Wheeler Lake Elite Series
Brent Chapman – Competition Wrapup
Friday, April 29, 2016
> Day 1: 5, 7-08
> Day 2: 5, 14-03
> Total = 10, 21-11 (71st place)
I messed up. I committed to a pattern, one of those deals where I was running way up the river, and once I committed to it I really didn't have a fall-back. What I had up there really died on me. There's obviously other was to catch them up there because that's what Steve Kennedy, Gary (Klein) and Edwin (Evers) did.
I got on that deal Tuesday (during practice) and figured I'd go up there, but I also thought the weights would be way lower than what they are. Today I opted to stay down here (on the main lake) and just go fishing and try to salvage what I could, and I was able to do that. It's frustrating because if what I'd done the first day what I did today, I'd be fishing tomorrow.
I just stayed down and fished shallow with a wacky-worm today. I think the fish are spawning, but I don't know for sure because I've yet to see any fry or anything. I don't know what guys are doing to catch the really good bags.
It's very disappointing, but at the same time I feel a little bit better because I salvaged some points. A 100th-place finish is so destructive, but one in the 70s doesn't kill you. Thank goodness I have two Top-5s to even out these last two finishes that weren't so good. I just need to make sure the next four tournaments go better than these last two.
Brent Chapman – Practice Recap
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I managed to get a few bites the last 2 days, but it's definitely not the Wheeler that I think we're all used to, and that's pretty evident by the way guys have been running around. When I came in today there wasn't a boat in sight on Decatur Flat. That's sad because this used to be such a phenomenal fishery.
I've got a game plan that I'm going to kind of commit to, and I just hope and pray that I'm making the right decision. I managed to figure out something that got me a few bites (on Tuesday) and if I stick with it all day, maybe I can get five. At this place it's usually a matter of catching a limit and then trying to get a big one, but at this one it's get a limit and pray for a big one. This is the Elite Series, though, and it seems like I've been underestimating things all year long.
I'd like to think that 10 pounds will be a pretty good bag, but I'm done guessing anymore. It's certainly not like 2011, when you could catch 50 to 100 fish a day.
Brent Chapman – Day 1 Practice
Monday, April 25, 2016
Photo: True Image Promotions
Pretty much all I can say is I eliminated a lot of water today. It was pretty darn tough. Usually the thing about Wheeler, just catching fish isn't a problem – it's finding quality. I don't know if the fish are in a weird post-spawn fun or if they haven't spawned yet, but I was kind of shocked at how few and far between the bites were.
Thank goodness we've got 2 more days. I know where I'm not going to fish and I've still got plenty to look at, and hopefully by Wednesday I'll have a lot better report.