At the third Elite Series event of the 2009 season, the pros will have a chance to catch some big smallmouth bass. Wheeler Lake is not only a solid largemouth fishery, but a strong bronzeback site, as well. Wheeler first came to national prominence in 1974 as the site of the fourth Bassmaster Classic. Since then, BASS has visited the lake for six other professional tournaments, including the 2008 Southern Challenge in which Jeremy Starks edged out Kevin VanDam for top honors with a four-day catch weighing 78-10.
Wheeler offers a wide variety of terrific bass habitat, from the riverine waters of its upper end to the stump flats and weedbeds of its middle section to the step banks and long points near the dam. In April, it should present an interesting dilemma for the Elite Series anglers. Do they stay shallow (perhaps sight fishing) and target big prespawn largemouth or go deeper and fish more stable waters for big bronzebacks?