Lowen and top Pickwick baits, Learn from your swim jig, Released fish tougher?

Bill Lowen’s been fishin’ the Elites since 2006. Before this win, he had 3 2nds – most recent was 2015 – and no 3rds. Almost 16 years of grinding. To me this shows one of the greatest qualities a person can have: perseverance. Bill has also modeled that for his kids, which is great, as is this quote from a real good post by him:


> If there’s a lesson in this, it has little to do with fishing. It’s about finding something that you love to do and that pays enough for you to be able to take care of your family. At the same time, be satisfied with what’s happening in your life but always strive to do better.


Amen man! All I can tell you about Bill is what you probably already know just from watching him:


– He can fish lights out, ESPECIALLY when it’s tough.

– He truly is a nice guy. Always smiling, every day, every year. One of those guys with a natural smile if you know what I mean.

– He’s a competitor, which you can tell from this James Overstreet shot:

“Nice guys finish last” is one of many cliches that is complete bull. Bill won! Huge congrats to him.


Shocked to see the low number of followers he has on the Insta – please give him a follow @billlowen. If you’re more about FB, here’s his page.


On the MLF side, I watched KVD fish a buzzbait today. Hate to say it but I was confused for some of it – like how he was going through the cover, the progression. I mean, shouldn’t I get it by now?? He did make 1 bad cast tho so that made me feel better…


Also Justin Lucas’ only spectators were Shin Fukae and coots – not sure what that means??

Today’s Top 5
How Bill Lowen won at the Pickwick River.
Yep, the Pickwick River because a) Pickwick IS a dammed river because some dam person wanted to dam it ) and b) so much current was pushing through it it might as well have been a river. Which is how Bill fished it. All the deets are on the BB site as usual, but here’s his bait info:


> Jig (for wood): 3/8-oz Lure Parts Online Lowen Series Flipping Jig (black blue flash) with a b/b chunk (2-4′ on wood and docks). He used a 1/2-oz on day 4 for the deeper stuff with an LPO (Lure Parts Online) Craw Chunk, both b/b.


> You can’t buy the jigs fully made: “You buy the components – a head 3-pack and skirt 3-pack, and build what you want. When it’s all said and done you have less than $3 in a jig.”


> “When I was using the 3/8 I was letting the current float it through the wood. I don’t know how to explain it – it’s something I did growing up on the Ohio River…something you learn through trial and error. If it’s not right, the jig will get stuck in the wood. When you’re floating it, you feel it just bumping the wood. You might have to pop it once in a while…typically the current’s pushing it for you.


> The 1/2-oz he fished on bluff swings in 4-6′, “just flipping it to the face of the bluffs and letting it fall.”


> 7′ 6″ Lew’s Custom Speed Stick, Team Lew’s Lite Reel (7.5), 20-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> Flipping in the reeds: Strike King Rodent. “If the water was really clean in the pockets I’d use gp with dyed orange tentacles. If it was dirty I’d use ‘blue bug’. 5/0 Hayabusa FPP Flipping Hook, 5/16-oz Reins tungsten weight. Exact same rod, reel, line.


> “I pitched to the edge of the reeds. You didn’t have to work it. You’d go to lift it up and they already had it.”




> “I caught fish off the 360…caught fish off a laydown underwater I would’ve never seen – that was a fish I would never have caught [without Humminbird 360]. I have a dedicated unit that runs 360 all the time. Being a shallow-water angler I’m amazed at how well it reads in 4′ of water.


> “I don’t have any live sonar yet.”




> “…Minn Kota and Humminbird, and that tin [Xpress] lets me fish how I like to fish.”

5 Qs with the Dollar Turtle.
1. This was pretty much a river derby. Are you a river monster?


> “I don’t know about a river monster – probably a river rat.”

2. Is it true you turned pro after being the only one in 3 states to catch a limit on the OH River 2 days in a row?


> “[Laughs] There’s a lot of good guys on the OH River who catch limits all the time, but to do that consistently is real hard to do.”


