Jacob Wheeler is no stranger to taking home the hardware in the world of professional bass fishing. Prior to qualifying to compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series, Wheeler was one of the big dogs on the FLW Tour. Winning both the All American and the Forrest Wood Cup (which is the FLW Tour championship). Add a win at the Elite Series level prior to fishing the Elites at the first BASSfest at Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee, and you get the idea, Wheeler can fish.
So it was no big shock he won his first foray into the world of the Bassmaster Elite Series as a regular season competitor. Yep, Cherokee Lake in Tennessee was a hard fought battle for Wheeler to win, but like his career up until this point, it fits in with his belief that if you try and work harder than everyone else, good things will happen.
Jacob Wheeler (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
"Coming into this year I felt as though I had the best overall season of my career last year," said Wheeler. During last season, I fished 6 FLW Tour events and 6 B.A.S.S. Opens plus the Forrest Wood Cup and never missed earning a check. It was my best year as far as overall.
"Heck, at the Pickwick FLW stop, if I weigh a limit on the day I weighed two fish I could've won the Angler of the Year (AOY). Of course, Andy Morgan won it again. He is amazing. Last year I just worked and worked and worked every day as hard as I could."
For Wheeler, it's not about short-term plans. His mission is to go into each event completely prepared and be in position to either win or place as high as he possibly can.
"For me, each day is part of the entire story," said Wheeler. "I don't ever let up. I'm always thinking I will be catching fish. That one slip up in concentration and effort can cost you that fish. That one little fish could've earned you an extra point in the AOY race and that can be the difference in winning the whole thing, qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic, or qualifying for the AOY Championship tournament. That one point always means something to someone.
"This sport, my career... it's a marathon, not a sprint. I will try and work harder than everybody else to achieve success. You need every minute of the day to be a success. I don't know that I will ever be satisfied."