Lowen, Zaldain Tied For Lead After Two Rounds On Bull Shoals/Norfork

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Bill Lowen of Brookville, Ind., and Chris Zaldain of Laughlin, Nev., are tied for the lead on the second day of the Bassmaster Elite at Norfork/Bull Shoals, each bringing a two-day total weight of 30 pounds, 14 ounces to the scales.

Photo by Seigo Saito/Bassmaster

April 22, 2016

Lowen, Zaldain Tied For Lead After Two Rounds On Bull Shoals/Norfork

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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — The format for the Bassmaster Elite at Bull Shoals/Norfork is one of the more complex in the trail’s 11-year history.

A full field of 108 Elite Series anglers began on Norfork Lake Thursday and moved to Bull Shoals Lake for Friday’s second round. The remaining Top 50 will fish Bull Shoals again Saturday, with the final Top 12 moving back to Norfork for Sunday’s final round.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, there are now two anglers deadlocked atop the leaderboard.

Chris Zaldain of Laughlin, Nev., and Bill Lowen off Brookville, Ind., have each caught 30 pounds, 14 ounces — and though they took different paths to get there, they will share the lead as the unique tournament heads into the semifinals.

“For me, today was all about just hanging in there,” said Zaldain, who caught 16-2 during the opening round at Norfork and jumped from third place into the lead with 14-12 Friday. “Days 2 and 3 on Bull Shoals are the meat of the tournament. You don’t have to completely knock it out of the park. You just need better-than-average days to make it back to Norfork Sunday.”

After having the big day on Norfork Thursday, Zaldain said there were times when his mind drifted back to that fishery Friday. But he stayed focused on Bull Shoals and put together his respectable five-bass limit with a drop shot rig.

He said the finesse approach allowed him to go behind other anglers, catching fish they might have missed. But the bite slowed for him around midday.

“I had a real bad lull about 11:30,” Zaldain said. “On the way back in, I did check a couple of areas where I’ve done well here in the past, and I had a couple of bites doing that. So I have those if I need them.

“But I’m just going to start out (Saturday) doing the same thing I did today and see what happens.”

Instead of creating a distraction, Zaldain said the possibility of returning to Norfork is actually providing an incentive to fish harder.

“In the back of my head, I know what’s waiting for me at Norfork,” he said. “There’s no certainty in fishing. But just seeing the fish I saw on Norfork gives me all of the confidence to get after them and do what I need to do here.”

While Zaldain had his big day on Norfork and then hung on for dear life at Bull Shoals, Lowen used Bull Shoals to make a big move.

After catching just 13-10 at Norfork Thursday, the shallow-water specialist who grew up fishing the Ohio River caught 17-4 Friday and moved from 11th place into a tie for the lead.

“I’m fishing for some bass that a lot of guys are missing because they’re not fishing shallow enough,” Lowen said. “If my trolling motor is not turning up mud, I can’t catch them.

“I’m fishing the way I like to fish — and any time you can do that, it’s a big plus because you feel condiment making adjustments when you need to.”

Though some anglers were bothered by the dropping water level at Bull Shoals, Lowen said it played to his strengths. In addition to climbing the leaderboard Friday, he believes he identified several new lures the fish will bite going into Saturday.

“It’s a huge plus when you can have three or four baits that will catch them in your area,” he said. “I noticed that the water level has dropped about 6 inches, but it doesn’t matter to me. I’m actually glad it happened.”

Alabama angler Keith Poche was just 4 ounces behind Zaldain and Lowen with 30-10. New Jersey pro Adrian Avena (29-15) and Floridian Randall Tharp (29-4) made up the remainder of the Top 5.

Lowen and Zaldain also earned the Livingston Lures Leader award of $500 for leading the second day of the event.

The tournament will continue Saturday, with take-off scheduled for 6:15 a.m. CT from Bull Shoals Boat Dock. Sunday’s take-off will be at 6:15 a.m. from Lake Norfork Marina.

Daily weigh-ins will be held at 3:45 p.m. on the campus of Arkansas State University in Mountain Home.

2016 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Norfork – Bull Shoals 4/21-4/24
Lake Norfork/Bull Shoals, Mountain Home  AR.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   

