LA CROSSE, Wis. — Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., backed up his Day 1 leading weight of 16 pounds, 10 ounces with a Day 2 catch of 15-3 to maintain the top spot at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on the Mississippi River with a two-day total of 31-13.
“I had the chance to have a really big bag today, but I had some missed opportunities,” Logan said after losing a bass he estimated at 5 pounds Friday. “I’m still not getting many bites; I only caught eight or nine fish today.”
Weighing a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth, Logan said the key to his success has been targeting areas of strong current, where fish are staking out feeding spots near water-deflecting structures. He caught his fish from three different spots within an area about 2 to 3 miles long, but could not locate the optimal scenario elsewhere.
“I weighed in three of today’s fish from the same stretch where I caught two or three fish yesterday,” Logan said. “I hope it keeps replenishing.
“I tried to expand on my area today in case I make it to the final day, but it just doesn’t set up the same,” he said. “I came back to my area and caught a 3-pounder, so I guess I’m going to bunker in there tomorrow and fish it for all it’s worth.
The same mix of reaction baits and slower presentations Logan used on Day 1 produced again today. The biggest difference was that he got by on one trolling motor battery.
The current in his area is so strong Logan is unable to drift fish his spots. The most effective technique — using his Minn Kota Ultrex to hold himself in the flow — drained one of his Day 1 trolling motor batteries.
“I got up twice last night to put a single charger on my batteries, while my main charger was running to make sure they got as full as they could.”
Logan said he enjoyed his better action in the morning. The bite seemed to die around noon, with another afternoon flurry.
“They’re biting everywhere, but I think they set up better where you can catch them later in the day,” Logan said.
As for his Day 3 expectations, Logan had this to say: “I’m just looking for five bites; I’m not going to catch 40.”
Kyle Dorsett of Odenville, Ala., is in second place with 29-3. His daily weights of 14-9 and 14-10 were the event’s most consistent, but Dorsett said his catches are simply a result of grinding.
“I think I have a couple of areas that have some fish, and I’m just putting my head down and fishing,” he said. “There were a lot of boats in my area today, so I had to make a little adjustment. I caught three of the ones I weighed in today differently than I caught them yesterday.
“I have a little deal figured out how I can catch them on a topwater. It’s not really obvious; it took me five days of practice to figure it out.”
John Engler of Vinton, Iowa, is in third place with 28-12. After weighing 12-12 on Day 1, he turned in a significantly stronger Day 2 performance with a 16-pound limit — the day’s biggest bag.
“I went to Pool 9 today; yesterday I stayed on Pool 8,” Engler said. “Pool 9 just offered new water for me; Pool 8 got beaten up pretty bad all week with a lot of boats and I just wanted to get away from them.
“It wasn’t a fast bite. It was one here, one there. I was flipping points and grass banks.”
Kenta Kimura of Livingston, Texas, is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-8.
John Goebel of Lumberton, Texas, leads the co-angler division with 14-0. Adding 6-6 to his 7-10 from Day 1, he described a slow, grind that yielded only three bites.
“Fortunately, I was able to fish clean today,” Goebel said. “The plan was to go down to Pool 7 today, but the traffic didn’t allow us to make that run. It was a tough day for me, but I was able to get three decent fish. I caught all of my fish on a finesse rig over shell beds.”
Thaddaeus Vettrus of Chippewa Falls, Wis., holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 4-4.
Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. CT at Veterans Freedom Park. The Top 12 remaining anglers will weigh in back at the park at 2 p.m.
The event is hosted by Explorelacrosse.com.