On the strength of a 20th place finish in the ultra-competitive Elite Series Angler of the Year race, Ohio’s Bill Lowen will be heading to his third Bassmaster Classic in February when bass fishing’s bigest event travels to New Orleans for the first time since 2003.

“Missing the Classic last year was like a punch in the stomach,” he said. “Now we’re back on track and that means a lot to me and my sponsors.”

The Louisiana Delta is a shallow water fishery and that should play directly into Lowen’s hands. He’ll have some new products available that we’ll tell you about in coming months, but one of the items he’s most excited about (for New Orleans and numerous other events) is the addition of the chartreuse shad pattern to the Shaker team. Similar paint jobs have taken the pro tours by storm in recent years and with good reason, he said.

“So many colors are season-specific,” he said. “This one is so versatile, you can use it from the early spring all the way through the fall. Any place you have shad, bluebacks or crappies it’s going to excel. You can use it in all water clarities from clear to stained, even in dirty water. When the water is dirty, 90 percent of the fish are shallow so light penetration is still good.”