3. Since you’ve fished the OH River a bunch, is it a fair deal to say you can’t be intimidated by any conditions?


> “Absolutely. The OH River as far as I’m concerned is one of toughest fisheries in the world. It gives you every scenario you could ever imagine. So without a doubt I believe that’s the case.”


[It’s even a stretch to call it a “fishery” just messin’!]


4. 16 years of fishing til a win – did it ever feel like a grind?


> “It feels like a grind every single day. That’s kind of the way I grew up – grinding for everything I’ve ever done, and this is no different. I’m a grinder.


> “Been a long time coming – a lot of grinding.”


5. What’s the difference between Dollar Bill and Turtle Lowen?


> “I’m not sure [laughs].”


Bonus Q: Does running a tin boat give you an advantage?


> “I feel like for me it absolutely does because it lets me go further than I ever did and lets me fish exactly the way I want and not have to worry about tearing my boat up.”


Observation: The tin boat armada seems to be doing pretty dang well this year….

2nd-5th Pickwick Elitist baits.
2nd: B Rock Mosley


> 3/4-oz prototype Angler Assets Spinnerbait (chartreuse shad), 20-lb P-Line Tactical fluoro, 7′ 6″ MHF Ark Invoker Rod. “Fishing the shallow current breaks in the horseshoe.”


> 5.5″ True Bass Swimbait (chartreuse shad) on a 1/2-oz Buckeye J-Will Swimbait Head, 7′ 6″ HF Ark Invoker Rod, same line. “Fishing current breaks in 6-20′.”

3rd: Cory “don’t ever call me Chris again” Johnston


> “Fishing 4-8′ on docks as well as offshore spots.”


> 7/16-oz Punisher Jig with a Zoom Tiny Salty Chunk (both gp), 20-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro, Daiwa Tatula Elite Pitch/Flip Reel, 7′ 5″ prototype Daiwa Cory Johnston signature Tatula Elite Rod.


> 5″ Scottsboro swimbait, 20-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro, Daiwa Tatula 150 Reel, 7′ 6″ Daiwa Tatula Elite Rod.


> 1/2-oz JackHammer (white), white Yamamoto Zako, 20-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro, Daiwa Tatula SV TW Reel, 7′ 4″ Daiwa Tatula bladed jig/cranking rod.

4th: Steve “Senator” Kennedy


Fished in 2-12′:


> 1 3/8-oz spinnerbait, 3/4-oz D&L Advantage Jig with a Super Chunk, 6″ Scottsboro swimbait on a 1-oz head.


> Spinnerbait gear: 7′ 3″ H Tigerodz Canoe Creek glass rod (can’t link it: tigerodz net), “old Curado greenie,” 20-lb fluoro.


> Jig gear: 7′ 6″ H rod, same reel, 65-lb braid to a 30-lb fluoro leader.


> Swimbait gear: 7′ 3″ HF Dobyns DC 736 CB Glass Rod, same reel, 20-lb fluoro.


> “I’ve been looking for more forgiving fiberglass rods for a year or 2.”

5th: Hank “You Very Much” Cherry


Fished staging areas and docks:


> Crankbaits: 6′ crank and a 10′ crank, 12-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro, Abu REVO STX (6.6) and Abu Zata (7.1) reels, 7′ M Abu Winch crankbait rod.


> Swimbaits: Multiple including a 5″ Berkley PowerBait Hollow Belly on a 1/2-oz Berkley Fusion19 head, 15-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro, Abu REVO STX Reel (7.1), 7′ 4″ M Abu Veracity Rod.

Catch ‘n release might make fish tougher??
Take it with a grain of salt but innerestin’ – from here:


> …the most likely explanation [theory] for this inflated recapture rate [of tagged fish]…is that fish that have already survived being caught and released have a better-than-average chance of being caught again.


> …because catch-and-release recreational fishing accounts for millions of fish having experience being caught, it could be imposing an evolutionary pressure that selects for a hardier population.


> “If being robust to catch and release can be passed from parent to offspring, then that means that over time, as we humans inflict more and more fishing pressure, we should see the population as a whole move towards resilience to release mortality.”


