UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Logan’s Final Cup Walk-Through

Logan’s Final Cup Walk-Through

After three grueling practice days in the Arkansas summer sun, rookie FLW Tour pro Wes Logan is still the second to the boat ramp (barely, behind Matt Stefan) at Brady Mountain Resort & Marina for the final day of practice before the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup gets underway.

Logan hails from Springville, Ala., and is considered a shallow-water specialist. So, he would much rather be swimming a jig, flipping or throwing a frog around shallow grass than spending hours idling around looking at his graphs, which is a lot of what he’s been doing this week. Even though he is young, he’s smart enough to know versatility is the name of the game, and he is on his way to becoming a well-rounded pro angler. 

The 24-year-old pro qualified for his first Cup appearance thanks to a solid rookie campaign on the FLW Tour where he finished 41st in the points. He’s also competed in the Southeastern Division of the Costa FLW Series for a few years and nearly won the Angler of the Year title this season. He might have topped the standings if it wasn’t for Bryan Thrift, who beat him by 13 points.

Logan is certainly showing he has the right work ethic and can hold his own, which is why I wanted to jump in the boat with him for the final practice day to see just how he prepares for the biggest tournament of his life thus far.

 

As he eases out from Brady Mountain a little after 6 a.m., Logan gives the lowdown on how the week has gone and what the plan is for today.

“I’ve spent probably 80 percent of my time graphing brush,” says Logan. “I’ll probably try to look for some schoolers this morning and also idle for brush. It’s supposed to be a lot cloudier today, too, so I might try the shallow bite even though I haven’t been able to get bit up shallow yet. But the conditions seem right, so it may be worth a shot.

“I just don’t get why I can’t get bit up shallow. I tried to do it in pre-practice here, but I didn’t really catch any. People make fun of me when I tell them I have been graphing because that’s not how I like to fish. I don’t even turn them on when I go fishing at home. But out deep is the only way I can get bit here, so I guess I’ll just keep trying to expand on that.”

To his point, when Logan qualified for the 2015 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, he went out and bought graphs for his boat since he didn’t have any prior to then. He must be a quick study because he finished 12th thanks to those graphs.

He makes a quick run to some main-lake points where he idles over some brush he found back in July. After about 20 minutes of idling around and a few fish seen on his Lowrance, Logan opts not to make a cast but instead to run to the bank.

 

He grabs a buzzbait and starts firing away.

“I’m surprised the blade is still on this thing with how much I’ve thrown it,” Logan says with a smile.

He meanders his way around stumps and trees for another 20 minutes or so before the lack of bites leads him to pull the trolling motor and make a move.

 

Next he stops in a pocket west of the ramp where he saw some bream beds and a few fish cruising the other day.

Logan dives into his rod locker to pull out a Brian’s Prop Bee, which nearly won the Cup on Ouachita back in 2011.

The Bee lasts only about three casts before some schooling fish grab Logan’s attention, and he begins launching an under-spin around.

 

The schoolers keep pushing their way deeper into the creek, and Logan slowly follows, casting whenever one busts close enough to reach.

“I don’t know how they know you’re following them, but these fish always stay the same distance from the boat. It’s crazy.”

None of the fish seem to be of any size, but Logan holds out hope that they could be keepers at least.

Finally one blows up just off the bow, and he fires a topwater over and connects with the little spotted bass.

That’s all Logan needs to see, and with that he’s off to move west.

 

He runs to another creek where Logan is back to staring at his Lowrance.

For a guy who says he doesn’t use his electronics all too often, he seems pretty comfortable with them and understands what he’s looking for.

Finally, he spies some brush that looks promising, and it’s time to fish.

 

Logan grabs a drop-shot and lobs it over near the waypoint.

In the blink of an eye, he’s hooked up. It’s another little spotted bass, which he quickly tosses back to cast back to the brush.

With no other nibbles, Logan’s impatience gets the best of him, and he’s off again.

 

Logan starts working into one of the western arms of Ouachita where the water gets slightly more stained than on the main lake. He starts scanning brush along an old roadbed, and while there is plenty of brush to be found, none of it looks fresh enough to hold fish.

“This lake is crazy,” Logan says. “You can set down anywhere and idle for five minutes and find brush.”

 

It’s been a very pleasant morning weather-wise thanks to the increasing cloud cover – a stark contrast in conditions from the first three days of practice – so Logan heads back to the bank to see if the changeup has the shallow fish biting.

“With the clouds today I want to try fishing shallow a little more to see if it makes a difference in the bite,” the Alabama pro says after 30 minutes of running the bank. “I’ve been hoping for four days that the shallow bite would go, and, so far, it isn’t looking that way.”

 

As Logan fishes his way out of a shallow pocket he notices fellow competitor Jason Abram just up the bank with his battery compartment lid open.

“Let’s just go over there and make sure he’s OK before we start working our way back,” says Logan.

Abram appreciates that the check-in and reports all is well. He thinks he has a bad trolling motor battery, but everything else is working fine.

The two make small talk about how slow practice is before Logan finally eases off to check some more brush before the rain moves in.

 

On the way back east Logan stops at a handful of brush piles to drag through with a worm.

For his practice rig, he’s using an Owner CPS Centering Pin Spring instead of a hook.

“It’s not really a secret, but some people may not do it,” Logan explains. “The fishing has been tough, so if I can avoid hooking any until the tournament I feel a lot better about it.”

He drags around four or five different brush piles before the rain starts to set in.

It’s closing in on 11 o’clock, and it’s looking like it might be time for me to call it a day before the bottom falls out.

 

After a five-minute run back to the ramp through some light rain Logan takes the brief stoppage of his day to eat some summer sausage.

“I don’t eat much during the day usually when I fish. This seems like a good time for a snack, though.”

 

It’s a little after 11 when Logan reverses off the bank and points the bow back out to Lake Ouachita. In the distance, it’s clear that there’s a mass of rain on its way.

He’s not dissuaded thought. The young pro hopes to run some shallow stuff and fit in some more idling on the east end of the lake before he finishes practice for good.

For Logan, making it to the Cup his first season on Tour is a blessing enough. Even though Ouachita may not be his cup of tea, that isn’t preventing him from giving it his all. Buying graphs for the first time back in 2015 helped him to a solid finish on Kentucky Lake, and this week he’s hoping they lead him to a big payday and a big trophy come Sunday.

Tags: kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2018-08-10-forrest-wood-cup- 

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