Fish with Ish – In the Classic Wheeler Wrap Up

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IshBlogI’ve got to tell you that it feels really good to make the Bassmaster Classic.

I finished in the Elite 12 at Wheeler Lake last weekend and it was my fourth top 12 finish in the last five Elite Series tournaments. It was the kind of run that I had been wanting to get on for a while; I’ve had good tournaments, and some difficult ones over the past couple of years, but this was a roll that I really enjoyed.

So far…

I’ve got ICAST coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be there for Snag Proof, Lowrance and Daiwa; meeting with the media and business in general.
The Elite Series season is over, but I’m going to keep fishing. I’m on my way home to spend some time on the Delta and get back to throwing the Phat Frog and Punch and keep myself in fishing mode until I can get to the U.S. Open or the Pickwick Lake FLW Tour event. I haven’t decided which one I’m going to fish yet, but it will be one of them.

Back to Wheeler; I really fished two different ways. When I knew I needed a solid check to make the Classic; I went to the bank; picked up the Steez XBD Frog Rod; Zillion Type R reel spooled with 55-pound Daiwa Samurai braid and my Snag Proof Phat Frog in Papa Midnight Color.

I got an 11-14 limit on day one and wound up in 38th place. I did the same thing on day two and caught a 12-5 limit and moved up four places. On day three; figuring I had made the cut; I caught another 12 pound limit on the Phat Frog and then took a gamble.

At 11:00 I went offshore, and picked up a deep crankbait and a big flutter spoon and culled them all out. The crankbait was my buddy John Crews’ Little John DD in Nasty Shad color on an 7’2” Steez Fle-X-lite rod with a 4.9:1 Zillion Crazy Cranker reel and 10-pound-test Maxima Fluorocarbon and I threw a 5” Big Joe Lake Fork Spoon on an 8’ Steez Compile X rod and the Zillion Type R reel with 20-pound-test Maxima Fluorocarbon.

By 11:30 I had culled out all of my fish; including a four pounder that I had caught on the Phat Frog that morning. I ended up with 22 pounds in the livewell of my Ranger Z521, and the warm water caused a couple of them to die; so I went back to the ramp early to check in and take care of my fish.

It turned out to be a good week; I had a lot of fun, and I’m really happy with my 4th place finish. Like I said; it was my fourth top 12 of the season, and only three of us did that this year. KVD had five of them and Alton Jones and I did four times; that’s pretty good company.

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