Makes sense except the part about already-caught fish being easier to catch again. Not with artificial lures mang!

Would you fish this lake.
Does not inspire confidence – lake’s in NE:


On the other hand, “Possum Kingdom” in TX DOES inspire all kinda redneck confidence – some deets on that great name from here:


> One story about why the lake is called Possum Kingdom began when a peddler named Ike Sablosky came to TX in 1906. This salesman had come to TX from PA and IN to regain his health. Mineral Wells at the time was famous as a health spa….


> While living in Mineral Wells, Ike saw an opportunity to get into the hide and fur business as the Palo Pinto hills were a paradise for raccoon, possum and fur-bearing critters. Mr. Sablosky’s best source of supply for possum hides came from cedar choppers and hunters up in northwest Palo Pinto County. Ike called his best suppliers “the boys from Possum Kingdom.”


Top logo is what they use, bottom one is cooler:



Check this Pickwick shot:

Chris looks like he’s fishing against the evil peeps who control the world man hahaha! Sick Seigo Saito shot and max courage by the camera dude in the boat! Never thought Chris was nuts, but also never thought of him as a “magician,” which is what Elitist Ed Loughran calls him among other things in this post:


> He is operating on a different planet…his attributes of competence, confidence, cunning and creativity blend together and lead to artistry that can’t be replicated and may not even be able to be taught.


Either a) I need to spend a lot more time around Chris, b) this is Trait’s fault , c) the real Chris was replaced by an alien…that hides its real identity behind that ‘stache…which might mean Trait was replaced too? or d) all of the above plus Ed might’ve swallered a bad M&M before writin’ that deal….


Seriously tho, Ed’s post was real innerestin’ – I need to re-read it.


2. Which John Cox deal are you more concerned about?



…or running just 1 unit up front???
If John wasn’t such a stick I think someone would set up an intervention pronto…


3. Mark Rose has a new YouTube series.


First episode ^.


4. Rick Clunn is also an astronaut.


Here’s Rick going to the launchpad. His suit says 200 mph but pretty sure to get into orbit he’ll be going more like 17,000 mph. Shane Durrance shot:

5. Terry Scroggins talks fishing jerkbaits at Rayburn.


> …gets mislabeled as a cold-water lure far too often…. “…they’re an awesome tool anytime you’re trying to present a bait over submerged vegetation that’s a bit more subtle at a place like Rayburn that gets so much fishing pressure.”


> His jerkbait of choice is a MegaBass Vision 110 on 12-lb line that will get down to about 7′, and if he can tick the tops of the vegetation or get it snagged in the salad…triggering strikes.


6. Edwin Evers got beat by his son.

Looks pretty stoked about it too! I had this on BB social: What’s it feel like to catch a 12-lber? Ya can’t ask Edwin Evers since his PB is a 10.6, but you can ask his son Kade (also 12!) cuz he caught this 12-01 on Falcon Lake, TX on a shakey head Berkley MaxScent Hit Worm (blue fleck).


What’s cooler than having a dad who’s one of the best bassin’ pros of all time? Beating him mang!! lol, congrats to ’em both!


7. Random: This Stray Casts Insta post is a 10.


Click on it and you’ll see. I’m startin’ to expect big things outta that gang. Is Cox part of the crowd now? If so, might be a 3rd thing to be concerned about with him….


8. TN: Chickamauga not fishing as heavy this year so far?


> In 2018 Kevin Drake and Corey Vetten won the event with an incredible 42.9 lbs of bass. Drake and Vetten won the event again last weekend, but this time with only 22.36 lbs.


9. TX: 3 more teeners caught???


– what else can I say about this man, it just keeps rollin’!


– Top: Donald Moore, Eagle Mountain Lake, 13.08 lbs, new lake record – the 5th lake record in TX this season.


– Bottom L: Greg Denison, OH Ivie, 13.21 lbs, caught the same day as the next one.


– Bottom R: Jeff Windham, OH Ivie, 13.65 lbs.


