Lowen cranked his way into Top 12

Bill Lowen barely made the Top 50 cut Friday, but with 18-13 Saturday he jumped all the up to 7th place and made the Top 12 with room to spare. Lowen has been fishing the dirtier water in Long Creek. He's using various orange/crawfish colored crankbaits. In the accompanying photo, they are: (top) Lazer Lures Lowen's Craw, (middle) Ima Shaker, (bottom) PH Custom Lures Flat P. All are shallow-running, flat-sided crankbaits; two are made of balsa wood.


Lowen's bag Saturday included a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth and a "heavy 4 [pounder]," he said.


"You know me, I always try to do something a little different," Lowen said of his lure selection. "The fish I'm catching are feeding on crawfish. You've got to throw [the crankbait] right against the bank in channel swings, where there's a transition to pea gravel or some kind of staging area like that.


"The key is to reel as slow as you possibly can and 'worm' the bait through the rocks. I also caught some on a jig yesterday."


As has been said over and over and over this week, it's crucial to catch a 4-pounds-plus fish every day. Lowen lost a good one and didn't get another big bite on Day 1. He made up for it by catching those two big ones Saturday.