All of the competitors who opened the FLW Outdoors Forrest Wood Cup championship Thursday expected fishing on Lake Lanier to be tough. It was.
Twenty-two of the of the 42-man field finished the day with less than 10 pounds. Only two broke the 15 pound barrier.
When Scott Canterbury weigh-in a 16 pound 9 ounce limit the general feeling that surged through the knot of reporters covering the event was that Canterbury might hold the lead.
Then Jacob Wheeler walked on stage.
Wheeler is 21, the youngest fisherman here. His 21 pound 15 ounce catch stunned and electrified the small but vocal Day 1 crown.
He leads by more than 5 pounds.
“Everything went my way today,” said Wheeler, who is from Indianapolis, Ind. “I caught a 5 pounder, then a 4 1/2 pounder, then a 3 pounder and I thought, ‘This might be a pretty good day.'”
Fishermen returned to action Friday, when the field will be trimmed to 20 pros and 10 co-anglers. The co-angler champ will be determined Saturday; and the pro winner Sunday, when only the top 10 from Saturday will fish.
The FLW sport show opens Friday and will be open at no charge to the public the final three days of the tournament. It’ll be an entertain and informative venue but is also a backdoor reminder that the undercurrent of big time fishing events is selling stuff, be it gear or the sport. There’s nothing wrong with sales, of course. It’s the American way.
Check the leader board and full schedule at www.flwoutdoors.com.