Wheeler Still Leads Forrest Wood Cup Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Lanier
DULUTH, Ga. – Forty-six of the best professional bass anglers continued their four-day battle for a top cash award of $500,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup, the bass fishing championship on Lake Lanier on Friday.
Overcast skies and wind greeted anglers on the second day of competition. After weighing a massive 21 pounds, 15 ounces on the opening day of competition, Fatheadz pro Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Ind., retained his lead after Day 2 by weighing a five-bass limit for 11 pounds, 12 ounces. Wheeler’s two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 11 ounces gives him a 3-pound, 3-ounce lead heading into the third day of the tournament.
“I just never got that big bite,” said Wheeler, who won the Bass Fishing League All-American in 2011. “It was a struggle this morning to catch what I caught. I pulled into the area that I really thought was a good area where I caught three big ones yesterday and didn’t catch any good ones there today.”
Wheeler said he had only three fish at 1 p.m. He started to scramble, and managed to eke out seven keepers during the day.
“When you start fishing against the clock, you start worrying, not fishing well and you stop concentrating,” Wheeler said. “It just doesn’t work out real well. Fortunately, I made a few good adjustments and I was blessed with a few good bites. Hopefully, tomorrow if I can get a couple of big bites I’ll be right back where I need to be.”
Wheeler said most of his fish came while flipping a Trigger X Flippin’ Tube or using a Rapala X-Rap Prop. He also caught a few fish on a different prop bait as well as a Chatterbait. He said the area he fished is small, and the shallow, spooky fish he was targeting were affected somewhat by boat traffic.
Wheeler said one area he’s fishing contains resident fish that aren’t moving around, and when those fish are all caught, that spot will be empty. He said he has a backup plan, including areas he fished during practice he hasn’t touched during competition.
“Some spots I’m revisiting, and some spots I’m just pulling into a pocket or area and saying, ‘OK. That looks good,’” Wheeler said. “You have to make adjustments on the fly in this tournament. In a four-day tournament that’s what you have to do.”
Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., is in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30-8.
The top 20 pros that will continue to Saturday’s competition are:
1st: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 10 bass, 33-11
2nd: Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 10 bass, 30-8
3rd; Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 29-4
4th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-0
5th: Dion Hibdon, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 10 bass, 29-0
6th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 27-7
7th: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 27-2
8th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-6
9th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 24-5
10th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 10 bass, 24-5
11th: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 24-3
12th: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 10 bass, 24-3
13th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 23-11
14th: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 10 bass, 23-8
15th: Scott Suggs, Bryant Ark., 10 bass, 23-8
16th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 23-0
17th: Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 22-0
18th: Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 10 bass, 21-6
19th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 10 bass, 21-2
20th: Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 10 bass, 20-15
Overall there were 189 bass weighing 433 pounds, 8 ounces caught by pros Friday. The catch included 28 five-bass limits.
Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces, followed by Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., in second place with seven bass weighing 14-13. Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $50,000 that will be awarded Saturday.
The top 20 co-anglers are:
1st: Matt Krekovich, Granite City, Ill, eight bass, 18-14
2nd: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., seven bass, 14-13
3rd: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, four bass, 12-8
4th: Jason Johnson, Dawsonville, Ga., six bass, 12-6
5th: Rob Hicks, Lula, Ga., six bass, 12-3
6th: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., five bass, 12-1
7th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., seven bass, 11-12
8th: Timothy Dearing, Loudon, Tenn., six bass, 11-9
9th: Mike Devere, Berea, Ky., six bass, 11-6
10th: Cory Leonard, Castalia, N.C., five bass, 11-3
11th: Alex Posey, Roswell, Ga., seven bass, 11-1
12th: James Waller, Cypress, Texas, seven bass, 11-1
13th: Doug Caldwell, Kane, Pa., seven bass, 10-15
14th: Shane Winchester, Glasgow, Ky., four bass, 10-14
15th: Hoyt Tidwell, West Point, Tenn., five bass, 10-3
16th: Rich Dalbey, Greenville, Texas, four bass, 10-2
17th: J.R. Wright, Truckee, Calif., five bass, 10-2
18th: Brook Pauley, Morgantown, W. Va., six bass, 10-2
19th: Casey Martin, New Market, Ala., four bass, 9-8
20th: Ralph Myhlhousen, Council Bluffs, Iowa, five bass, 8-12
Overall there were 82 bass weighing 167 pounds, 10 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included one five-bass limit.
Anglers will take off from Laurel Park located at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway in Gainesville, Ga., at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at the Gwinnett Convention Center located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Ga., beginning at 5 p.m. daily.