Ohio’s Bill Lowen may be the ultimate shallow water fanatic. If his trolling motor isn’t kicking up mud, he’s not happy. So when he hits the major impoundments and the mercury is nearing triple digits, you probably won’t find him sitting on a hump or ledge unless he absolutely has to do it.

“This time of year I like to go up the rivers,” he said. “Those fish are current-oriented and I target laydowns and log jams.”

He’s not particular about which wood he fishes. It’s all golden to him as long as it’s close to deep water, which in this case can mean as little as a few inches at the base of the logs and 4 or 5 feet at the end of the portion that extends furthest. But he is particular about the lures that he uses, and in many instances his number one tool is an IMA Shaker crankbait.

“Being from Ohio, I grew up fishing all the handmade balsas and this is pretty much identical,” he said. “You want to deflect it off any cover you can find.” Sometimes a worm or a jig won’t trigger the strikes and a spinnerbait isn’t as natural, so the Shaker gets the job done.

“When it’s 90 degrees the baitfish are still up there, so I go with a shad pattern,” he continued. “It’s more natural so you get a better reaction.”

While cranking often involves light line to maximize diving depths, that’s not a concern in this case, so Lowen gets rid of his 10 or 12 pound line and spools up with 15 or 17 pound well rope. “I’m not concerned with getting it on the bottom,” he said. “And once they’re buttoned, you can get them out of the nasty stuff real fast.” You may end up surprised at how shallow some of the biggest fish in the lake can live.