Photo Credit: FLW
Joel Willert’s Back-to-Back Win’s on FLW Tour Motivate Him for Future Success
It isn’t a shock to many in Minnesota to see Joel Willert atop the standings in a bass tournament, but to win back-to-back FLW Tour events as a co-angler, is without a doubt eyebrow raising!
The competition in the back of the boat on the FLW Tour is just a fierce as it is in the front of the boat, with some of the co-anglers having fished the FLW Tour for ten plus years. But as Joel talked about following his Lake Cumberland win, getting that practice time in is key.
“Practice was good, we had a lot of bites, but not a lot of big ones,” stated Joel. “A lot of bites for a co-angler is a good thing, as it gets you clued into what the bass are doing.”
The Smith Lake area received a lot of rain leading up the event and sent the lake levels up. This is when Joel noticed that some fish were up on the bank, but there were also bass holding just off the points.
Joel employed a very similar strategy to what he used at Lake Lanier and Lake Cumberland, throwing a swimbait and shakey head. “I’ve been very fortunate that the way I like to fish, has come into play at these last three events!”
On day one, Joel was paired with Minnesota FLW Tour Pro Josh Douglas. Both Joel and Josh caught numerous bass on day one, including Joel’s biggest bass that came off an underwater point. Following the first day Joel was within striking distance of the win with a limit that weighed 12 lb 10 oz.
Joel commented that one of his rods broke on day one, which forced him to stick with his swimbait and shakey head, this event may have led to Joel’s win, as he didn’t get hung up on switching lures.
For day two, Joel got to spend a day in the boat with Scott Martin and Joel had to say, “This was the hardest day I’ve had to work to get bites! I didn’t have a bite until 10:00 a.m. and finally after an hour and twenty minutes, casting at one point, I finally caught a 2.5 lb fish.”
At the end of day, Martin stopped at a spot that Joel had also fished in practice, which gave Joel the familiarity he needed to upgrade two small keepers in his limit to two 2.5 lb fish, which gave Joel 11 lb 10 oz for the day and a two day total weight of 24 lb 4 oz.
“I think one thing that has played a huge role in my success, is staying focused at all times, paying attention to every detail and making every cast count. This has many times led me to that fifth fish or a key upgrade,” commented Joel.
Joel will now head to Lake Norman to compete in the BASS Eastern Open in the pro division, followed by a trip to Kentucky Lake for another FLW Tour event as co-angler. Going into the final two FLW Tour events of 2018, Joel is now leading the co-angler division by 68 points.