Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Bill Lowen

Bill Lowen classifies himself as a "shallow-water flipping guy," so he keeps a full assortment of soft plastics on hand.

This week, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Bill Lowen provides a tour of his Skeeter boat. Lowen's professional accomplishments include five straight visits to the Bassmaster Classic (2011-2015), and he has tallied 13 Top 10 finishes in 95 total B.A.S.S. tournaments.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This week, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Bill Lowen provides a tour of his Skeeter boat. Lowen's professional accomplishments include five straight visits to the Bassmaster Classic (2011-2015), and he has tallied 13 Top 10 finishes in 95 total B.A.S.S. tournaments.
Bill Lowen's 21-foot Skeeter ZX is powered by a 250-horsepower Yamaha SHO.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Bill Lowen's 21-foot Skeeter ZX is powered by a 250-horsepower Yamaha SHO.
Lowen trolls with a Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Lowen trolls with a Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor.
A Lowrance HDS-8 gives Lowen a look at underwater structure while he's on the bow of his boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A Lowrance HDS-8 gives Lowen a look at underwater structure while he's on the bow of his boat.
Lowen says the left rod locker on his boat typically holds about 25 Castaway Rods.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Lowen says the left rod locker on his boat typically holds about 25 Castaway Rods.
Castaway Graphite Rods of Montgomery, Texas, is one of Lowen's major sponsors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Castaway Graphite Rods of Montgomery, Texas, is one of Lowen's major sponsors.
As a self-proclaimed shallow-water fisherman, Lowen usually has a rod or two rigged with spinnerbaits at all times.
Photo: Seigo Saito - As a self-proclaimed shallow-water fisherman, Lowen usually has a rod or two rigged with spinnerbaits at all times.
In the box closest to the front of the boat in the center, Lowen carries soft plastics, ChatterBaits and swim jigs, all in Flambeau boxes.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the box closest to the front of the boat in the center, Lowen carries soft plastics, ChatterBaits and swim jigs, all in Flambeau boxes.
Jigs of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Jigs of all colors, shapes and sizes.
ChatterBaits for all occasions.
Photo: Seigo Saito - ChatterBaits for all occasions.
Jigheads of all shapes and sizes are on hand for every possible tournament scenario.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Jigheads of all shapes and sizes are on hand for every possible tournament scenario.
The Flambeau boxes that hold Lowen's tackle aren't just any old boxes.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Flambeau boxes that hold Lowen's tackle aren't just any old boxes. "Notice all the blue that’s on the Flambeau boxes," he said. "Any box of ours that has blue in it has a chemical incorporated into it called Zerust. It forms an odorless vapor in the box that keeps rust from forming on any kind of metal parts like crankbait hooks. It’s good for five years. So anytime you see the blue, you know it’s got Zerust to help prevent rust."
A quarter-ounce swim jig from the Davis Baits Bill Lowen Signature Series.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A quarter-ounce swim jig from the Davis Baits Bill Lowen Signature Series.
Lowen says he probably carries as many or more soft plastics as anyone on the Elite Series.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Lowen says he probably carries as many or more soft plastics as anyone on the Elite Series. "I know a lot of guys don’t like to carry soft plastics like that because of the weight," he said. "But I’m a shallow-water flipping guy, and I always like to have every assortment of soft plastics that I like to fish with on hand."
More of Lowen's massive soft-plastic arsenal.
Photo: Seigo Saito - More of Lowen's massive soft-plastic arsenal.
A Tightlines UV Beaver in the green two-color pattern.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A Tightlines UV Beaver in the green two-color pattern. "We actually have two green pumpkins -- and out of the two, that one is my favorite," he said. "It has a little more of a chartreuse green-base color to it than your traditional-style green pumpkin."
Hooks and weights protected by Flambeau boxes with Zerust.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Hooks and weights protected by Flambeau boxes with Zerust.
Still more soft plastics.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Still more soft plastics.
With all of his Castaway Rods in the left rod locker, Lowen uses the right rod locker to store extra rain suits, rain shoes, bulk soft plastics, spinnerbaits, trailers and trailer hooks.
Photo: Seigo Saito - With all of his Castaway Rods in the left rod locker, Lowen uses the right rod locker to store extra rain suits, rain shoes, bulk soft plastics, spinnerbaits, trailers and trailer hooks. "Anything to do with spinnerbaits usually goes right there," he said. "That’s just where I’ve always kept them. I really like for everything to have its own place so when I’m in there, I know what’s there. I hate rooting around in the boat trying to find something. I also keep a box in there that has dye markers, superglue, things like that."
A tight shot of Lowen's spinnerbait arsenal inside the right rod locker.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A tight shot of Lowen's spinnerbait arsenal inside the right rod locker.
Spinnerbaits stored inside a Flambeau spinnerbait box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Spinnerbaits stored inside a Flambeau spinnerbait box.
It's hard to find a place on Lowen's boat that doesn't hold at least a few soft plastics.
