Bill Lowen has seniority in this 54-man field as this marks his 11th Bassmaster Classic qualification. Next on the list are Steve Kennedy and Brandon Palaniuk with 10, followed by Matt Herren with nine.
“It kind of makes me feel old,” said Lowen, who is 47. “On that other side of that, wow, it’s pretty cool. It’s kind of crazy to think that you’ve got the most appearances here. But on the other side of that, honestly, this is probably the Classic that I’ve just been kind of laid back and relaxed. I’m not really worried about it at all. All I want to do now is go fishing.”
Lowen was a popular pick to win this in an informal poll among his fellow competitors. That’s a testament to his experience, his favorite style of fishing and the high-water conditions at Lake Ray Roberts.
“Shallow water, lots of targets, you’re going to have to get up there and grind it out,” Lowen said. “It ain’t easy. That’s the big deal. You’re going to have to stay focused because it’s such a grind. You may go four or five hours without a bite, then all the sudden you get three or four bites real quick. If you don’t have your head screwed on straight, they’re going to kick your tail. That’s the other part of this – just staying focused. For me, that’s just another day. For some of these guys, if they can’t get bit in four or five hours, the squirrels start going around in their heads.”