Jacob Wheeler’s winning baits, 30+ limits! Multiple cast spinnerbaits

Today’s Top 5

How J-Wheels stole the show at Eufaula.

If y’all haven’t realized it yet, Jacob Wheeler can flat fish — RARE for someone from IN (hahaha IN bass-heads!). Seriously tho, that Bass Pro Tour event was a tough deal — lot of changing weather, water levels, water clarity — but he mastered it and won the champeenship round by 27-05.

Full pattern deal’s on but here’s his baits and a few highlights:

> “I looked at Google Earth images for what areas got messed up the most [from rain], and tried to stay away from those…. I made the decision to practice from mid-lake down — Barbour Creek down toward the dam. There’s more stable water toward the dam…not as many major creeks there.

> “…offshore found a few schools, didn’t really cast on them. …hard spots, rockpiles and brushpiles, some places were long descending points close to deep water.”

> “On brushpiles, hard places and rock, I changed it up quite a bit. I’d figure it out. A lot of times whatever way the wind was blowing [made a difference]. Certain days they’d be on the back side of the brush, other days on the front side. Sometimes I’d have to be in the wind and casting behind me.

> “…something you had to figure out. Each day was a learning experience to figure out what side they were on.”

He had 3 main baits:

> “Earlier in the week, when the water was a little cleaner, I caught most of my fish on a Rapala DT14 and DT16 in Caribbean shad. Some hard places, some schools of fish….
> “My cleanup bait was a 1/2-oz jig (b/b) — I also fished one that was brown/pink — and a Googan Baits Bandito Bug (b/b or blue baby) on the back. If the water was cleaner I used ‘blue baby.’

> “I caught a few on the spinnerbait throughout the week, but it wasn’t as big a deal til the water got dirtier.”

> Crankbait gear: 7′ 11″ MH Duckett Micro Magic Pro crankbait rod, Duckett 360 Reel, 12-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon.
> Jig gear: 7′ 6″ H Duckett Wheeler signature rod, Duckett Paradigm Reel (8.3), 17-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.
> Spinnerbait: 1-oz Accent Ole Big signature spinnerbait (spot remover, silver CO, gold willow) with a 3.8″ Googan Baits Saucy Swimmer swimbait (white pearl shad). 7′ MH Duckett signature rod, Duckett 320 Reel (6.3), 20-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> “The [6.3] reel made me slow down. If you wound it too fast, wouldn’t get a bite. The strike zone got smaller and smaller as the week went on.”

He figures he caught 30% on the cranks, 20% on the jig and 50% on the spinnerbait.

All the deets here on the BB site. Should mention he won one last year too so….

5 Qs with the champ-yun.

1. Do you have to get dirty to win dirty in dirty water?

Yes you do! Normally you have to get up there in the mud and catch you a few.

2. With that much of a lead were you tempted to check in early?

[Laughed] No because we have the Heavy Hitters deal…biggest fish in first 5 events for that heavy hitters tournament in Kissimmee. You have to make the top 30 so I was definitely trying to catch another big one.

3. What’s the WORST thing about winning?

That it doesn’t happen often enough.

4. Since you rocked the curved brim in this one, do you prefer to compete in a curved brim or flat brim?

I grew out of that flat brim though I still roll it every once in a while. When I was younger I used to do it because it ticked all the older guys off in IN. Realistically the curved brim adds more protection to your eyes so it makes more sense.

5. What’s a googan — don’t ask Siri or Google.

That one’s a tough one right there. Someone that really likes fishing, or an innovative YouTuber. I don’t know the definition of it, but when I think of them I think of innovative YouTubers fishing — revolutionizing the way people communicate through that platform.

[I Googled it…seems to be a term that equates with noob fisherman, unthinking fisherman — like a guy fishing “your” spot — or a tool. Which makes it funny!]

Jordan Lee caught a 32-15 limit!

