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21-year-old pro becomes tournament's youngest winner with wire-to-wire victory

FLIPPIN, ARK. (August 16, 2012) Ranger Pro Jacob Wheeler capped his rookie season on the FLW Tour with a wire-to-wire victory in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier, capturing professional bass fishing's biggest payday and his second championship title in two years. With his Cup victory, the 21-year-old Wheeler, who also won the BFL All-American in 2011, became the youngest angler ever to win the FLW's championship event.

After jumping out to an early lead with a 21-pound, 15-ounce limit on the tournament's opening day, Wheeler continued to pull five-fish limits from the Chattahoochee River by targeting bass in super shallow water while many in the field fished deep brush in the main lake. With a fourth limit on the tournament's final day, the Indianapolis native boosted his four-day total to 60 pounds, 1 ounce, bringing him a 7 pound, 5 ounce margin of victory over second-place finisher Scott Canterbury.

With the win, Wheeler earned $500,000 in first-place prize money as well as an automatic entry into the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup.

“I'm truly blessed. It's an honor to be (the Forrest Wood Cup champion) at this age,” Wheeler said. “The whole time I tried not to think about the money or the Cup. Every time I sat down to run to the next spot I might have been jittery, but I realized I had to stay focused and fish at 100 percent and capitalize on every single bite.”

With his 2012 Forrest Wood Cup championship, the young angler joins an elite group of fellow Ranger Pros who have won the FLW Tour's prestigious crown.

“Jacob displayed the poise of a veteran during his four days on Lake Lanier,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “We congratulate him for his achievement and look forward to watching him compete for many years to come.”

About Ranger Boats
Ranger Boats, headquartered in Flippin, Ark., is the nation's largest manufacturer of premium fiberglass fishing boats, including a series of bass, multi-species, fish 'n play and saltwater boats. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. For more information, go to

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