2013 Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament Wheeler Lake - Decatur, AL, Sep 7 - 8, 2013

Toyota Bonus Bucks live blog

Volunteer fish runners

2:07 pm CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Teens from Muscle Shoals High School are volunteer fish runners today at the Toyota tournament.

Rusty Camp finds shade with the help of a lily pad

1:51 pm CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Stephen Whitehead boats a keeper

12:41 pm CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Fishing in the Delta Dawn

12:24 pm CDT, Sep 8, 2013

We found James Hatch and Dean Jackson less than two miles east of the Ingalls Harbor take-off. These Gainesville, Florida boys are frustrated that their Gators got beat by the Hurricanes yesterday – and the fact that they’ve only landed two small keepers isn’t adding to the fun.


 “Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” says Hatch regarding the football loss. The regular team tournament partners drove nearly 10 hours to get here. Hatch drives a 2013 SR5 Tundra – his fourth. “I’ve had four different colors, and loved ‘em all. I work from my truck as an energy consultant, and I tow this boat with it on the weekends. I don’t think there’s a more comfortable, safer, truck out there.”


At high noon Swindle’s Wounded Warrior guest, Ryan Dohrmann, boats another bass on a pink colored “Morning Dawn” worm rigged to a shaky head. “I’m glad I’m not competing today,” says Swindle as he poses with Ryan, and begins singing Delta Dawn. Swindle doesn’t sound near as good as Tanya Tucker did in 1972 – but as always, he brings laughter.

Sean Alvarez boats a big one on Wheeler

11:58 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Heading back into Swoop Pond

11:12 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Jackson Roberts and Jonathan Roberts have a couple in the box and are heading back in Swoop Pond looking to upgrade.

Gleason and Jeane upgrade with a 4-pounder

10:30 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

It's hotter out here than two rats racing in a wool sock

10:27 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Lake Wheeler is behaving in typical "dog days of summer" fashion - when the farmers are on the porch drinking lemonade waiting on a few cool nights, things are darn tough on Wheeler. This is a good reservoir, but we're here at a really tough time of year. Very little wind, high humidity, and no current being pulled. Water temp is 85.


The team of Manteuffel and Schun of Huntsville, Ala. said they tried fishing deep on the Tennessee River Channel to start the morning, but moved to a field of lilly pads in the back of Fox Creek. No keepers yet, but they'll keep slinging the white topwater frog.


I'm typing from the water in Gerald Swindle's boat. Ducking under the console for shade, so I can see my laptop screen under sunny skies. He's my boat captain and color commentator - and says, "it's hotter out here than two rats racing in a wool sock."  But nobody is complaining, we've got proper perspective on this Sunday morning thanks to having retired Cpl. Ryan Dohrmann as our guest. He's part of the Wounded Warrior organization. He served our country from 2005-2011, and was injured twice in Iraq - suffering a gun shot wound and shrapnel. He's beating Swindle one bass to nuthin' so far, and it's truly an honor to share the morning with him. Humbling, actually.

Father and son team

9:12 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Edgar and Will Alewine are fishing as a father-son team today on Wheeler. They're working docks and doing "ok" so far.

One team with a small limit

9:10 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Darold Gleason and Kevin Jeane with a small limit to start the day, looking for upgrades now.