry so we spent Christmas there. I also got to hang out with Dave Lefebre and hit up Presque Isle Bay to do some perch fishing. We had a blast, catching around two hundred that day.
After Christmas my girlfriend and I headed to Columbus to catch a flight to Cancun. It was planned as a time to relax before the tournament season and it didn’t disappoint. We had a great time. It has one of the best nightlife scene’s in the world. We went out four nights in a row to some of the best and biggest clubs in the world. It was just what I needed to recharge and come back ready and hungry to take on the new season.
We got back home late Saturday and spent the night in Columbus before going back home Sunday. I stopped by and saw my uncle who just had surgery, picked up my boat, and turned right back around for Lake Hartwell. I got to Hartwell at three in the morning, slept in my truck until dawn, then hit the water to test a new prototype head spin for VMC. I caught a five, a four, and a three and a half with my best five going about eighteen and a half pounds. I put the boat on the trailer at eleven and headed to Florida.
I hit up Lake Kissimmee the next day. It was different than the last time we were there for the Tour event in 2015. The water is down about a foot and I tried to access some areas that I have fished in the past and nearly got stuck in the process. It was good to see that and I did a lot more running around than actually fishing. It wasn’t really conducive to either as there was a small craft advisory with heavy winds blowing throughout the day. After a brief trip away for the Evinrude meeting I’m now back in Florida for the duration. With the Open and Toho and FLW Tour event at Okeechobee coming up I’ve got some more work to do!
Posted by jacob on December 7, 2015
This past month was a slower one as far as obligations, but it was still a busy one. Whether it was spending time in the tree stand, going to the Gene Larew/Rat-L-Trap writer’s conference or doing some crappie fishing, there was always something to stay busy with.
Currently, I’m on my way to California with my good friend Matt Arey to meet with Okuma and work on some rod development. I’m excited to spend some time out in California since I have never been there. It obviously has some great fishing which would be great to sample, but I want to take in the sights too. I’m going to try to get to Hollywood and do all the tourist stuff you should do in California.
In November, I spent a lot of days in the tree stand waiting for the right buck to walk across my path. I saw one that was worth shooting. I waited for it to mess up, but it took off after a doe and I never got a clean shot. After spending plenty of time in the tree stand I was ready to get some time in on the water.
For Gene Larew, I traveled out to Oklahoma for a writer’s conference which was a joint effort with Rat-L-Trap. It was good to catch up with everyone and hear stories from guys like the legendary Tommy Biffle who was itching to get to the woods in Illinois with the rut going on. The fishing was tough at Fort Gibson and Lake Tenkiller, but it was a good time. I got to put my new Punch Out Craw to the test and put a lot of fish in the boat with it.
Originally, I designed the Punch Out Craw with Florida and the punching technique in mind. However, I wanted to make the bait as versatile as possible and all it to be fished with a variety of different techniques. It proved to be equally effective in everyday flipping situations; texas rigged or used as a jig trailer.
When I made it home from Oklahoma a lot of my focus went to chasing crappie. This time of year, it is one of my favorite things to do. As I talked about last month, crappie fishing is a great way to learn how to fish with your electronics. I did a periscope last week about my set up for crappie fishing and some tips on utilizing electronics to get the most out of your fishing trip. This is something that helps me stay sharp as well as dial in to my electronics for those Tennessee River events later in the season each year.
Posted by jacob on November 10, 2015
The 2015 season is officially a wrap. With a full season of fishing the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Opens it’s actually nice to have a little bit of down time. The fall is the time I get to spend time in the woods enjoying my other passion. Deer hunting is definitely a close second to fishing for me. I always look forward to this time of year and take full advantage of it every time I get the chance to. I’ve already gotten a couple doe, but have passed on a few bucks waiting for the right one to walk by my tree. Although I have been spending a majority of my time in the tree stand, I’ve also been out taking advantage of some fishing opportunities as well.
At this time of year I like to chase around the crappies. Even though it’s not bass fishing, fishing for crappie helps get me in tune with my electronics. I don’t like to fish around the docks for them and opt to specifically fish offshore. It really is like ledge fishing. You are looking for very specific stuff like an isolated brush pile or stump and have to get the right cast to get them going. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to learn how to use your electronics especially if you don’t have the resources to go to a place like Kentucky Lake.
Now is also the time to make plans for the upcoming tournament season. My schedule is shaping up to look pretty much the same as last season. I’ll be fishing the FLW Tour, Major League Fishing, Ultimate Match Fishing, and all of the Bassmaster Opens. It’s going to be another year with a full schedule and there are some advantages and disadvantages. As for disadvantages, I’d say the biggest one would be not having any time and therefore being spread very thin. There were definitely some times this past season that was the case. The biggest advantage to fishing a lot of events is the momentum factor though. When you have a big tournament or string a couple good ones together, you can often ride that wave for awhile. It’s no different than any other sport in that regard.
The Tour schedule looks great for next season. I’ve had some very good tournaments at most of the places we’ll be visiting so I’m definitely excited. Throw in the fact that the timing at the places is perfect, it’ll set up for some great fishing. We’ll be starting the season at Okeechobee and if I can kill a couple big deer, I may just head down to Florida in December to start getting ready. For now, I’m out in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Gene Larew writer’s conference. It’s nice to mix up the hunting with some fishing and I’m looking forward to getting back after some Oklahoma bass before getting back in the tree stand.