What Bill Lowen Knows about Lake Guntersville
provided by John Phillips
Mossy Oak Fishing Pro Bill Lowen of Brookville, Indiana, finished 11th on the Bassmaster Elite Circuit in the Angler of the Year competition in the 2019 season, which qualified him for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, the 2020 Bassmaster Classic, to be held March 6-8, in Birmingham, Alabama, and fished at Lake Guntersville, one of the nation’s top big-bass lakes.
Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee River in north Alabama is known as a grass lake. I’ve fished it before, and I have a pretty good idea about where and how to fish it. The unknowns are what the weather and water conditions will be, and where the bass will be holding on their seasonal migration pattern. I expect we’ll see some giant bass brought in during this 2020 Classic. We’ll have some five-fish limits that will weigh 20 pounds and several of those will weigh 30 pounds or more.
This year’s Classic will be March 6-8, which should be the perfect time to catch prespawn and spawning bass. Lake Guntersville hasn’t had a really cold, hard winter, so I expect this may be one of the best Classics ever as far as contestants bringing plenty of big bass to the weigh-in.
The last Classic won in Guntersville was won with a crankbait. I think the lures that will play a major role in this year’s Classic will be crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, swimbaits and lipless crankbaits. Historically, at this time of the year, some form of crankbait has been the most popular lure of choice – whether it’s a shallow-diving or a deep-diving crank or a lipless crankbait. I think we’ll be fishing just ahead of the spawn at Guntersville in March, so the fish will be fat and big.
If I don’t win the tournament, the field is so strong that it’s anybody’s ball game. I think it’s important to remember that each of the contestants believes he will win and will be working hard to make that happen. An angler who doesn’t think he has a chance to win, probably needs to stay at home. This year’s field of Bassmaster Classic contestants includes many in the next class of professional fishermen who are chasing that Classic dream. This one tournament can make an angler’s career, and I truly believe that any of the anglers in this tournament have a good chance to win, or else they won’t have qualified to compete.
Many of the pros who once fished the Bassmasster Elite Series have moved on to fish with the Major League Fishing (MLF) circuit, and by doing so, they’ve opened up a lot of opportunity to new anglers to win more money and become the new super stars. There are still some anglers fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series who have competed in and won the Classic before. If I don’t win the tournament, I’d have to say Bassmaster angler of the year Scott Canterbury has the best chance. He lives in Alabama, and this year he’s had very good results. He probably has about as much knowledge as anyone does of Lake Guntersville, so he should be one of the favorites or at least be in the top 10 at the end of the Classic.
Another angler who’s had a good year and may have a good chance to win is Chris Zaldain of Fort Worth, Texas. Another angler to watch is Mossy Oak Fishing Team member Brandon Cobb. He’s won two events this year, and there’s no doubt he knows how to find and catch big bass. Most tournament fisherman, if they win one event, have had great years. However, winning two events in one year is fantastic.