Bill Lowen is always a threat to win the Bassmaster Classic.
Bill Lowen is a name that is synonymous with bass fishing. Since turning pro nine years ago, he seems to only be getting better. Lowen has 12 top 10 finishes in the Elite Series, not including a top 10 in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
Speaking of Bassmaster Classics, he has qualified six other times, making this year's competition at Lake Hartwell his seventh. Overall, there has been 66 times in Lowen's professional fishing career that he has placed in the top 50 of all tournaments that he has fished.
Lowen knows what it's like to fish the big stage and he knows what it's like to fish against the best of the best. However, in a recent conversation with Lowen, I was lucky enough to ask him a series of questions about what it's like to really get down and fish the Classic versus all the other tournaments that pro bass fisherman face.
One of my first questions revolved around practice.
How much does the warmup and practice a few days before the Classic actually have to do with what takes place when the tournament begins?
Bill Lowen: "I'm a guy that loves to show up and just fish the conditions. So many times we try to fish exactly the way we want to, and we don't fish the moment. Even though I do have a game plan, and baits I know I want to throw, after all the preparation, you still have to fish exactly what is going on at that moment."
So naturally that made me start thinking of all the times I just roll out on a lake or river knowing exactly where I want to fish and the lures I want use, and never really paid any attention to what the current conditions were telling me. My next question was fairly obvious at that point, and probably one you are thinking right now too.
How much did you find yourself fighting those preconceived thoughts on what you should do versus what the body of water was telling you?
"I spend a lot more time driving than I do fishing on any body of water" Lowen laughed. "I try to keep myself familiar with surroundings so that way when things change, I know how it all lays out in different places. I bounce around here and there and this helps me not get stuck on one particular thing."
I was kind of surprised to hear that a lot of his fishing seemed to be just figuring out at the time. However, what he said next really made a lot of sense.
"You know, I don't think I have always been like that, but it has changed since I started in the Elite Series. Every one of our tournaments is 30 days off limits before the start. Preparing for any tournament that far in advance is pretty hard. I've had to train myself how to do it."
Seeing as how my time was limited with a professional fisherman that has had as much success as Lowen, I figured I needed to get in one more question that would not only help all the readers of this article, but help me as well.
Considering the classic is in February, conditions may not be that great, so how the heck would someone like Bill Lowen catch fish when it's just not a good day to do it?
"When things get tough, I feel the more you can keep your bait in the water, the better the chances are going to be that you are going to get a bite. When situations occur like that, I keep mself in my high percentage areas and focus on my confidence baits, then just try to figure it out from there."
Bill Lowen will be showing off exactly what he's talking about in late February on Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. Look for him in the boat with Buck Knives on the side and looking for active bass.