When the tournament started, 20-year-old Jacob Wheeler had $20 and a PB&J to his name. By the end of the weekend, he held over 36 pounds of largemouth bass and $100,000 in his tired-from-reeling arms.
Jacob took part in the Bass Fishing League All-American Championship held at Cross Lake outside of Shreveport, Louisiana. His weight total put him more than 9 pounds ahead of second place. He built a big lead early and never gave it up.
Prior to winning the BFL, his career earnings in pro-fishing were under $4,000. He even had to borrow a bass boat from his uncle to compete in the tourney. Chances are he’ll be casting from a nice, shiny new boat in his next tournament.
But the Broad Ripple, Indiana native had some help along the way. He has a handful of faithful sponsors (we’ll see if they can hang on to Jacob) as well as one heckuva mentor in Terry McWilliams. Terry, 62, is an Indiana bass fishing legend as well as a highly sought after guide. He gave Jacob a lot of the tools he used to win the BFL.
So Jacob was the combination of youthful energy with help from the older and wiser among us. Can’t argue with the results. Congrats Jacob!