Wes Logan of Springville, AL, found a falling Mississippi River presenting a very different scenario than he saw in practice. But adjusting to the conditions allowed him to catch a five-bass limit of 16 pounds, 10 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Thursday.
“I was just blessed today. I wasn’t on anything, but I’d get a bite and it would be a 3-pounder,” he said.
With the river dropping significantly since the weekend, Logan said he struggled to find consistency. Doing so required him to leverage the flow without much company.
“I got here on Saturday and started practicing, and I think it’s dropped 3 1/2 feet since Saturday,” he said. “Obviously, it’s the Mississippi River, so you catch them on a frog, but most of those places are dry ground now.
“This really screwed up my plan from practice, so I just went on a whim. I think I figured something out, but I think it’s more that I got into an area without a lot of boat pressure. When the water fell, there are only so many places they’re going to get on and those places are getting pounded.”
Kenta Kimura of Livingston, TX, is in second place with 15-1. He said he started out fishing the same types of banks most of the field is targeting. But his day came together quickly once he figured out a key adjustment.
“About 10 o’clock, I moved a little farther off the bank,” Kimura said. “I think because the water level dropped, the bigger ones moved offshore. I know what I have to do tomorrow.”
Howard Lee of Brooklyn Park, MN, leads the co-angler division with 9-12. He caught all of his fish on the hand-tied swim jigs he makes. Lee used a variety of trailers and fished banks with grass.
“When we got into areas of current, smallies will sit in or near that current,” he said. “Slow, lift, slow was the best retrieve.”
Thaddaeus Vettrus of Chippewa Falls holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 4-4.
Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m., at Veterans Freedom Park. The weigh-in is at the park at 2 p.m.
The event is hosted by Explorelacrosse.com.