Wheeler is fishing the hard stuff

Alan McGuckin – Dynamic Sponsorships


Team Toyota’s Jacob Wheeler may not be the first angler you think of when salty “river rats” are discussed, but actually, the mega-talented young angler cut his teeth pitching a Texas rigged tube to log jams on the White River in his hometown of Indianapolis.

“When I was 14, I’d ride my bike two miles to the boat ramp with five rods, a bag full of tackle trays, and 10-bucks for boat gas money for whoever was kind enough to take me along as their partner in the Wednesday night jackpots,” says Wheeler.

Fourteen years later, lessons learned in “Indy” continue to translate well as he climbs steadily through the rounds of MLF’s inaugural REDCREST Championship on the Upper Mississippi in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

However, unlike most anglers who are fishing thousands of acres of milfoil, eel grass, and duckweed around the Mississippi’s shoreline – Wheeler is fishing the hard stuff like seawalls, river barges, rocky banks, barge tie ups, and industrial man made stuff.

“I just never found a good group of fish in the vegetation. But my experience on rivers has taught me you can always get bites around the barges, seawalls, and that type of stuff,” he says.

“You’re not typically going to get a lot of bites off one particular dock or barge, or whatever, but I know if I hit 20 of those places a day, six or eight of them will produce fish,” he adds.

Wheeler is not partial to one or two lures when running and gunning the rough stuff, instead it’s sort of a junk fishing approach that involves jigs, buzz toads, finesse worms, small cranks and Chatterbaits.

Of course, you know, if he sees a log jam mixed in, he’ll pitch an old skool tube in there laced with memories of his childhood. And you can be certain he’d have ample anglers itching to take his $10 donation for boat gas money, for a chance to be his partner these days at any given Wednesday night jackpot.