Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Jacob Wheeler Wins 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour Lake Champlain!

Jacob Wheeler claims back-to-back Bass Pro Tour events after winning the Toyota Stage Six Presented by Googan Baits. Photo by Josh Gassmann.

By Mason Prince

Bass Pro Tour Press Release

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – What else is there to say about Jacob Wheeler? What other superlatives can be thrust upon the most successful angler in Bass Pro Tour history? Not only is it another win for Wheeler—his third of the season and his fifth in three years on the Bass Pro Tour—but it’s another win in dominating fashion in the Championship Round. Jacob Wheeler is your Toyota Stage Six Presented by Googan Baits champion on Lake Champlain.

The Googan Baits pro grabbed the lead from Kelly Jordon just 30 minutes into Period 1 and never surrendered it again. Wheeler brought in 27 bass for 88 pounds, 2 ounces to win his second event in a row and the eighth MLF win of his career. After adding another trophy to his mantle from a win on the St. Lawrence River just over a month ago, Wheeler may be considering adding a second home in the Empire State thanks to his recent success.

“New York has been pretty good to me this year, I’m not going to lie to you,” Wheeler said shortly after confirming his win with his MLF official. “I love this sport so much. I love competing, I love preparing for events, I love competing against this group of guys and I love winning. You have to fish against the best guys in the world to become better and that’s what I’ve done since joining the Bass Pro Tour.”

Wheeler once again rode a drop-shot to his win, the same setup that helped him succeed all week long. The week on Champlain showed that the largemouth bite could get you paid, but Wheeler showed that it was the smallmouth bite that was going to get the win. All of Wheeler’s 27 scorable bass were smallmouth while all of Gallelli’s 21 bass were largemouth.

The Tennessee pro now becomes the only angler to win back-to-back events on the Bass Pro Tour and the only angler with five tour wins to his credit. He entered Stage Six with an average margin of victory in his previous four wins sitting at 17-11. Factoring in his 30-13 of separation above second-place Jacopo Gallelli, Wheeler now has won his five events by an average of 20-5. Keep in mind, that’s including just a 2-ounce victory over Bobby Lane on Lake Travis at Stage Two.

“When you win an event, you sometimes don’t appreciate it until later,” Wheeler explained. “I’m going to be sure to savor this one because it was a fun one. I can’t wait to get home and celebrate with my wife and family. We did it.”

Another trophy that Wheeler has his sights set on that has eluded him in his career is an Angler of the Year trophy. The Indiana native entered Stage Six 14 points behind leader Ott DeFoe and will leave with a 12-point hole to climb out of at Lake St. Clair for Stage Seven. While Wheeler was whacking them out deep, DeFoe stayed consistent catching both smallmouth and largemouth with a crankbait and stick bait. DeFoe earned a much-needed third-place finish with 18 bass for 50-6.

Brent Ehrler came into Stage Six in second place on the AOY table but will leave in third place and 17 points behind DeFoe. Ehrler had a 10th-place finish with eight bass for 25-14 on the day.

Numbers and Notes from the Championship Round

  • Jacob Wheeler caught the most bass (27) for the most weight (88-2).
  • Jacob Wheeler caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day ($1,000), a 4-15 smallmouth.
  • Shaw Grigsby and Takahiro Omori will share the Berkley Big Bass prize for the event, as they both caught a 5-14 bass. Both anglers will take home $1,500.
  • Justin Lucas finished in seventh place with 10 bass for 29-7. He will begin Stage Seven 47 points behind DeFoe in the AOY race.

What’s Next

The Bass Pro Tour’s 2021 season concludes at Lake St. Clair in Detroit, Michigan on September 10. The offshoot of Lake Erie will host a Bass Pro Tour event for the first time. Stay tuned to MajorLeagueFishing.com for previews and coverage of what is sure to be another exciting event.

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