His first 5 one day at the Lake Eufaula, AL BPT weighed a ridonkulous 32-15. Here’s a few of ’em:

What did the dirty deed in the water — I mean the deed in the dirty water:

> 1/2-oz Brett “Jack” Hammer (fire craw), with a 4″ Berkley Chigger Craw (gp, claws dyed orange tho not in the pic). 7′ 5″ MH Abu Winch Rod (prototype), Abu Revo Premier Reel (7.3), 17-lb Berkley 100% Fluoro.

> “I love that orange in muddy pre-spawn.”

Crazy impressive was catching that much weight with 5 fish IN A ROW and on a cold, muddy lake.

Speakin’ o’ dirty 30s, gotta shout out these guys fer also ketchin’ one — 33.72 lbs at Lake Parker, FL in an Xtreme Bass Series derby. They had a 11.42 (big bass) and a 9.92 — word is they were flippin’ cattails, no bait info…yet. 2nd had 27.28.

2nd-5th St Johns Elite baits.

2nd: John Crews — 5th at the St Johns last year

> VMC Tokyo Rig: Missile Baits ??? (Classic-release bait he’s not outin’ yet, in junebug), 1/8-oz weights (2), 3/0 hook,18-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro, 7′ 2″ MH signature Cashion Wormin Rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel (7:1).

> Dropshot: Same mystery Missile bait, 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG Hook, 1/8-oz weight, 10-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro leader to 12-lb Sunline X-Plasma Braid, 7′ 4″ MH Cashion signature Drop Shot Rod, Daiwa Ballistic 3000 Reel.

> Jack Hammer: 1/2-oz (bluegill or black/blue) with 3.5″ Missile Baits Shockwave (gp or shrapnel), 20-lb Sunline Sniper, 7′ 1″ Cashion Chatterbait Rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel (6.4).
> Scattered lily pads and docks in 1-4′.
3rd: Kelley Jaye — tied best finish ever in an Elite
> Berkley Cutter (ayu and pearl vapor), ML Abu Veracity and M Abu Fantasista rods, Abu Revo AL-F Reels, 12-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
> “I was fishing a 4-6′ creek channel swing in a creek on Lake George.”
4th: Cliff Prince — home water, 17th last yr, 6th in ’16


> “The first 2 days I used a crankbait and a jerkbait.” Shell beds in 8-10′.

> Bomber Fat Free Shad (citrus, with the same #4 Owner trebles) on a 7.4 Fitzgerald Bryan Thrift Crankbait Rod, Fitzgerald Reel (6.3), 10-lb Seaguar Tatsu.
> “The third day I pitched a Bass Assassin Fat Job (junebug) to cypress trees.” 4/0 Owner Jungle Flippin’ Hook, 1/4-oz lead weight, 7.3 MH Fitzgerald All Purpose Rod on 15-lb Seaguar Tatsu.

5th: Jake Whitaker — tied best finish ever in an Elite

> “…weightless wacky rig around docks. I was throwing a Bizz Baits Sassy Stick (gp magic).”

Looks like Bryan Thrift is still a hammer.

Thor Bryan had a money cow on his farm by the name of FLW, then I guess he sold that sucka and bought a little calf named MLF??

What was I talkin’ ’bout — oh yeah: At his first derby with a WAY-different format he finished 2nd. Yep it’s just one derby, but you gotta recall that several of his hammer peers had a tough time figgerin’ that whole deal out last year. Had to call him to find out what’s up so:

Me: Did you change anything going into this format?

Bryan: I didn’t change anything. I just fished like I always did. I said at the start of the year that’s what I was going to do til I’d see if I needed to change. To me it’s still just catching bass. Always try to catch as many as you can.

So you’ve always done that, even in 5-fish tourneys?

As many as I could. If you catch 50 fish in a day, 5 of them are going to be big. In the MLF format that works good because they all count.

What was your first experience with that format like? Any surprises?

Some things I was concerned if I would like, like the 15-minute breaks during the day. I felt like maybe that would throw me off. But I actually loved it. I really liked having a break between periods. It gave me time to sit down, tie on new baits, retie — it just kind of gives you a mental reset. I really enjoyed that.

