On the morning of Feb. 8, 2020, at only 25 years of age, Wes Logan realized his dream.
After qualifying through the 2019 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens, Logan fished his first Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. Johns River in Florida. He stood toe to toe with the best in the business and managed a more-than-respectable 32nd-place finish.
Then, everything was on hold.
“We got to have that one tournament,” Logan said. “I got to do everything — my first Elite blastoff, my first Elite weigh-in. I was like, ‘Hey, I made it. I’m where I want to be.’
“Now all of a sudden, you can’t do much of anything.”
Logan certainly isn’t complaining.
He understands the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put much of the world in limbo, and he’s encouraging everyone to do all they can to stall the spread of the virus.
But it’s definitely been a shock to the system for a lifelong tournament angler who placed 31st, 10th, third and fifth in four Central Opens last year.
“You can go fishing here in Alabama right now, but you can’t fish any kind of tournament,” he said. “There’s a difference between just fishing and fishing a tournament — even if it’s just an evening tournament.
“Anytime you go put yourself in a situation where you have to catch them, it helps you — and this is the time of year when I would usually be fishing a bunch of them.”
With his 26th birthday still more than two months away, Logan is the second-youngest angler on the Elite Series — behind Tennessee pro Skylar Hamilton, who turns 26 in December. He’s one of 10 Elite Series rookies who got just one tournament under his belt before things went haywire.
The second event of the season, which was scheduled for Tennessee’s Chickamauga Lake in February, was postponed due to flood conditions on the Tennessee River. Soon after, the rest of the schedule was put on hold due to the pandemic.
“Even though I guess I’m still relatively young, it seems like this is something I’ve waited a long time for,” Logan said. “So, I’m raring to go just like I’m sure everyone else is.”
Logan has kept in touch with key sponsors like Ark Rods, AFTCO, Lew’s and Sunline — and like every other idle angler on the planet, he’s spent a lot of time working on tackle and equipment. He’s also been working with a family business to keep some revenue flowing.
To scratch the competitive itch, he’s been matching wits with Alabama’s eastern wild turkeys.
“Turkey hunting and bass fishing, to me, are really similar,” Logan said. “I guess turkey hunting reminds me, in particular, of sight fishing for bass. You know he’s there most of the time, and you do every trick you can to fool him.
“Both of them outsmart us sometimes, and that’s what keeps us coming back.”
While some people are understandably stingy with turkeys, Logan said he falls into a second category of hunters who like to see others enjoy the experience. One of his favorite moments came on a cool morning in March when he called in a nice gobbler for his girlfriend, Riley Smith.
“It was the first bird she had killed, and I had told her not to shoot at him when he was in full strut,” Logan said. “He gobbled right in front of her in full strut, but she did good and waited. By the time he came out of strut, he was right in her face and she pulled the trigger and killed him.
“It was one of the best hunts I’ve ever been on — the kind of hunt you never forget.”
Logan comes from an area where hunting and fishing are engrained in most folks from birth.
As a resident of Springville, Ala., he’s now one of three anglers on the Elite Series from a small section of St. Clair County, Ala. He lives just down the road from eight-time Classic qualifier Matt Herren in Ashville and less than 15 minutes from reigning Bassmaster Angler of the Year Scott Canterbury in Odenville.
He’s ready to follow in their footsteps but willing to be patient for the experience.
“I know we’ll fish again as soon as it’s safe for everybody,” Logan said. “I’m just doing my best to be prepared when that moment comes.”