Rung by rung, Wes Logan has been climbing a ladder to his lofty goal of becoming a fulltime professional bass angler. Logan stepped on the first rung of the ladder 20 years ago when his father, Doug, started him bass fishing at age 5.
After competing in the first three of the four Bassmaster Central Opens in 2019, Logan is second in the Angler of the Year point standings. That puts the next rung up the ladder within reach, which is qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Growing up in Springville, Ala., where he still lives, Logan’s stomping grounds were the Coosa River reservoirs. He began fishing local team tournaments on these storied bass waters at age 6 with his father and grandfather, Ralph Lucas. It was another step up on the ladder.
“I really didn’t know a lot of what was going on then,” Logan said. “I just liked being around all the guys. Some of the guys I fished against when I was a kid are pros now.”
Logan took another step up the ladder when he got his Alabama boater’s license at age 12, the minimum age to acquire one. For the next few years, he fished with his buddies from his father’s 20-foot bass boat, which was powered by a 225 hp outboard.
Since Logan couldn’t drive a tow vehicle, his father, grandfather or mother, Diane, would launch him at Neely Henry or Logan Martin in the morning and return to get him at dark. He began fishing local team tournaments with his friends when he was 14.
“It was kind of a family thing,” Logan said of those events. “Everybody knew who I was so they would let two 14-year-old kids fish the tournaments.”
The flipping and shallow power fishing techniques that Logan learned from his elders helped him hold his own against his adult competitors. Power fishing continues to be his strong suit.
Logan stepped up two rungs on the ladder when he got his drivers license at age 16 and fished his first BFL tournament. His parents had to sign off so he could compete as a boater. The tournament was on Neely Henry and he finished 11th by “going down the bank and swimming a jig past anything in the water.”
After graduating from Springville High School the next year, Logan competed in another BFL tournament on Neely Henry. He won the event and took another step up the ladder. The following year, Logan fished the Bama Division of the BFLs and won his second tournament at Neely Henry.
That year he qualified to compete in a BFL regional and did well enough to earn a birth to the All American where he finished 12th. He was scrambling up the ladder double-time.
He also earned an associate degree in Heating and Air from Gadsden State Community College. Many young anglers have fished on high school and college bass fishing teams en route to becoming professionals. Logan has achieved his success without that benefit.
In 2016 Logan competed in the Costa series for the first time and finished in the top 30 of the AOY standings. In 2017 he competed in the Costas and the Bassmaster Southern Opens. He made a strong run at qualifying for the Elites, finishing 12th in the AOY standings. Logan did qualify for the FLW Tour via the Costas and finished seventh at the Forrest Wood Cup in his rookie season.
When he is not fishing a tournament Logan works for his uncle, Kenny Pannell, who is a residential contractor.
“It’s nice to come home and make a few dollars between tournaments,” Logan said.
In order to sign on for the 2019 Bassmaster Central Opens, Logan had to link up with a co-angler. His father volunteered for the gig.
“He enjoys it, and we get to practice together,” Logan said.
He claimed that the Central Open on the Upper Mississippi River was the closest thing he had seen to fishing the Coosa River, due to the water’s current and the abundance of shallow fishing opportunities. He felt right at home jig fishing deeper banks on outside turns and frogging grass after the sun came up. His three-day total of 42-pounds, 4-ounces, was good enough for third place.
“I’ve been climbing the ladder that you’re supposed to climb,” Logan said. “First you learn to win locally. Then you go on to fish regionally and so on. If I qualify to fish the Elites, it’ll be hard to turn it down. It seems like there are more sponsorship opportunities on that Elite Series. B.A.S.S. has the name and all the following.”
Logan’s sponsors include Ark Rods, Costa, Power-Pole, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Flat Out Tungsten, Dirty Jigs, Bob’s Machine Shop and Coosa Cotton clothing. He also mentioned that he plans to run a Ranger boat in 2020.