Bill Lowen said conditions made for a physically brutal practice period.
Bill Lowen is glad the Bassmaster Classic’s first practice period has concluded. Although anglers will return to the Red River on Wednesday for one more practice day, he’s looking forward to two days rest until then.
“I’m tired,” he said. “I’m sunburned, wind-burned, rain-burned, you name it. It’s been a rough three days. I’m going to sit around with my feet propped up and try not to over-analyze it.”
While conditions were tough during practice, Lowen said he had a good practice period.
“It’s been good, not great, but I’m happy with it for the conditions,” he said. “I wish it would stay cold. I wish it wasn’t going to warm up and warm up the water temperature.”
Water temperatures have been in the low 50s during practice, but weather forecasters predict a general warming trend leading up to Friday’s first competition day.
“I got bit in these tough conditions,” Lowen said. “Basically, I’m in areas that I know have fish in them, so it should get better. I know the water’s going to warm up, so it should make the fish get a lot more active. Right now, you’ve really got to work to get a bite. But I don’t think it’ll be that hard to get a bite when the Classic starts.”
A bigger problem, Lowen said, is the concentration of anglers in the few spots with somewhat cleaner water. The Red River has been a muddy mess during practice, and Lowen said anglers will be bunched up for the Classic.
“That’s the big problem,” he said. “There’s so much of the river that’s muddy, everybody’s in the same places. It’s like a merry-go-round. It’s like an Ohio River derby where everybody gets in line on one bank.”
Lowen, who hails from North Bend, Ohio, has spent considerable time honing his river-fishing skills on the Ohio. And while he said he definitely plans to put some of that knowledge to use on the Red River this week, he’s not tipping his hand in the least.
“Yeah, it’s going to help,” Lowen said of his Ohio River experience. “But I can’t really tell you much about exactly how it’s going to help.”
For now, Lowen is content to kick back and enjoy some rest and relaxation. His family will arrive Monday night, including his two-week-old son, William Fisher Lowen, who was born just in time for this year’s Classic.