The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less.
Buzzbaits, swim jigs, vibrating jigs, frogs and spinnerbaits dominated the scene at Wheeler. Here’s a look at the baits that did most of the damage for the top 10 anglers.
1. To win the event, Kip Carter used two shallow-water mainstays: a 3/8-ounce Dirty Jigs buzzbait teamed with a black Zoom Horny Toad and a 3/8-ounce white swim jig with a Zoom Super Chunk tied to 50-pound-test braid.
2. Harry Peyton stuck with two lures for his shallow-water approach: a Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog (bream) and a Texas-rigged 8-inch Zoom Lizard (junebug) tied to 17-pound-test Vicious fluorocarbon.
3. Dustin Smith attacked shallow creek ends with a 5/16-ounce Accent Jacob Wheeler signature series buzzbait (black) paired with a Strike King Rage Magnum Menace Grub (black). When he went in the creeks to flip wood, he picked up a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Bug (green pumpkin) with a 3/8-ounce weight tied to 20-pound-test Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon. He also caught some fish on a popper.
5. Lavoyd Lemmond’s primary player for the week was a 1/2-ounce Boogerman buzzbait (black) teamed with Zoom Horny Toad (black) tied to 50-pound-test braid. He also pitched a Zoom Z Craw rigged with a Trokar TK-130 hook pegged to a 3/8-ounce weight on 20-pound-test Seaguar InvizX. If those two baits didn’t work, he resorted to a Zoom Trick Worm on a 1/4-ounce shaky head fished on 17-pound-test InvizX with a Mudhole 7-foot, 3-inch rod.
6. Jesse Millsaps employed a one-two punch during the week, using mostly a 1/2-ounce Lunker Lure buzzbait (white and chartreuse) on 17-pound-test fluorocarbon. He followed that up with a wacky-rigged 5-inch Yamamoto Senko (green pumpkin).
7. Josh Bragg used a trio of lures on the week. For power fishing, he relied on a 3/8-ounce Greenfish Tackle Hammerhead buzzbait teamed with a Zoom Horny Toad (white) and a 1/2-ounce Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer paired with a Castaic Jerky J (white). When dragging down creek drops, he picked up a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm (redbug) with a 3/8-ounce weight on 20-pound-test fluorocarbon.
8. Lynn Johnson spent most of the week fishing a Yamamoto Swim Senko (black) with a 1/4-ounce weight on 15-pound-test Seaguar InvizX. He also mixed in a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw on a 3/16-ounce weight and a spinnerbait.
9. Dustin Neat’s two-pronged approach for shallow grass included a 1/2-ounce Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer (chartreuse and white) teamed with a Yamamoto Zako trailer (white). When pitching to the grass, he went with a Texas-rigged Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw (sprayed grass) topped with a 3/8-ounce weight. Both were fished on 15-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon line.
10. Bill Spratlin kept it simple at Wheeler, choosing to fish lily pads with just one lure: a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait (chartreuse and white) paired with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail trailer.