Once considered a “young gun” Elite Series pro Randy Howell has been a BASS pro for 17 years. At 35 he is still a young angler and looks young as well but seasoning on the trail has given him a veterans approach to his fishing. Ranked number 6 in this years Angler of the Year race going into the chase we had a chance to sit down with him and talk about his career.
Randy is married to Robin and has two sons, Laker and Oakley.
1. You are now in 6th place after 8 events. What would winning the AOY do for you and your career?
“It would put me in in a very elite status in the sport. This amongst my peers, is the pinnacle of the sport. We all have it as a goal at the beginning of the year and it would be special to win it. (Laughing) The 200K would be nice too!
I look at this as an exceptional opportunity for both me and my family and my sponsors. Its a good chance to thank them for all they do for me. Winning the Angler of the Year makes me more solid and gives my sponsors more value.”
2. You now live in Alabama and have for some time. Is it an advantage at the final two tournaments?
“This is a fall fishing deal. I have been to Jordan 3 times and the Alabama River 5-6 times. Fishing these bodies of water can be fickle. It is sometimes very difficult ot stay on fish in the fall. I am excited that these are two day events. I have a history of doing well on the tirst two days and falling off on the 3rd. This should be good for me.
Finishing 6th so far is the highest I have ever finished and I didn’t make a single top 12 cut this year. I think this shows that I have been consistent.”
3. If you were to leave bass fishing right now what would you want to be remembered for?
My faith is everything. Fishing is my livelihood but not my life. Fishing is a means to get to meet people, reach them and make a difference to them. Following Christ and living and doing as he would is always my goal. I want to treat people as I want to be treated and sometimes on the water that means picking up and moving versus being adversarial. I have matured a lot for that perspective. God is number one in my life and as I get older I find out I can be competitive and not be controversial and/or adversarial.
When Robin and I first got married I got real sick. Nearly dying and that experience made us closer. I count that time as a blessing and it strengthened my faith. I truly believe that time made me who I am today.
One more thing….I work very hard at not letting pride get in the way. You can fall for it. People are always saying “great job”, you are a great angler and you are the best. Its one thing to tell them thanks and another to believe it. If I start believing it I am in trouble. Being humble is very important.”
4. What are your strengths as an angler? Weaknesses?
“I used to love to sight fish and fish a trick worm. The trail no longer allows for me to concentrate on those things anymore. You have to be versatile and adapt to when and what you are fishing. I now love to do those things but also love to shallow water crank, flip and pitch, fish topwaters and fish a Senko. Being a specialty angler doesn’t work in the Elites. You have to be a pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn angler and do all techniques well. I am working hard at fishing the conditions.
As far as weaknesses….I am not a big finisher. I usually start hard but being versatile has haunted me too. If I don’t catch them quick I may think I need to figure out where they went with a different technique or location. Sometimes you just have to stay put and grind. I need to stick to my guns more. Going with your gut is usually best and not forcing it is critical. Positiveness is also essential. Doing the little things can make a difference.
I can’t tell you how much one fish can mean. This is a complex sport and you have to have confidence to do it well and be consistent. I think that is what makes Skeet and Kevin so tough. They have ton’s of confidence and never get rattled.
I also can be bull headed. I need to quit that.
5. What do you think of the new “Chase” format?
I think it’s very exciting. Great! Whoever wins will deserve it and the top 12 guys are all very good anglers so it won’t be easy. I think it will be like a Mini-Bassmaster Classic. I think its a good move and to see the extra visibility on regular ESPN will be huge. Everyone has a chance and no one knows how it will be until its over but I am giving it a chance and am excited about it.
6. We always give you a parting shot. Swindle likes Moon Pie and Skeets sold rods…what yours?
“If you don’t have a Triton Boat and a Mercury Motor you will be following me down the lake” (Laughed)
Seriously, these and other companies support fishing and have for a long time. Thanks to all of them.