Wheeler's sudden flurry

"There's a hundred of 'em down there and they all weigh three and half pounds apeice."

And with that the flurry began for Jacob Wheeler. 

Spending 13 days on Cherokee Lake in December is paying off. While there he spent the entire time graphing the lake, from one end to the other. 

Wheeler made a key, planned move to a spot that is producing the fish. Within 10 minutes here's what he's caught, by time and weight, according to BASSTrak. 

10:16 a.m.: 3-4

10:16 a.m.: 2-0

10:26 a.m.: 4-0

10:27 a.m.: 3-12

10:27 a.m.: 3-8

10:28 a.m.: 4-0

The key point to remember is afternoon was the best time of the day for Wheeler on Day 2. 

What's Hartman doing?

Jamie Hartman is in a lull. He's near Panther Creek in the mid to lower end of Cherokee Lake. Hartman hasn't had a bite in nearly an hour. He says he can see plenty of fish on his electronics, but can't get them to bite.

Hartman is fishing a mud flat where the water is 25 to 35 feet deep with occasional pits. The bait lay in the pits, attracting smallmouth. We're seeing many guys this week fishing the same pattern.

Fishing side by side

As Jacob Wheeler's armada of spectators was building, they suddenly parted like the Red Sea as Minnesota pro Seth Feider pulled up to fish the very same spot.

Some words were exchanged, but the wind kept me from hearing the discussion. For now, the two young anglers are cordially sharing the spot.

BassCam: Feider vs. Wheeler

Feider and Wheeler go head to head on the same spot Day 4.

It takes a village

Terrance Hudson (via Twitter) showed "Bassmaster Live" the love Jesse Wiggins is getting from the town of Addison, Ala. His tweet: 

#basslive yes his family and pretty much the whole town of Addison,Al his hometown is in Knoxville!! #cullmanaddress #thefishingninja

Wheeler: Zero to hero in minutes

Jacob Wheeler had a tough morning, in fact he was beginning to get panicky. He had one 2-pounder by 10 and was scanning spot after spot.

As you saw on BASSTrakk, Wheeler suddenly shot to the top after loading the boat with over 18 pounds, and it happened in 10 minutes with six drops of his line.

If you have any tournament experience, or follow the game you know how rare these types of occurrences are. Wheeler may have just made a game-winning decision...

There's still plenty of time and anything can happen.

Catching up with Wheeler

Just spotted Jacob Wheeler. According to BASSTrakk, he should have good weight in his livewell.

"BASSTrakk is off; I only have two fish," Wheeler said with a big smile.

His cameraman gave me a gesture not to listen to him.

Mullins' rabbit trick

The one piece of gear that you'd never think of seeing this week on Cherokee Lake is in the hands of David Mullins. It's gear that will likely see use at the next event at Lake Okeechobee, not the deep, clear water of Cherokee. 

In Mullins hand is a push pole. He used it to push his boat over shallow rocks to gain access to a pond. It's familiar territory. Mullins previously caught a 20-pound bag to win a tournament in this pond during this time of the year and under the same fishing conditions.

What makes it unique is the location near an island. Those are proving key for the top anglers, Jesse Wiggins included. The islands near ponds like those fished by Wiggins, and now Mullins, create current breaks for the predator smallmouth. They use the calm water to ambush baitfish. 

Mullins planned to fish the spot now occupied by Wiggins. Instead, he's potentially pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the few hours remaining in the tournament. Saving this spot for last could be a wise move.  

Wheeler on top

I just checked in Jacob Wheeler's cameraman, and the estimate of 18-8 in the past hour is confirmed. Jacob Wheeler has unofficially taken the lead.

Will he have two Elite Series wins in two events? Only time will tell, but it looks like he has a good chance.

Is it a "sneak hole" that 15-days of graphing helped him find?

Make sure to tune in at 11:30 to Bassmaster LIVE.

Larger fish later on?

Though morning momentum has been key for filling a limit, the afternoon bite has not been too bad for finding a 3-pound plus fish. Yesterday, with 51 anglers over 20 fish over 3 pounds were put in the livewell after 10:30 a.m.

Notably, Jacob Wheeler caught his two largest fish after noon yesterday.

Today, Wheeler has recently gone on a flurry after Bassmaster LIVE took its mid-morning hiatus. He's checked in with six over 3 pounds in the last 30 minutes, the early morning bite was not on for Wheeler, but now he's estimated by BASSTrakk at 18-8, taking the unofficial lead from Jesse Wiggins.

With the late morning and afternoon catches registering larger than most early morning feeders, we could see Wheeler take command, if BASSTrakk's estimates are correct.

Tune in with Zona and Sanders on Bassmaster LIVE at 11:30 to see what may have changed over the break.

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