Wheeler Overcomes Adversity On Cherokee
The Bassmaster Elite Series kicked off their season this past
week on Cherokee Lake near Knoxville, Tennessee. 110 of
the very best anglers in the sport headed out in search of the
biggest 5 fish limit. The event started out with snow showers
and eventually by day four, the anglers were faced with 70
degree temperatures. Needless to say, this tournament was
all about overcoming adversity and making key adjustments.
Speaking of adversity, on day two the Accent Fishing Pro,
Jacob Wheeler, had a technical malfunction with his depth finders, which caused him to lose over half of his waypoints that he acquired from practice. However, he kept his focus and managed to salvage the day with a very respectable 16 lb 15 oz limit, which kept him among the leaders. Luckily Wheeler had an additional SD card which held all of his original waypoints from practice, thus allowing him to fish all of his spots on days three and four.
Day 3 was another day of overcoming adversity for the newcomer to the Bassmaster Elite Series. About mid-day Wheeler had one of his lithium batteries go out, which left his trolling motor completely dead. With no way to effectively fish, Wheeler took advantage of a little known rule in the Bassmaster Elite Series. An angler may fish with another competitor as long as a Bassmaster marshal is present and each anglers fish are clearly marked. With that being said, Wheeler took off down the lake and eventually found Dustin Connell. Connell allowed Wheeler to board his boat and finish off the remainder of the day.(Now that is what you call good sportsmanship!) Wheeler went on to weigh in another solid limit of fish for 17-1 which had him in third place going into Championship Sunday.
Day 4 started out slow for Wheeler but at about 10:30 he went over a place and found a big school of smallmouth. He dropped his VMC Mooneye Jig paired with a 3-inch soft plastic jerkbait down to the bottom and immediately hooked up. He proceeded to fill his limit very quickly and take the unofficial lead. But Wheeler wasn't satisfied just yet... With roughly 20 minutes to go, Jacob moved to a place he had fished previously in hopes of one extra big fish bite. Low and behold he ended up getting that critical bite and landed what would eventually be the winning fish. Jacob was able to hold off fellow competitor, Jamie Hartman, by a slim 10 ounce margin and take home a $100,000 payday. In his career, the 26 year old has fished in two BASS events and won both of them! Needless to say he is batting 1,000 and looks to take that momentum into the next event in Florida.
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