February 09, 2022
When it comes to bass fishing, father doesn’t always know best.
At least that’s true in the bass-fishing family of Randy Howell, the 49-year-old angler from Guntersville, Ala., regular member of the Bass Pro Tour, and the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champ.
A five-time winner on the professional bass-fishing circuits, there’s no doubt that Howell is a pretty good stick, as the saying goes in angling circles. But he wasn’t even the best fisherman in his own family during a week which saw him catch a record-breaking bass in Louisiana, but also his son Laker hook one even bigger in Florida (more on that below).
Wait, what? Well, consider that on Wednesday morning, Feb. 9, 2022, Howell moved to the top of the Bass Pro Tour record book when he landed a 10-pound, 11-ounce largemouth bass while fishing in the Stage One BPT event at Louisiana’s Caney Creek.
- "@RandyHowellFishing laid the hammer down on this 10-pound, 11-ounce giant!," stated a Major League Fishing Instagram post. "He caught this one on a crankbait in vegetation at Caney Creek."
Howell’s big bass, caught in the Knockout Round’s first period during the Wednesday-morning action of the ongoing (Feb. 5-10) Stage One Event in northern Louisiana, vaulted him up the SCORETRACKER LIVE! Leaderboard (and into third place as this was being written).
BPT Big-Bass Record
Howell’s double-digit largemouth broke the previous BPT big-bass record, a 10-pound, 8-ounce largemouth caught by Justin Atkins at the BPT event at Lake Fork, Texas, in the spring of 2020.
By the way, Atkins caught his big record-breaker just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to alter fishing tournaments and major sports schedules around the world, and beat Jason Christie’s day-old big-bass record, a 10-pound, 4-ounce largemouth also caught at Lake Fork.
Clearly, while the pandemic has certainly changed the world, including the angling world, Howell’s record-breaking bass shows that it hasn’t slowed down the excitement being generated by Major League Fishing and the BPT circuit. And neither has it slowed down the ongoing rewrite of the circuit’s record book in recent months.
Because, just last summer at the Stage Five event on the St. Lawrence River, BPT pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., smashed the circuit’s single-day record with 47 bass weighing 165 pounds, and 1 ounce. That beat the previous single-day record held by Lucas at 141-9.
But a few weeks later in the early fall at the Stage Seven event on Lake St. Clair, 2021 BPT Angler of the Year Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., would land a boat load of smallmouth bass weighing 168 pounds, 11 ounces, to take the Bass Pro Tour single-day heavyweight crown.
By the way, Neal went on to win the St. Clair derby by an incredible 76-pound, 2-ounce margin, a BPT record for the largest margin of victory.
All in the Bass-Fishing Family
Back to the big-bass heroics of Howell this week in northern Louisiana; heroics that fell just short in the Howell household since Randy Howell won’t own the family bragging rights for the week.
That’s because Howell will have to take a rare backseat to his son, Laker, a rising college bass angler with his own knack for catching big bass.
And that’s evident after Laker’s fishing trip on Sunday, when son knew better than pops on how to catch a lunker largemouth, claiming the family’s big-bass honors for the week (of course, unless something else goes down over the next few days).
Fishing with a buddy in a Toyota Series event at Lake Okeechobee, Fla., Laker promptly landed the biggest bass of his young and budding career.
"The amount of excitement coming through the phone yesterday when Laker Howell called me was seriously the best!," said wife and mom Robin Howell in a Facebook post.
"He finally got that over 10, 11.50 to be exact. His buddy Andrew Nordbye – FWN got his over 10 as well…"
What does all of that mean?
From where I sit, that the Howell family is a pretty tough crowd to fish in—or a pretty good one, depending on how you look at it.
After all, how’d you like to be Randy Howell, world famous angler, former Classic champ, and not even be able to grab the family’s big-bass honors in a week where you land a 10-pound, 11-ounce tour-record-breaking bass!
Actually, knowing Howell and his deep Christian faith and his loving commitment to his family, he’ll be far more excited for Laker’s bucketmouth than he will be for his own, because that’s kind of the way the whole dad thing works, as many father will attest, right?
And besides, even if Randy Howell isn’t king of his own bass fishing family this week, he’s at least king of the Bass Pro Tour.
For at least a day, that is! Because who knows what tomorrow might bring?