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Wheeler Lake

Posted by casey on October 3, 2012

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Day 1 Big Bass and Co Angler lead

The third stop on the FLW Tour Open schedule was set for Wheeler Lake, a fishery that I get to fish a couple of times a year. It’s actually closer to where I live than Guntersville

 but it is hard to pass up Guntersville to head to Wheeler since the bite on Wheeler can be tough with the lack of aquatic vegetation. Although this event was close to home I was only able to practice for two days for this event having fished a BFL the weekend before. The weather was pretty horrible in practice. The heavy rain made it tough to get around on the lake and just about all the anglers were soaked getting off the water at the boat ramp.

A cold front hit just in time for the tournament and was sure to make for even tougher conditions on an already tough body of water. On day one I drew Shane Long from Missouri; he is a young up-and-coming angler and we had a great day on the water. Shane pretty much junk-fished most of the day and I did the same behind him catching fish on a ChatterBait, Boing Topwater Lure and a Picasso Schoolie Rig. I did my best to focus on big fish and I had a number of bites but only managed six keepers on the day but when I weighed in it was good enough to take the lead with 12 pounds, 11 ounces and also won the daily Big Bass award on the co-angler side.

On day two I was reunited with Paul Elias. Paul and I had fished together in the FLW Tour Open on Lake Guntersville last year that we had both won so I was hoping maybe to have another great day. This time Paul wasn’t around many fish and he managed four keepers and I squeaked out three small keepers flipping a 1/2-ounce Picasso Tungsten weight with a pegged beaver-style bait. The bite was extremely tough and when I got to weigh-in I finished day two in fifth place –  making the top 20 cut.

On day three I was paired again with Shane Long since he was in fifth place on the pro side. From day one to day three Shane had really dialed in how the fish were biting and made it real tough to catch fish behind him. Looking back, going into the last day I knew I had some ground to make up so I pretty much threw nothing but the Picasso Schoolie Rig and Boing Topwater to try and get five big bites to win the event. Once again I probably should’ve gone conservative and scratched out a limit but I kind of swung for the fence and struck out. I did manage to finesse up four small keepers towards the end of the day that weighed pound and change. It wasn’t the finish I wanted but those four small keepers kept me in the top 10 finishing the event in eighth place. 

This event was one that I really enjoyed. When FLW comes to North Alabama all the fans welcome the anglers with open arms and the town of Decatur was no different. I am preparing to head out in a couple of days for the final co-angler event of the season at Sam Rayburn. I’m looking forward to it since it’ll be my first time on that body of water. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, Casey.  www.caseymartinfishing.com