1.  Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  30-14  110
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   17-04
1.  Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV            10  30-14  109
Day 1: 5   16-02     Day 2: 5   14-12
3.  Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           10  30-10  108
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   14-13
4.  Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            10  29-15  107
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   15-15
5.  Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        10  29-04  106
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   13-12
6.  David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  28-11  105
Day 1: 5   14-14     Day 2: 5   13-13
7.  Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA 10  28-09  104
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   17-00
8.  Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  28-06  103
Day 1: 5   17-00     Day 2: 5   11-06
9.  Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        10  28-01  102
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 5   15-08
10. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  27-12  101
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   13-00
11. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         10  27-11  100
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   16-10
12. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  27-09   99
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   15-13
13. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  27-05   98
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   16-00
14. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  27-05   97
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   13-09
15. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  26-14   96
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   14-08
16. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  26-10   95
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   13-05
17. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  26-08   94
Day 1: 5   10-09     Day 2: 5   15-15
18. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              9  26-07   93
Day 1: 4   08-00     Day 2: 5   18-07
19. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL             10  26-06   92
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 5   13-12
20. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  26-05   91
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   14-08
21. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            10  26-05   90
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   13-13
22. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                10  26-02   89
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   14-03
23. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  26-02   88
Day 1: 5   12-00     Day 2: 5   14-02
24. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  25-13   87
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 5   13-03
25. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           10  25-12   86
Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 5   13-10
26. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           10  25-11   85
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   14-03
27. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  25-11   84
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   12-07
28. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  25-09   83
Day 1: 5   12-13     Day 2: 5   12-12
29. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             10  25-08   82
Day 1: 5   10-09     Day 2: 5   14-15
30. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  25-06   81
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   14-00
31. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  25-06   80
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 5   13-11
32. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          10  25-05   79
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   13-06
33. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         10  25-04   78
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   14-13
34. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  25-00   77
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   14-00
35. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  24-14   76
Day 1: 5   10-13     Day 2: 5   14-01
36. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         10  24-14   75
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   13-08
37. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  24-11   74
Day 1: 5   10-06     Day 2: 5   14-05
38. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               10  24-11   73
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   13-06
39. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  24-08   72
Day 1: 5   12-13     Day 2: 5   11-11
40. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               10  24-08   71
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   12-01
41. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  24-06   70
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   14-07
42. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             10  24-05   69
Day 1: 5   10-05     Day 2: 5   14-00
43. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  24-05   68
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   13-04
44. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  24-03   67
Day 1: 5   09-14     Day 2: 5   14-05
45. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  24-02   66
Day 1: 5   10-05     Day 2: 5   13-13
46. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               10  24-02   65
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   12-06
47. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  24-02   64
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   12-03
48. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  24-01   63
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   13-14
49. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      10  24-00   62
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   13-04
50. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  23-13   61
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   12-12
51. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA              10  23-12   60
Day 1: 5   10-04     Day 2: 5   13-08
52. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX              10  23-07   59
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-02
53. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  23-06   58
Day 1: 5   09-10     Day 2: 5   13-12
54. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC              10  23-04   57
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   11-10
55. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  23-03   56
Day 1: 5   13-13     Day 2: 5   09-06
56. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN           10  23-03   55
Day 1: 5   09-12     Day 2: 5   13-07
57. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        10  23-02   54
Day 1: 5   10-02     Day 2: 5   13-00
58. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          10  23-02   53
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   10-04
59. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  23-02   52
Day 1: 5   10-11     Day 2: 5   12-07
60. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  23-01   51
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   11-13
61. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL               10  23-00   50
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   13-03
62. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         8  22-14   49
Day 1: 3   06-09     Day 2: 5   16-05
63. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  22-12   48
Day 1: 5   09-09     Day 2: 5   13-03
64. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          7  22-07   47
Day 1: 2   04-15     Day 2: 5   17-08
65. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          9  22-07   46
Day 1: 4   07-15     Day 2: 5   14-08
66. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  22-07   45
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   12-08
67. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  22-05   44
Day 1: 5   09-14     Day 2: 5   12-07
68. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  22-01   43
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   11-05
69. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                9  21-14   42
Day 1: 4   06-11     Day 2: 5   15-03
70. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  21-14   41
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   10-05
71. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  21-13   40
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 5   13-00
72. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  21-11   39
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   11-14
73. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           9  21-09   38
Day 1: 4   07-00     Day 2: 5   14-09
74. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         9  21-07   37
Day 1: 4   08-02     Day 2: 5   13-05
75. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          9  21-02   36
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 4   09-06
76. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        9  21-00   35
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 4   09-01
77. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  21-00   34
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   10-04
78. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              7  20-15   33
Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 2   04-03
79. Billy McCaghren Jr     Mayflower, AR            9  20-14   32
Day 1: 4   08-08     Day 2: 5   12-06
80. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              8  20-12   31
Day 1: 3   06-12     Day 2: 5   14-00
81. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN          7  20-11   30
Day 1: 2   05-04     Day 2: 5   15-07
82. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               10  20-11   29
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   10-04
83. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  20-10   28
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   10-02
84. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  20-09   27
Day 1: 5   08-02     Day 2: 5   12-07
85. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               8  20-00   26
Day 1: 3   05-04     Day 2: 5   14-12
86. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO        10  19-09   25
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   08-04
87. Casey Scanlon          Rocky Mount, MO          9  19-05   24
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 4   07-08
88. John Murray            Spring City, TN         10  19-05   23
Day 1: 5   09-06     Day 2: 5   09-15
89. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          7  18-12   22
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 2   05-05
90. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           9  18-12   21
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 4   07-07
91. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC          10  18-11   20
Day 1: 5   07-05     Day 2: 5   11-06
92. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        8  18-06   19
Day 1: 4   07-03     Day 2: 4   11-03
93. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           7  18-05   18
Day 1: 2   04-05     Day 2: 5   14-00
94. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            8  18-03   17
Day 1: 3   05-06     Day 2: 5   12-13
95. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             10  17-15   16
Day 1: 5   07-00     Day 2: 5   10-15
96. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  8  17-09   15
Day 1: 3   06-04     Day 2: 5   11-05
97. Fabian Rodriguez       Ocean City, DE           8  17-04   14
Day 1: 3   06-01     Day 2: 5   11-03
98. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             8  17-01   13
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 3   05-02
99. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             8  16-07   12
Day 1: 5   09-11     Day 2: 3   06-12
100. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN    7  15-07   11
Day 1: 2   03-15     Day 2: 5   11-08
101. David Williams         Newton, NC               9  15-05   10
Day 1: 4   06-04     Day 2: 5   09-01
102. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         6  14-06    9
Day 1: 1   01-15     Day 2: 5   12-07
103. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         7  13-14    8
Day 1: 5   08-15     Day 2: 2   04-15
104. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            6  12-09    7
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 1   02-01
105. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              6  12-02    6
Day 1: 1   02-04     Day 2: 5   09-14
106. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               6  10-13    5
Day 1: 5   09-00     Day 2: 1   01-13
107. Jay Brainard           Enid, OK                 6  10-11    4
Day 1: 5   08-11     Day 2: 1   02-00
108. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY          6  10-09    3
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 1   01-12
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        88       500      1125-13
2        94       506      1327-05
———————————-
182      1006      2453-02

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