However, Wheeler, who is now 31 and hosts a gaggle of wins at the sport’s highest of levels, isn’t the youngest world champion. There was one angler younger.
One early attempt to capitalize on this possibility was a board game called “Lunker,” introduced in 1977 and endorsed by Rick Clunn, who’d won the Bassmaster Classic in both 1976 and 1977.
“I came up with that,” he said. “A friend of mine made up some t-shirts and then I came up with this idea. The hardest part was to get them there. I needed three or four people to get them there and hand them out. But it was good for me. Any time you go somewhere and give away something like that you pick up a lot of fans.”
“I knew Gary [Klein] had a few so I went and asked him if I could borrow one of his. He said yes and that’s what helped me win. Gary really came to my rescue. I really doubt I could have won it if I had to fish that 6-foot rod.”
“Anglers today confuse flipping with pitching,” he said. “Flipping is NOT pitching. To me the flipping technique is all about having the line in your hand and swinging the bait. It’s more efficient and much more precise.