Bill Lowen of Brookville, Ind., and Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., are tied for first place after Day 3 of the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake with a three-day total of 62 pounds, 10 ounces.

                                                                                                                                                   Photos by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

March 22, 2021

There’s A Tie At The Top At Pickwick Elite

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FLORENCE, Ala. — Tomorrow, there can be only one winner, but Bill Lowen and Chad Pipkens share the Day 3 lead at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake.

Both anglers head into Championship Tuesday with 62 pounds, 10 ounces.

If a tie occurs in the tournament’s final round, the winner will be determined by a fish-off between the tied competitors.

Hailing from Brookville, Ind., Lowen improved from second place by adding 17-10 to his previous days’ limits of 21-3 and 23-13. Pipkens, who lives in Holt, Mich., moved up from sixth. His daily weights were 21-2, 18-5 and 23-3.

Since last week’s fierce storm, the Tennessee Valley Authority has been moving a tremendous volume of water through Pickwick. Lowen started his day fishing main-river current breaks on the backside of Kogers Island and continued his quest to determine how the fish are adjusting.

As the water level slowly declines, warming conditions have set the stage for a possible spawning movement.

“It just seems like every day the morning has been the deal, that first three hours,” Lowen said. “After that, I just have to beat around and try other things. I’m just trying to find out where the fish have gone.

“I feel like the current is pushing those fish off the flats. I have some areas that they should be going to. I keep checking them, but they haven’t shown up yet.”

Lowen caught his fish on his signature series 3/8-ounce Lure Parts Online jig with a chunk trailer. This bait’s weight and buoyancy allows it to sweep across shallow wood cover without snagging.

Later in the morning, Lowen started exploring other habitat features, including tall stands of flat reeds where spawners may eventually move. Signs are pointing in that direction, he said, but Lowen’s not ready to commit his final day to this uncertain stage.

“At the end of the day, I had some fish come up on a swim jig that didn’t get it,” Lowen said. “I’ve been saying it all day that it’s time for that to happen. Tomorrow, I’m going down there and starting on that same stretch. The only thing I was missing today were those big bites. Hopefully tomorrow some of those big females will move up.”

Spending his day on the backside of a small island upstream of Kogers, Pipkens focused on a grassy ditch. Receding water seems to be working in his favor.

“The first day I caught every fish I weighed up close to that island on a current seam because the water was so high,” Pipkens said. “At the end of the day I caught a couple about 100 yards back, and yesterday I caught most of them [farther] back.

“Today, I caught them all there, except for one at the end. I think they’re starting to scatter back throughout that ditch. I’m ready to move around tomorrow.”

Pipkens anchored his bag with a 5-pounder around 10:46 a.m., but a 4-pounder at 2:14 p.m. gave him a key cull that secured his first-place tie. He caught his fish on a ChatterBait with a trailer hook and a swimbait trailer. Pipkens said his bites were subtle.

“There’s so much current, they’re just sitting down there and they’re not eating until the bait comes over them,” Pipkens said.

Pipkens is hopeful that tomorrow’s forecasted rain and dim skies could trigger a more aggressive bite.

“With tomorrow’s weather, it could get right,” he said. “I’ve said if you can catch 15 to 20 fish in this area, you can weigh in 25 to 30 pounds. I was one big bite away today and I only caught six. The right ones bit today.”

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Canada, is in third place with 59-1. Moving up from 22nd place, he added the day’s heaviest bag, 25-5, to his previous weights of 18-9 and 15-3.

“I caught most of my fish offshore in the Kogers Island area on current breaks in 3 to 8 feet, and then I went looking for some other stuff,” Johnston said. “I ended up finding some stuff on the bank and caught a 5-pounder.

“Up shallow, it was wood and junk they’re sitting behind out of the current. I was just trying to expand my options, but it’s hard to say which might play tomorrow. I’ll try both.”

Johnston said he rotated through a selection of 10 reaction baits. Continuously giving the fish different looks was the key to his success.

Hank Cherry of Lincolnton, N.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-11.

Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., leads the Angler of the Year standings with 264 points. Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., is in second with 246, followed by Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, with 245, Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., with 242 and Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., with 239.

Tuesday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at McFarland Park. The weigh-in will be held at the park at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms.

The tournament is being hosted by Florence-Lauderdale Tourism.