Photo: Seigo Saito - It's hard to find a place on Lowen's boat that doesn't hold at least a few soft plastics.
Lowen keeps a pair of Buck Knives Splizzors on the floor of his boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Lowen keeps a pair of Buck Knives Splizzors on the floor of his boat. "I keep them there to see if I can destroy them," he said. "It’s a fairly new product on the market, and I’m just torture-testing them. I'm just trying to see what they can or can't take."
He's had this pair of Splizzors since they first came out two years ago. So far, so good.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He's had this pair of Splizzors since they first came out two years ago. So far, so good.
Skeeters are designed with a cooler in the floor, but Lowen uses it to house a spare prop for his Yamaha.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Skeeters are designed with a cooler in the floor, but Lowen uses it to house a spare prop for his Yamaha. "I typically don’t use it for a cooler because we also have a cooler between the seats," he said. "I usually just keep a spare prop in that one so it's out of the way and not back in the back interfering with any wires or batteries. In there, it’s out of sight, out of mind."
A small box in front of his passenger seat holds things like his wallet, docking lines, his cell phone, Fish-D-Funk Wipes and a few Buck Knives.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A small box in front of his passenger seat holds things like his wallet, docking lines, his cell phone, Fish-D-Funk Wipes and a few Buck Knives. "I keep the Buck Knives in there in case I need to cut rope or I get something tangled up in the prop," he said. "I also carry spare fuses in there and sprays for cleaning my sunglasses or the screens on my graphs."
In addition to his Splizzors, Lowen always keeps a buoy marker on the floor of his boat for easy access.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In addition to his Splizzors, Lowen always keeps a buoy marker on the floor of his boat for easy access. "You never know when you’re gonna idle over something you need to mark," he said. "I know you can hit a waypoint on the graph. But a lot of times, it helps me to visually mark something with a buoy. Even sometimes when I catch a fish, I throw one out. Just having it handy to toss out helps me out a lot."
Unlike some pros who run dual graphs on their consoles, Lowen uses a single Lowrance HDS-12.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Unlike some pros who run dual graphs on their consoles, Lowen uses a single Lowrance HDS-12.
The cooler between the seats houses the more traditional items you'd expect to find in a cooler.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The cooler between the seats houses the more traditional items you'd expect to find in a cooler.
The box behind the passenger seat is where Lowen keeps his hard baits like jerkbaits, crankbaits and topwater baits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The box behind the passenger seat is where Lowen keeps his hard baits like jerkbaits, crankbaits and topwater baits. "I don’t carry a tremendous number of hard baits," he said. "I carry square-bills, topwaters, poppers and walking baits, but I'm not a big deep cranker. I don’t carry a lot of deep-diving crankbaits, so it works well for me to put hard baits back there."
Ima Bill Lowen Square-Bill Crankbaits are one hard bait Lowen keeps in good supply.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ima Bill Lowen Square-Bill Crankbaits are one hard bait Lowen keeps in good supply.
A closer look at the Ima Bill Lowen Square Bill Crankbait in the Lowen's Hush Hush color pattern.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at the Ima Bill Lowen Square Bill Crankbait in the Lowen's Hush Hush color pattern.
There was a time when Lowen didn't use culling tags, but now he keeps them in his livewell and uses them for every tournament.
Photo: Seigo Saito - There was a time when Lowen didn't use culling tags, but now he keeps them in his livewell and uses them for every tournament. "I don’t remember how many years back it was at Oneida when I did that culling error and took myself out of the Bassmaster Classic," he said. "Up to that point, I never used a culling system. I just kind of eye-balled them. Part of the reason for that was that I just didn’t think it was right to drive that culling tag through a fish’s mouth. But ever since I made that culling error, I always use a culling system."
The box behind Lowen's driver's seat holds all of his safety equipment like a first-aid kit, tools, a fire extinguisher, flares and prop wrenches.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The box behind Lowen's driver's seat holds all of his safety equipment like a first-aid kit, tools, a fire extinguisher, flares and prop wrenches. "Anything you might need if you get in trouble is right there," he said. "You’re not searching all over the boat for it. When you open that lid up, it’s right there."
Four batteries and a Minn Kota charger are found in the back compartment just in front of the motor.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Four batteries and a Minn Kota charger are found in the back compartment just in front of the motor.
Lowen is one of the few pros on the Elite Series who actually has his Power Poles wrapped. And with a Buck Knives theme, it's no surprise that it's one of the coolest-looking features on the trail.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Lowen is one of the few pros on the Elite Series who actually has his Power Poles wrapped. And with a Buck Knives theme, it's no surprise that it's one of the coolest-looking features on the trail. "I’m always that guy who’s trying to do something a little different," he said. "I just thought it would be cool to have the Buck 110s put on there because this is actually the 50-year anniversary for the Buck 110 Knife."
Thanks for the tour, Bill. Good luck on the Elite Series this year!
Photo: Seigo Saito - Thanks for the tour, Bill. Good luck on the Elite Series this year!