Wheeler Buzzes his Way to Quick Win in Sudden Death Round 2
By Joel Shangle
June 11, 2018
VIDALIA, Louis. – Ask Jacob Wheeler what his favorite go-to topwater bait is and he’ll tell you immediately: Buzzbait.
The Tennessee pro showed just how effective a buzzbait can be on the waters of Lake Bruin, Louis., piling up 10 largemouth for 23 pounds, 15 ounces in less than two hours of Sudden Death Round 2 of the 2018 Lucas Oil Challenge Cup. Wheeler raced past the day’s 22-pound target weight in under three hours, qualifying for his second MLF Cup Championship Round in the four Cup events he’s competed in.
“A buzzbait is just a dependable bait – both for numbers and size – almost anywhere you go in the country, and almost any time of the year,” Wheeler said. “I had a feeling that things would go pretty quick today and that 22 pounds wouldn’t be hard to catch on that fishery, so I went right to the buzzbait. Late summer/early fall, it’s hard to beat that bait.”
Wheeler wasted no time in kick-starting SCORETRACKER, catching his first scorable bass of the day – a 2-1 – just eight minutes into Round 1. He followed with a 2-1 and a 3-1 within 6 minutes of one another, and by the time the first hour of competition was over, the Gene Larew pro was already halfway to the target weight with 11-11.
He was just as efficient in the second hour, piling up 9-8 in one 27-minute stretch to bring him just below the target weight, which he cleared with a 2-4 with 30 minutes still remaining in Period 1.
Takahiro Omori was the next to cross the 22-pound line, finishing up his 22-15 with three spotted bass. Edwin Evers was the next into the championship with 22-9, leaving the final spot open to an all-out race between Kevin VanDam and Jason Christie.
Christie climbed to within a scorable fish late in the second round, but VanDam sailed past him with twin back-to-back 1-7 largemouth to finish out at 22-8 on 13 fish.
NOTES: Wheeler, Omori, Evers and VanDam join Aaron Martens, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery and Gary Klein in the Championship Round.