Many earn the status of pro, but few attain the level of legendary among the ranks of professional bass anglers. Jacob Wheeler is clearly both, with the cinching of back-to-back Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) titles — 2021 and 2022, respectively. So how’d he do it? This video delves into Wheeler’s mindset and tactics to consistently catch fish throughout the season and rise above his peers in the points race. *Key tackle at the bottom.
As Wheeler explains, versatility was crucial to his success. Top-tier performance in today’s tournament scene requires you to be a good generalist — competent with every technique — instead of a specialist in a few tactics. He takes us through an event-by-event overview, highlighting key tactics and baits and how he pivoted to stay on top of the points race. Every tournament was unique and varied, with different environmental, seasonal, and weather conditions. As such, he attacked each event with an open mind regarding tactics and lures.
The bottom line: Wheeler’s consistency and success is the culmination of insane talent and work ethic. One without the other isn’t enough. And for those questioning your abilities out there, Wheeler thinks you can do it too if you have the drive. He’d love the opportunity to fish against you one day!
SOME KEY TACKLE PLAYERS
- DROP SHOT HOOK – VMC Neko Hook, size – 1/0
- JERKBAIT – Rapala Shadow Rap Deep
- Rapala OG Tiny 4
- Rapala DT16
- Rapala DT10
- Rapala DT8
- JIGGING BAIT – Rapala Jigging Rap, sizes 7 & 9
- SWIMBAIT – Storm Largo Shad, 3-inch
- SWIMBAIT HOOK – VMC Hybrid Swimbait Hook
- HAT – Rapala® Red, White & Blue Trucker Cap