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.
I’m traditionally known as a shallow-water angler, so I plan to fish my style and the techniques with which I’m most comfortable. So, if the weather stays constant, I think my style of fishing can get me a place on the podium. I think all the stars are lining up for me to have a very good Classic. I’ll be targeting the bass that are moving up out of deep water and preparing to spawn, although my strategy depends on what I learn during the practice days. You never know what the bass are doing until the day before you fish. I believe that unless this area has a drastic cold front hit, the bass will be somewhere between 8-feet deep or right up against the bank in 1-3 feet water.
Two Classics have been won by Kevin VanDam fishing the places that the bass have been coming to just before the spawn. One was the 2011 Classic in New Orleans. The other was the Classic in Birmingham when he fished an underwater ridge in a creek that the bass were holding on before they moved in the shallow water to spawn. That’s kind of what I’m hoping to do at this year’s Classic - find the bass before they move in to really shallow water. Hopefully I can find bass that are already on the bank spawning and bass that are holding just off the bank, getting ready to spawn. Usually at the time of the year that the Classic is being held, this region will have had a hard winter, and much of the grass on Lake Guntersville will be submerged. However, we haven’t really had very much hard, cold, grass-killing weather. For that reason I think we will see more grass at Guntersville this March than we’ve seen in past years.
In March at this Classic, I’ll be fishing the grass. I’ve learned that unless you’re fishing the riprap on the causeways or the bridges, if you’re not fishing the grass, then more than likely you’ll get your butt whipped. Now I won’t be fishing rubber frogs and rubber rats because I don’t believe the grass will be topped-out. But I will be fishing rattle baits, jerkbaits and swimbaits over the top of the grass. The grass may be 2-3 feet under water, and that’s where I’ll probably be concentrating most of my fishing.