"Today was a much tougher day for me," said Wheeler, who is fishing in his first BFL All-American. "The wind really muddied up a lot of my water and changed the way I fished today. I slowed down a lot and just tried to maintain my lead; I was very fortunate to gain a few pounds with a much smaller bag than yesterday."
He said he had to really focus his fishing to put together his limit.
"Yesterday I hit about 30 spots, today only 10," Wheeler said. "I tried to fish each area thoroughly and didn't do nearly the running and gunning I did yesterday. Most of my fish were caught on tubes, cranking and with topwater baits. I had a ton of unders today, but only five keepers.
"I know tomorrow is going to be different again, and I just hope I can figure something out."
While the wind hurt both the leaders in the boater and co-angler division today, it helped second place Mike Brueggen of Wisconsin jump all the way from 42nd place to second with a massive 17-14 stringer. Brueggen entered the day with only 1-4.
Rounding out the top 10 boaters fishing tomorrow's finale for the BFL All-American crown are Tennessee's Lloyd Pickett Jr. with 18-10, Kip Carter of Georgia with 17-7, Mike Hicks of Virginia with 17-4 and Florida's George Kapiton with 17 pounds. In seventh is Alabaman's Charles Cummings with 16-7, followed by Kentucky's Jake Morris with 15-4, Don Boeger of Idaho with 14-11 and Alabama's Harry Barton with 13-6.
The highest-finishing Louisiana pro was Ragley's Richard Cunningham, who wrapped up the event in 43rd with 2-06.
Completes standings can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 126 bass weighing 224 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 49 boaters Friday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.
Boaters are competing for a top award of up to $130,000 this week plus qualification into the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup championship. This year's Cup is being held in Hot Springs, Ark. on Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita, where pros are competing for a top prize of $600,000 – the sport's biggest award.
In the co-angler division, Kentucky's Shane Winchester went into the day leading with a two-day total 14-8, followed by Greg Gilley of Alabama with 12-6.
"I'm still shaking from my catch yesterday, I didn't get much sleep last night," said Winchester, who caught the biggest bass of the tournament so far. "The wind really hurt me today. I just couldn't get my game on. I had a lot of bites and I had a lot of fish in the slot. I just couldn't do what I did yesterday. I am hoping tomorrow is better."
Overall there were 58 bass weighing 77 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 49 co-anglers Friday. The catch included only one five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $60,000 this week plus qualification into the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
The final weigh-in will be today (May 21) at the Shreveport Convention Center located at 400 Caddo Street in Shreveport, starting at 3 p.m. prior to the day-three weigh-in of the Walmart FLW Tour being held on the Red River.