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story.lead_photo.caption Wes Logan

HOT SPRINGS -- Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., never fished at Lake Ouachita before this week, but he's leading after the second round of the Forrest Wood Cup.

Logan caught five bass Saturday that weighed 12 pounds, 4 ounces to push his two-day combined weight to 23-13.

In second place was Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, La., who caught three bass weighing 9-6 for a two-day total of 22-11. He was followed by James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas (4/8-12; 20-14); Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla. (5/7-5; 20-6) and Jason Lambert of Michie, Tenn. (5/10-3: 20-3); John Cox of Debary, Fla. (4/8-11; 19-14); Brandon Beavers of Summerville, S.C. (5/7-5; 19-5); Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, S.C. (5/10-11; 19-2); Justin Atkins of Florence, Ala. (5/10-11; 19-2); and Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala. (5/9-8; 19-0).

Those 10 anglers will compete in the final round today for a top prize of $300,000.

Logan said he got about 50 bites Saturday and culled 10 keepers, which must be at least 13 inches.

"They were biting this afternoon, but I was culling ounces," he said. "I knew I was going to make the cut, so I didn't want to beat on them too bad."

Logan said his best fish weighed about 2½ pounds. He caught a 3-pounder in the first round, but he said an angler that catches a 5-pounder today probably will win the tournament.

"I don't know that I'm around that type of fish," Logan said. "I've got a couple of places where I caught multiple fish, but I consider them my best places."

Logan said he caught his fish on four different baits, but declined to identify them or the size of line he's using.

"Line size is kind of important to what I'm doing," he said.

He said he caught all of his fish between 12 feet and 25 feet deep.

"I got one or two bites on brush in practice, and I thought they might be moving that way, but it's not playing out like that," Logan said. "I'm catching them on drops and off-the-wall places."

Logan is one of the few finalists who caught more weight Saturday than Friday. Cobb's weight improved by 2-4, and he caught his fish Saturday on topwater lures.

"Out here, consistency is very difficult to do because there's not many fish anywhere," Cobb said. "It's not like you find a school of 2-pounders, at least not what I'm doing."

Cobb said he doesn't have a plan. For this tournament, he's fishing instinctively.

"I run down the lake and fish what I see at the time," he said. "I'm not getting hung up over working a certain type of cover. Today I looked for places that were not beat up from boat traffic, more protected areas. It was very hard to find main-lake areas that weren't sloshed."

Cobb said he's happy with his performance and that he won't change his style today.

"You have to be fortunate to have a big bag, but the potential is there," Cobb said. "If you get the right bites -- 2½-pounders -- it's a good day."

LeBrun was two fish short of a limit Saturday, and he was assessed a 4-ounce penalty for weighing in a dead fish, but a 6-pounder kept him in contention. He caught that fish on a topwater lure called a Whopper Plopper at 3:30 p.m.

"I was running out of time," LeBrun said. "There's only so many ways you're going to get bit consistently, so I asked myself, 'What can I do to catch two or three more good ones?'

"I knew I didn't have time to get a limit, but I knew I had time to get a good one, and it worked out."

Going hours without a bite is not as unnerving as it might seem, LeBrun said.

"You've got to believe, and you've got to know you're on a mission," LeBrun said. "You've got to know you've done your homework. You've put in your time, you've got the right baits and a pattern. Put your faith in the lord, and you'll catch a 5-pounder."

Lambert improved his weight Saturday by 3 ounces. Davis is the picture of consistency, weighing in 9-8 both days.

Today's weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m. at Bank OZK Arena, following a free concert at 4 p.m. by country music artist Justin Moore of Poyen.

Also, FLW and Visit Hot Springs announced before Saturday's weigh-in that Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita will host the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup. It will be the first time a city has hosted the tournament in consecutive years.

Photo by Courtesy of FLW Tour
Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., shows off two of the five fish he caught Saturday at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Logan’s fish weighed 12 pounds, 4 ounces for a total weight of 23 pounds, 13 ounces. That’s just over a pound better than Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, La.

Sports on 08/12/2018

Print Headline: Newbie's Ouachita instincts paying off

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