An exclusive interview with Randy Howell. Watch him answer questions he's never been asked before!
Glenn: Hi, I'm Glenn May, and I'm with BassResource.com, and I'm here with Randy Howell. Randy, it's great to have you aboard today.
Randy Howell: Man, it's good to be here. Are you all good today?
Glenn: Oh yeah, you bet. Now, Randy, how long have you been fishing?
Randy: I am 36-years-old this year, and I have been fishing professionally since I was 18. Right out of high school, that's what I started doing, but fishing pretty much since I was old enough to walk. So, I've fished and caught fish of all kinds all my life. So, I was born with the passion to fish.
Glenn: And with all of those years of fishing, what would you say has been the most memorable bass?
Randy: The most memorable bass... I've had so many memorable ones. I tell you, each year you come up with a different fish and one that I caught at Lake Amestad a couple of years ago, in the Bassmaster Tournament, was my biggest bass that I'd ever caught. It was 10-8, and I caught it in the tournament.
And right now, that still stands out as my most memorable one, because it was in the tournament, it was my biggest bass ever, and I remember looking in the live well at that fish like 20 times during the day, and it reminded me of when I was 12 or 13-years-old, growing up on Lake Gaston, and I'd catch a six or seven pounder and have them in the live well, and I just felt like a kid. I'd go back and look at him all the time, like, wow, look how big that fish is!
Glenn: I bet you were giggling like a little girl, weren't you?
Randy: I was, all day in the tournament. I was like, man, I can't wait to weigh it! I'd look at it, and it would be curled. The whole tail was so long that it wouldn't even fit in there, and I kept thinking, God, I can't wait to go in and weigh this fish, you know? And so, that's the passion of fishing that you can't replace with anything else, and that's why we all do what we do. It isn't even really about the money, it's just about that feeling that you get when you catch that big fish and that's why it's so contagious.
Glenn: Speaking of big fish, what would you say is your most unusual big bass tactic?
Randy: Unusual big bass tactic? Man, that's a hard one. I don't really have any specific big bass tactics that are new or unusual. I like sight fishing. I like fishing in normal stuff that everybody does to catch big fish. But also, I've started learning how to throw swim baits, and some of the techniques, they've come from out west to try to learn to catch bigger fish like that, and I have caught a few doing that. But, to answer your question, there's really no new thing that I've got that's unusual for big fish. Just pretty much fish hard, and when I catch a big one, I'm happy and surprised, just like everybody else.
Glenn: Okay, I was curious. For the weekend warrior and the bass club kind of guy, things like that, what would you say is the most common mistake you see them make?
Randy: Probably what I see most of the time is a lot of guys staying too close to the shoreline, you know, fishing too close to the bank. There are times when you can stay close to the bank, when you're fishing, flipping tight heavy cover, that type of thing. But for the most part, if you keep your boat back off the bank a little bit, make longer casts, and a lot of times fish a little further out, bring your bait out a little further and cover a little more water off the bank, I think guys would do better a lot of times.
Glenn: So, sometimes you're standing on top of the fish?
Randy: Yeah, exactly right, standing on top of them a lot. And just backing off a little bit and learning to make good casts, long casts, that's the key. It's just being good with your casts and keeping the boat a little further out.
Glenn: Okay. That's good advice. Outside of fishing, what else do you like to do?
Randy: I love spending time with my family. I've got a 4-year-old little boy and a 8-year-old, Laker and Oakley, my wife, Robin. We travel in a motor home all year on tour. My wife homeschools, and she's a teacher, and she homeschools the boys on the road. I like to fish with them, I like to play basketball, help coach basketball, and I helped coach baseball for my little boy's team this fall, during the off-season.
I've missed a lot of the basketball games lately, because of boat shows, which I hate, but that's part of the business. But I love doing all that kind of stuff, 4-wheeler riding, you know, riding 4-wheelers. My 8-year-old's got a little 4-wheeler now, and we get to do that some. I just enjoy all that, and I also speak at a lot of wild game dinners and men's ministry events all over.
I've got a Christian testimony that I go and share at churches and do inspirational type speaking at different places. I did about 30 churches last year, and I do two to three churches per week a lot, from September through November. That's getting to be more and more of a thing that I'm doing a lot in the off season, and that's my passion too. More so than my fishing is my faith and what I've been through, the surgeries and different things I've had in my life.
It's on randyhowell.com, and you can contact me on my website, randyhowell.com, read my testimony, send me an email, and I go and speak pretty much what I've got on that website.
Glenn: It sounds like you're really busy.
Randy: We stay busy, but we stay together. That's one thing, I never want to look back and say I wish I had spent more time with my boys. As they get older, I'm with them a lot, and I'm with them more than probably a normal working man is, and I cherish that time with them. And that's my wife, is the big big sacrifice of that, to be able to take care of them on the road and travel with me and teach them and do all that.
But we have a lot of fun on the road. It makes our life on the road as professional fisherman more like a partial vacation. I can't go as far to say a vacation, because when we're in the tournament days, it's work. But the rest of the time, getting to and from, we have a good time and enjoy it.
Glenn: Well, if you could take time off from all this and plan your dream vacation, what would that be?
Randy: Oh man, a dream vacation. There's a lot of different dream vacations I could come up with. I still believe I'd have to have some kind of fishing involved probably, going somewhere with some really nice accommodations and where it's warm, but where you could catch big bass.
I don't know where really that might be, somewhere maybe in Mexico, but I wouldn't want all the rough accommodations to go with it. So I'd have to picki. Either that or going somewhere down in the ocean and catching tarpin or bonefish, or doing some of that that I've seen on TV and heard Shaw Grigsby talk about a lot. I've never done that, and that would probably be a fun thing I'd love to do one day, too.
Glenn: Oh yeah, that would be a blast.
Randy: Yeah, I'd love to catch those tarpin, I think. I think they'd be fun.
Glenn: Oh yeah, you bet. What's the one thing about you that, maybe the fans don't know, that you could share with us?
Randy: I'm pretty much an open book. I don't have any superstitions or anything crazy or weird. I have a lot of passion for my faith and my family and my fishing, all three things, and that's what I love to do, and I love to tell people about all three things. And the things the love are the things you talk about, and I'm pretty much an open book on that. I appreciate and enjoy what I do for a living, and I want to make more people enjoy it, and I want to be a good ambassador for the sport and help see our sport grow, especially for the younger generation, because you don't see as many people teaching fishing to kids as needs to be.
We need another group of young kids coming along that have the passion that we have, and that's our responsibility as pro fisherman to do that. So, I try to take that seriously and try to do the best I can at it. But, there's no real secrets of me. Like I said, I'm just humble and appreciative that I've got the opportunity to represent the sport and to try to put a good name on it and help more people want to be a part of it.
Glenn: Well, you're doing a fine job of it, I've got to tell you, so thank you so much.
Randy: Thank you, I appreciate it.
Glenn: Thanks for spending time with us today, Randy. I really do appreciate it, and we're looking forward to seeing you out on the water.
Randy: Thank you. I hope I'm out there catching big ones. Thanks.