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Wheeler Lake FLW Tour Open

Jay Yelas Ė Competition Recap
Saturday, September 22, 2012

> Day 1: 5, 8-03
> Day 2: 5, 6-04
> Total = 10, 14-07 (63rd place)

I think I just fished the wrong end of the lake. I fished up the lake near the Guntersville Dam and the upper part of the river and in some creeks. Not only did I not catch them, but all the guys I bumped into, none of them caught them either. I wish Iíd have spent more time on the lower end, but I thought I could catch them up the river. There wasnít really a whole lot of boat traffic up there and it just didnít pan out.

In years past, Iíve fished the lower end a lot Ė Elk River, First and Second creeks Ė and a lot of the top weights are coming from down there, but I opted not to fish there and it was just a bad decision.

I just wasnít around them. Otherwise, Iíd have done a lot better. I do that a lot, though, where Iíll commit to a section of the lake before we get there and Iíll just spend my whole practice there. Most of the time it works, but it didnít work this time. It was just one of those stinkers. It just confirms why Wheeker Lake is my least favorite lake. Itíll remain that way my whole career and nothingís going to change that.

Sometimes youíll go to a tournament and every decision you make is wrong and it doesnít happen often, but this is easily my worst tournament of the year. I just didnít have a good performance. It was embarrassing to finish that low. If itíd been a full field, Iíd have been in the 120s. That was pretty darn close to the bottom and thatís not like me at all. The good thing is thereís another tournament next week (Toyota Texas Bass Classic) and then we finish up at Sam Rayburn so hopefully I can finish the year strong.

Luke Clausen - Practice Recap
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday was just confirmation that things are going to be pretty random. Iíd go down a stretch and get bit on this and then Iíd move down a little further and get bit on that. I think itís going to be a case of weíre just going to go fishing because things are changing a lot.

Hopefuly Iíll be able to put something together throughout the day. Wheelerís not that huge of a lake as far as fishable water goes and Iím sure things are going to change from what we saw in practice. Iím not going to fish real deep.

Three-pounders are going to go a long way in this thing. I only know of maybe a half-dozen 3-pounders caught amongst everyone in practice. Itís going to be a grind.

Luke Clausen - Day 2 Practice
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Photo: BassFan

It rained pretty much non-stop (Monday) and theyíre saying we could get 4 to 5 inches by the time itís done. Itís going to change things. I donít know if itíll be good or bad. Itís been pretty tough. Itís possible it could get tougher, but itíll create some opportunities.

(Sunday) and (Monday) were about the same. I caught a few fish and ground it out, nothing too spectacular. I could catch some throughout the day, but didnít really figure anything out. I used about 10 different rods and tried a lot of different stuff. Hopefully, things will be more solid on Tuesday.

On Sunday, I fished from Decatur down and (Monday), I ran up the river and at this point, Iíd say the river looks better to me. I need to keep trying to see if I can figure out something a little more solid. Itís a lot of junk-fishing and thatís probably due to it being September, too.

I would never count (the Alabama Rig) out. Itís so situational that if we were to get some current, it could definitely play a factor. Thereís enough bait and the baitís grouping up and the fish are getting to where itís getting right for them to feed like that. Weíd need some more current and this rain may do that.

Part of the problem is you can catch one in 2 feet of water just as easy as you can in 22 feet of water. Itís really scattered and the fish are spread out and that lends itself more to junk-fishing, so youíre going to have to bounce around and fish areas where the fish are.

Jay Yelas - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Photo: BassFan

Itís not a lake I forward to coming to, thatís for sure, and I think a lot of people in Alabama feel the same way because nobody fishes this lake. They all fish Guntersville or they fish Pickwick, but Wheelerís always had a lot of bass, just not a lot of big fish, at least since the grass has gone away.

I donít understand why thereís no grass. Guntersville has more grass this year than itís had in years and you see milfoil floating down the river all day long from Guntersville and yet it doesnít take root. Thereís got to be a reason why.

I was just trying to find some fish and trying to find some baitfish and see whatís going on. I havenít fished here in a long time. Iím just trying to find something good. I really donít know what to expect here. I went back and looked at some old tournament results from September tournaments and gosh, 12 pounds a day back then won those tournaments. I donít know how the lake has changed since then, but itís surely a tough time of year. Itís a lake that has tons of fish in it, but the big fish in September are pretty tough.

I donít know what itís going to take to do well here. I donít have a lot of comparisons other than some 10-year-old tournaments where it took 12 pounds a day to win in September. I think itíll be pretty tough.

Today, I couldíve caught 11 or 12 pounds. I didnít catch a lot of fish, but I did find one spot where there was a school of fish and I couldíve caught several there if I wanted to. I fished for several hours and didnít catch anything today also. Iím just going to keep looking for similar stuff to where I found that school today and see if I can find something else like it.

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