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake 3/20-3/23
Pickwick Lake, Florence  AL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  62-10  100
Day 1: 5   21-03     Day 2: 5   23-13     Day 3: 5   17-10
1.  Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI              15  62-10   99
Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   18-05     Day 3: 5   23-03
3.  Cory Johnston          Cavan CANADA            15  59-01   98   $1,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   15-03     Day 3: 5   25-05
4.  Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA            15  58-11   97
Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 5   20-15     Day 3: 5   21-00
5.  Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          15  57-13   96   $1,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   22-09     Day 3: 5   19-12
6.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        15  57-13   95
Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   21-08     Day 3: 5   16-12
7.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            15  57-01   94
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   20-09     Day 3: 5   18-12
8.  Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD               15  56-15   93
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   23-08     Day 3: 5   20-03
9.  Buddy Gross            Chickamauga, GA         15  56-13   92
Day 1: 5   23-03     Day 2: 5   17-00     Day 3: 5   16-10
10. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              15  56-13   91
Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   20-09     Day 3: 5   17-09
11. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                13  56-05   90  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   25-12     Day 2: 5   19-15     Day 3: 3   10-10
12. Patrick Walters        Summerville, SC         15  56-00   89  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-00     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   21-03
13. Kyle Welcher           Opelika, AL             15  54-07   88  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   16-11     Day 3: 5   24-11
14. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        15  54-03   87  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   19-11     Day 3: 5   17-11
15. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA          14  53-09   86  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 4   14-07     Day 3: 5   20-06
16. Wes Logan              Springville, AL         15  52-14   85  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   18-14     Day 3: 5   20-09
17. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX             15  52-08   84  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   17-00     Day 3: 5   18-11
18. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           15  52-03   83  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 5   18-08     Day 3: 5   16-15
19. Bryan New              Belmont, NC             15  51-10   82  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   19-03     Day 3: 5   13-07
20. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ           15  50-13   81  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   15-02     Day 3: 5   19-12
21. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL           13  50-08   80  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   22-13     Day 3: 3   09-06
22. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            15  50-06   79  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   19-02     Day 3: 5   17-08
23. Joshua Stracner        Vandiver, AL            15  50-05   78  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   15-08
24. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA 15  50-03   77  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   16-11
25. Seth Feider            New Market, MN          15  49-12   76  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-06     Day 2: 5   17-11     Day 3: 5   15-11
26. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX              14  49-07   75  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   12-03     Day 2: 5   19-14     Day 3: 5   17-06
27. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA              15  48-07   74  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-14     Day 2: 5   15-09     Day 3: 5   18-00
28. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX            15  48-06   73  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   21-10     Day 3: 5   13-10
29. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA               13  47-15   72  $10,000.00
Day 1: 3   08-14     Day 2: 5   20-13     Day 3: 5   18-04
30. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC           14  47-03   71  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 4   08-06     Day 3: 5   21-03
31. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX          14  46-11   70  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   13-14     Day 3: 4   11-11
32. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           15  46-02   69  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   14-14     Day 3: 5   14-13
33. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC             15  45-15   68  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   14-01
34. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               15  45-09   67  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   12-01     Day 3: 5   18-15
35. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN            13  44-09   66  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   11-02     Day 2: 5   19-03     Day 3: 4   14-04
36. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN           13  43-01   65  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   12-06     Day 2: 5   17-08     Day 3: 4   13-03
37. Frank Talley           Temple, TX              15  43-01   64  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 5   11-03     Day 3: 5   15-10
38. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             14  43-01   63  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 4   12-09     Day 3: 5   16-01
39. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI               13  42-14   62  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   18-15     Day 3: 3   07-05
40. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              13  42-00   61  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   15-14     Day 3: 3   10-01
41. Kyle Monti             Okeechobee, FL          13  41-11   60  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-14     Day 2: 5   13-08     Day 3: 3   10-05
42. Todd Auten             Lake Wylie, SC          15  41-10   59  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   11-15     Day 3: 5   11-14
43. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK            14  41-03   58  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   14-09     Day 3: 4   10-01
44. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            13  40-14   57  $10,000.00
Day 1: 3   08-00     Day 2: 5   17-13     Day 3: 5   15-01
45. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              14  40-04   56  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   11-09     Day 2: 5   14-10     Day 3: 5   14-01
46. Randy Sullivan         Breckenridge, TX        13  39-05   55  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   17-15     Day 3: 3   08-01
47. Drew Benton            Blakely, GA             12  39-03   54  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   10-04     Day 2: 4   15-01     Day 3: 4   13-14
48. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA            11  38-12   53  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   13-08     Day 2: 5   19-13     Day 3: 2   05-07
49. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC             10  26-05   52  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   13-13     Day 3: 0   00-00
50. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            9  25-04   51  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 4   10-14     Day 3: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Clark Wendlandt          Leander, TX         07-06      $1,000.00
2   Hank Cherry Jr           Lincolnton, NC      07-11      $1,000.00
3   Cory Johnston            Cavan CANADA        07-02      $1,000.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        51       363      1149-15
2        63       411      1345-02
3        36       220       768-10
———————————-
150       994      3263-11

 

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