If you follow our Rapala®/VMC® pro anglers, then like us, you’re probably just catching your breath after the incredible performance that Brandon Palaniuk, Seth Feider and Jacob Wheeler had this past weekend on the Bassmaster Elite and FLW pro fishing tournament series.
Airing live on ESPN2, Brandon Palaniuk won the Bassmaster Elite on Lake Champlain out of Plattsburgh, New York.
He was closely followed by Rapala pro Seth Feider, who took second place.
Yes, 1 and 2 for Rapala/VMC pros on the Bassmaster Elite!
Palaniuk and Feider are now ranked number 9 and 10 respectively in the hunt for No. 1 in the Bassmaster Elite Angler of the Year standings.
And then, as if that’s not enough excitement for you, over on the FLW Tackle Warehouse Circuit, Jacob Wheeler grabbed second place fishing on the Mississippi River out of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Both Wheeler and Feider are Sufix® Pro’s and exclusively rig up with Sufix line.
How’d They Do It?
During one 45-minute stretch when Palaniuk was pulling in fish after fish, he simply said in disbelief: “What is happening right now? The last 45 minutes have been insane.”
As any serious angler knows, winning at the pro level is about consistency and having the ability to be flexible and nimble.
As part of his game-winning arsenal, Palaniuk used a variety of lures and techniques to put together his winning performance, including a #4 VMC Neko hook on a drop shot with a 3/8-oz. VMC tungsten tear drop weight and a Storm® Arashi® Glide bait.
Palaniuk completed the four-day tournament with a total weight of 80 pounds, 1 oz. According to Bassmaster, the Champlain win was Palaniuk’s fourth B.A.S.S. win for the 2017 Angler of the Year from Rathdrum, Idaho. He earned a first-place prize of $100,000.
Being nimble paid off for Feider, too, who caught half of his fish on a jig with new 30-lb. Sufix 131 braided line (launching this fall). Several other techniques accounted for Feider’s finish, including a Carolina rig using a 2/0 VMC Worm hook rigged on Sufix 20-lb. Advance® Fluorocarbon line with a Sufix 14-lb. Advance® mono leader.
Feider caught a five-pounder and several other “bigguns” with Sufix 131 braid using a Texas Rig featuring the VMC 4/0 HD ringed Wide Gap hook as well as a Drop Shot rig rigged with a #4 VMC Neko hook, while using Sufix 8-lb. 832 Advanced Superline® with Sufix 8-lb. Advance Fluorocarbon for a leader.
Feider, a resident of New Market, Minn., finished second with four-day total of 78 lbs., 14 oz. After mixing it up with largemouth and smallmouth for three days, according to Bassmaster, Feider focused on smallmouth on Sunday and caught a limit of 19-14 to go with his previous bags that went 20-1, 21-7 and 17-8.
A highlight of the Champlain tournament came for Feider on Day 2, when he landed a 6 lb., 6 oz. largemouth, which earned him the Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors and a bonus prize of $1,000.
For Jacob Wheeler, who lives in Harrison, Tennessee, this will be a season to remember for a lifetime.
In late May, Major League Fishing Wheeler won the three-day Toyota Series at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. Then, in late June, Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, caught a final-day five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 6 ounces to win $125,000 in the $1.3 million Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga.
On the Mississippi, Wheeler relied on a number of frog-style lures to produce his catches for his second-place finish. Using a 7-ft., 6-inch heavy-action fishing rod, Wheeler’s frog presentations were backed with Sufix 50-lb. 832 Advanced Superline and Sufix 30-lb. 832 — both in lo-vis green.
Congratulations to all three Rapala/VMC/Sufix fishing pros on their well-deserved accomplishments. Everyone here at Rapala®, VMC® and Sufix® are proud to have contributed to the incredible performances of these three elite anglers.
See VMC® Ringed Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook
See VMC® Tungsten Tear Drop Weight
See Sufix® 832 Advanced Superline®
See Sufix® Advance® Fluorocarbon