Sounds to me like the MLFers didn’t bestow the appropriate amount of hazing and pranks on the new guy….


1. Brett Hite said on the BPT postgame he’s won $1 mil+ on his bait.

Dude! He’ll get a chance to add to that at the next BPT at Okeechobee, which is where the Chatterbait was born tourney-wise. Told me he’s goin’ for:

2. Freddy Boom Boom’s Dobyns rods are on TW.

Here’s you the manly casting sticks and not-as-manly (lol) spin stix. Note: they are NOT orange or black, which I hear caused Gary Dobyns many a sleepless night til Fred texted him that he needed to go with that color or Fred was gonna out the time Gary chickened out on a 1v1 bass on the Delta. Oops….


3. IA proposing a new rule for catch/photo/release tourneys (pdf).

4. TX: Ever seen a log perch?

Here’s the baitfish (from LBJ) and a jerkbait that wasn’t tryin’ to match it but happens to do a good job of it:

Looks to me a Vision 110 with innerestin’ hooks….

5. BOOYAH spinnerbaits are the new #1?

Accordin’ to the Nov-Dec 2019 report, YTD purchases of BOOYAH spinenrbaits were — if I’m readin’ it right — 15.5% of purchases vs 10.2% for Strike King. Not sure how accurate the survey deal is, but if it’s right I can’t recall a time when Strike King wasn’t #1 in that category?

Looks like in-line spinners were included tho don’t think that matters. Wonder how much of it is the new Covert Series for BOOYAH. Jason Christie’s gonna read this and ask for a raise hahaha!

6. Rapala DT Series still 25% off at Tackle Warehouse!.

Deal ends SATURDAY.

7. New SPRO Spin John is SPRO’s first spybait.

Already on TW here. SPRO better keep Johnny Crews else they’re gonna have to rename a ton o’ baits….

8. MT: Cool group takes disabled folks fishing/hunting.

Love it man, too cool.

9. Asian carp updates.

KY is trying to get as many Asian carp outta lakes as possible.

Word! Here’s one thing they thought about tryin’:

Voted down cuz no one wanted it raining carp…and it might kill a few bass too….

One dude from the US Geological Survey thinks they can control these fish (what are they waiting for??):

> “There’s nothing magic about bighead and silver carp. They are just like any other fish. We manage all kinds of fish. …And we can go in and control them if that’s what we want to do. And I think most of us want to do that because we really prefer to have bass and catfish and crappie.”

10. The round goby can tolerate just about any water.

If that’s the case we all better be buyin’ tubes and those Bite Me Big Dude heads:

> Its marked ability to adapt to new environments is apparently related to its immune system….

11. Aussie gov’t using $-tagged fish to get more tourism…

…in fire-affected areas. Tagged fish are worth up to $10K. Now THAT’s a gov’t that cares about fishing mate! (And peeps.) Good to see….


Fish with Keith Combs deal I mentioned last time will be rescheduled cuz of the Chickamauga Elite gettin’ rescheduled.

On right now…

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Tip of the Day

Quick one: Make MULTIPLE casts with a spinnerbait…

…when the water’s cold and muddy. Jason Christie:

> …Christie makes short but accurate casts just past the target and works the bait as close to the cover as possible.

> Depending on the complexity of the cover and how likely he thinks a given spot is to hold fish, he might make several casts from different angles. …bass almost need to be hit on the nose when the water is muddy [and] it sometimes takes multiple looks to coax one into biting under those conditions.

The multiple short casts at different angles thing got me….

Quote of the Day

“I’m not interested in pretty. I’m interested in catching bass.”

Greg Hackney talkin’ ’bout his bachelor days catching bass (duh!) in muddy water — specifically using as black a bait as he can get with no flake if he can get it thataway.

Shot of the Day

Caption from a man of the law on FB was: “Verbal warning given.”

Love the dude took the time to screw that in…and went fishing…but then prolly got some heat….

Ya got me

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