For bassin’ and to conceal the alien base…


11. VA: Bic lighter helps 3 guys survive bass tub sinking.


Glad they’re okay, scary deal:


> …were fishing from a 19′ bass boat on Sunday, Mar 14 about 3:30 pm when the bait well hose became disconnected and the small boat started taking on water…. In 2 minutes they were in the frigid water that was about 54 degrees. The boat went down close to shore….


> Luckily, Wilson had the disposable lighter. They collected cattails for kindling and pushed over dead trees to get dry wood. They got a fire going and hung their wet clothes by it.


12. New Vexus Heart ‘n Soul tees available.


13. How Denali Rods was an overnight success.


Sorta overnight….


14. AR: U of AR football commit loves him some MLF.


Check how he answered this Q:


> If I couldn’t play football, I would want to star in: Major League Fishing


15. TX HS sending 5 teams to regionals.


That’s how Cayuga High School rolls – love it!


16. CO: Scheels opens new Cabela’s-like store in CO Springs.


17. IL might put new fee on fisherman to fight Asian carp?


If true that’s not cool man – not just a problem for us:


> …a $5 stamp that fishermen must purchase before they’re able to legally fish in the state. It would become active in 2022. Republicans in the committee rejected the plan because of the extra cost on fishermen.


18. TX: Medina Lake and Lake Placid “infested” with zebras.


19. PA: Zebras found in Raystown Lake.



Line of the Day


A drop shot is a nonlinear system.


That makes it sound way too complicated, like physics or something, which is is not…except for the FG knot….




Do you yak? I don’t, but I’m ALMOST inspired to after watchin’ this new FishLab vid ’bout yak bassin’ on the Cali Delta. Will Doud-Martin of Bass Angler Mag makes it look fun and does a good job with the talkin’. FYI FishLab baits in it are the Rattle Toad (rattles, lies flat), the Popping Rattle Toad (floating skirt/legs!), the good-lookin’ Bio-Minnow (4″, 5″ or 6.25″), and the Bio-Shad Wake Bait (crawl all the way to burn with no blowouts):

On right now… 


More teeners in TX! Chatterfest in Florida! Hard cover in early spring


Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.

Tip of the Day


Culled from an older post:


> “I have a theory, and it’s worked all over the country, that when bass swim up and nip the jig but then swim away, I have the right colors but the wrong style of trailer – so I rotate through the 3 different trailer styles I use.


> “If I don’t have any followers at all, I have the wrong color, so I go through the different colors but use the same style of trailer. I’ll mix colors, too, like using a green jig with a b/b trailer, just because it sometimes works. I honestly don’t believe it has anything to do with water color or clarity. It’s all about the mood of the bass and how aggressive they are.


> “Most of the time a trailer that has a curly or swimming tail – such as a single- or ­double-tail grub – will work on a swimming jig…this is often where I start. If I don’t want any action at all, I’ll use a chunk-type trailer or a beaver, but if I want a lot of action and vibration I’ll put on something that has a lot of legs and flappers so it moves a lot of water.


> “The one exception I make to this is when I know the bass are feeding heavily on shad…then I use a small swimbait style of trailer that has a paddle tail.


> “Overall I think the biggest key…[is] my rod”…a flipping stick with a spinnerbait tip. “I use a 7-foot 6-inch rod with a lot of backbone, but it has a very light, fast tip. The fast tip actually vibrates as I retrieve, so it gives the jig a little action as I swim it through the water. At the same time, the soft tip flexes when a bass takes the jig and gives me that extra fraction of a second to set the hook.


> “I think my hookup ratio is close to 99% with my rods, just because of that tip and the lack of stretch in the braided line.”

Quote of the Day
“Kinda boring watching a guy not catchin’ no keepers.”


– Wes Strader talkin’ ’bout himself on MLF Live today. Love it! That is kinda boring but a) it beats the snot outta TV and b) it’s great to hear Wesley talkin’ feesh!

Shot of the Day
Steve Kennedy has the coolest wrap – here’s proof. Way cool Andy Crawfish shot:
Ya got me!
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