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Winning Logan Luft Memorial Tourney fish takes anglers for ride

  • Photo provided Front row from left, Cole Schmauss, Cole Butikofer and Ryan Wilson from Cresco collectively won the first-place go cart prize at the Logan Luft Memorial Fishing Tournament. Also pictured in back row from left are Landon, Wendy. Lilly and Leonard Luft.

  • Photo provided Aubrie Vance, pictured in front, poses with the second-place prize package she won consisting of a kayak, paddle and life jacket at the end of the Logan Luft Memorial Fishing Tournament. Also pictured in back row from left are Landon, Wendy. Lilly and Leonard Luft.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Fish have been known to take anglers on wild rod-and-reel rides while fiercely fighting for their freedom.

The winning catch at the annual Logan Luft Memorial Fishing Tournament held Saturday at Charles City Elks Lodge pond was no exception.

But after the trio of Cole Butikofer, Cole Schmauss and Ryan Wilson worked together to haul in the tourney-best 2.85-pound bass, they all got a new ride.

The Cresco boys decided to claim co-ownership of the tournament’s top-prize — a go cart from Theisens.

“One of them hooked the fish and the other two helped with the net to bring it to shore,” Wendy Luft said. “So they all decided to share the prize.”

As for the second-place prize — a kayak, paddle and life jacket package — that was claimed by  a single winner, Aubrie Vance, who landed a 0.23-lb. perch.

There were other prizes at the tournament, including a two-night, three-day stay at the Hidden Cove Resort in Wisconsin donated by the Damjanovic Family, gift cards from Comet Bowl, and a signed Minnesota Vikings helmet donated by Jack and Jennifer Miller.

The tournament is in memory of Logan Luft, a Charles City resident who died at the age of 15 due to an ATV accident on July 4, 2017.

Shortly after the accident, Jon Linde — who attends the same church as the Lufts — saw a photo in tribute to Logan holding a trophy-sized bass. A fisherman himself and a father of young anglers like Logan, Linde decided to approach the family and the Elks to hold a fishing tournament in Logan’s honor.

Though it was held only a month and a half after Logan’s death, the inaugural tournament attracted more than 200 participants, which surprised the family and organizers.

This year’s tournament also had a good turnout — 127 registered fishermen.

“Huge thank you to all the donations and participants,” said Wendy Luft, Logan’s mother. “It was a great day of fishing.”

Before his death, Logan signed on as an organ donor, an act that reportedly saved at least five lives. Since then, the Luft family has been involved in promoting Donate Life with the hashtag #LuftTuff.

Not only was Logan an avid sportsman, but he was a promising multisport athlete who excelled in cross country, track and wrestling.

On Thursday at the Trent Smith Cross Country Invitational at Wildwood Municipal Golf Course, the Logan Luft Memorial Runs — which will be the middle school races — will be part of the event.

In November, the Charles City Mat Club holds the Logan Luft Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

The Logan Luft Memorial Wrestling Scholarship has also been established to help pay for offseason camps for aspiring wrestlers.