RANDY HOWELL: A Big-Fish Week to Remember for Laker and Me! - Major League Fishing
RANDY HOWELL: A Big-Fish Week to Remember for Laker and Me!
11m • Randy Howell • Bass Pro Tour
Brett Hite has some quick reminders about gear ratios for both spinning and casting reels
1d • Major League Lessons
80 feet is Alton Jones Jr.’s sweet spot for forward-facing sonar (here’s why)
5d • Bass Pro Tour
GALLERY: Charlotte Welcomes MLF With REDCREST IV Press Conference
5d • MLF • Bass Pro Tour
Pros break down the 2023 Bass Pro Tour schedule
6d • Bass Pro Tour
KEVIN VANDAM: Seeing is believing with forward-facing sonar
6d • Kevin VanDam • Angler Columns
TIMMY HORTON: My fishing family on the road has my back (and I have theirs)
1w • Timmy Horton • Angler Columns
Nitro, Ranger, Triton boat brands announce bigger payouts than ever before with new tournament contingency programs for MLF Toyota Series
1w • MLF • Bass Pro Tour
EDWIN EVERS: It’s not just about fishing
1w • Edwin Evers • Angler Columns
Crawdad color science goes beyond red and olive, according to Brandon Coulter
1w • Bass Pro Tour
Roumbanis takes a step-by-step approach to breaking down new water
1w • Bass Pro Tour
MARK ROSE: Preparing to do my best every day in 2023    
1w • Mark Rose • Angler Columns
VanDam serves up 38 years of bass wisdom (and advice) on seminar stage
2w • Alan McGuckin • Bass Pro Tour
What’s new at FantasyFishing.com in 2023?
2w • Mason Prince • Fantasy Fishing
Dakota Ebare on how to fine-tune your boat position when dock fishing
2w • Bass Pro Tour

RANDY HOWELL: A Big-Fish Week to Remember for Laker and Me!

Image for RANDY HOWELL: A Big-Fish Week to Remember for Laker and Me!
February 27, 2022 • Randy Howell • Bass Pro Tour

It’s been a great start to the year on the Bass Pro Tour, with many anglers catching double-digit bass and setting new personal bests. I’m blessed to be part of that group and was able to break my own record bass on consecutive days in Louisiana, just a few days after my son Laker also caught his personal best in Florida.

Laker’s Big One

Laker is fishing the Toyota Series and trying to qualify for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, and started the season on Lake Okeechobee. He had a good week and finished 11th right when we were beginning practice on Lake D’Arbonne.

After the tournament, he and our good friend Andrew Nordbye from “Fishing with Nordbye” on YouTube went over the Headwaters, and they hit it perfectly. There was no wind and the fish were just pulling up on beds. Laker caught his personal best, an 11 ½-pound fish on the first pitch to the bed with a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog. Andrew also caught his personal best, a 12-1 fish.

The video of their day should be out any day, and I can’t wait to watch it.

Laker called me that night and was so excited, and I was excited for him because he caught such a big bass. It was bigger than my own personal best, a 10-8, and he didn’t rub that fact in too much. It was a proud dad moment that will never go away.

Lousiana Lunkers

By now, you’ve probably seen some of the videos of the big bass from Stage One in Louisiana. Those lakes have some giant bass, and I can’t wait to go back. During the Knockout Round, I caught my personal best and Major League Fishing record, a 10-11.

That night, Laker called and was so happy for me. It was amazing that we caught such big fish, the biggest of either of our lives, just a few days apart. Toward the end of our conversation, he made a little jab with a comment: “That’s a great fish, Dad, but I still have the bragging rights in the Howell house.”

I laughed and said it might take me awhile to beat it because that was a giant.

The next day, I was on Bussey Brake for the Championship Round and struggled for most of the day, flipping and pitching trees all day long. Then, I hooked my 12-14 and beat my record. That was over a pound bigger than Laker’s, and I couldn’t wait to talk to him after we got off the water.

One of the first calls I got was from Laker and he told me his friends had been razzing him all day that his dad set the new big-bass mark for Major League Fishing and, most importantly, in the family. It was all in fun, and I told him he would have to step it up if he wants to beat that one. He’s a great angler and may do it, and I hope he can join me on the Bass Pro Tour one day.

We’ve been joking that Triton Boats needs to make a new ad about the Triton 21 XrT because of the week we’ve all had with it. There are only three of them on the tours and me and Laker are each running one and Bradley Roy has the other one. Bradley won at Bussey Brake and then set his personal best with an 11-11 on Lake Fork.

It’s been a crazy time for big bass, and I hope it continues. Laker and I have some work to do if we want to break our personal bests, but it could happen any time and that’s what makes bass fishing so great.