You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Jacob Wheeler from Harrison, Tenn. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world, according to BassFan.com, added a sixth victory to his impressive run by winning the FLW Super Tournament on Chickamauga Lake. During the four-day event Wheeler was the only angler who brought more than 20 pounds of bass to the scale every day for a total of 93-12.
His Thursday bag was anchored by 10-pounder. He was so excited that he put the big bass in his livewell without culling out a fish. So, when he made his next cast, he had six fish in his livewell, which is a 2-pound penalty.
“When you catch one that big in a tournament, you know, you get a little flustered,” says Wheeler. “It doesn’t happen all the time. I throw her in my livewell and I’m so excited to make another cast. I go up there, fire out there and I’m like, ‘gosh dangit.’ I culled it on my Rapala scale but didn’t make the cull. So I called it in immediately.”
In spite of the 2-pound penalty Wheeler topped second place angler Cole Floyd by 11-13.
"This has been an unbelievable week," said Wheeler. "I put more [practice] time in for this event than I ever have for any event before."
Wheeler moved to Harrison from Indiana about three years ago specifically to be near Chickamauga. Today he said, "I just don't know how I could ever leave this place."
Sixth place finisher Mile Burghoff also moved to Soddy Daisy to learn Chickamauga.
"This is kind of a coming-out party for me on Chickamauga," Burghoff told the crowd. "I finally got a Top 10 finish."
Fifth place finisher Alex Davis said, "I love this lake. I think it's the best lake in the country."
Anglers had to suffer through a two-hour fog delay Friday morning. Throughout the tournament, Wheeler said he was constantly rotating between shallow and offshore spots. He said understanding the TVA generation schedules and how it affects water flow is critical.
"You have to understand TVA (water flows)," he said. "When to stay, when to leave, what to throw. There was no magical bait. You had to switch it up and throw a little bit of everything."
The event was sponsored in part by FishDayton.com and Rhea County Economic Development.