Flashback to my fishing days

Photos courtesy of Robin Howell
Team Howell began when Randy and I were married in 1992.

About the author

Robin Howell

Robin Howell

Robin Howell, wife of Elite Series pro Randy Howell, has spent more than 20 years on the Tournament Trail with her husband. Now they travel with their two children, Laker and Oakley.

I thought it would be fun to tell a little story about the years I fished the Bass'n Gal circuit. I grew up fishing farm ponds my family owned. It was something I really enjoyed doing with my dad and siblings. So, of course, when Randy and I started dating, we made many trips to the ponds to catch bass. 

At that time, I was a push button reel girl. I think Randy made it his mission to turn me into a baitcaster girl. I have to say it only took about a day for me to make the switch; however, that is not to say I was perfect at it. Randy will attest to the fact that there were a few “bird nests” he had to pick out of his reels. 

After we were married in 1992, we decided I would become his tournament partner. The benefit would be that whatever money was won, we could keep instead of splitting with a partner. I think he went into this little partnership thinking he would be responsible for money won or money lost. However, I have a pretty determined work ethic about me that I have always had. I wanted to contribute to the partnership as much as possible. I practiced on my casting, presentation and landing fish so that I could contribute as well.  It turned out to be a really neat deal fishing together. 

One great story from our years fishing tournaments together is when we won the Tarheel Team Championship on Buggs Island. I had just graduated college and was being offered jobs to teach. I was definitely going to have to accept one of the offers for a steady income to be made in these early years. But little did we know that God had other plans for us.

After we were married, we decided I would become Randy's tournament partner.After we were married, we decided I would become Randy's tournament partner.
We ended up winning that championship and a new boat that we were able to sell that day for the amount of money I would have made in a whole year teaching! This was our sign that I was going to travel with Randy full time. 

At that time in Randy’s career, full time traveling was not nearly what it is today. There were only 6 tournaments a year for him to fish, and not near as many appearances to be made in between. Around that time, the opportunity arose for me to fish the Bass'n Gal tournament circuit.

We had become friends with Jimmy and Chris Houston, who also fished the ladies’ trail. They encouraged me to fish, and Randy also pushed me to fish these tournaments. I thought it would be fun, so we dove in! We also looked at it as a way for Randy to get more on the water experience at various lakes around the country.

Randy, along with Jimmy and Chris Houston, encouraged me to fish the Bass'n Gal tournament circuit when the opportunity arose.Randy, along with Jimmy and Chris Houston, encouraged me to fish the Bass'n Gal tournament circuit when the opportunity arose.
We have so many awesome memories from 1996-1997 when I fished these professional tournaments. One that stands out is the practice we had on Lake Sam Rayburn in Texas. At the time, he could practice with me and help me as much as possible.  We both remember these three days of practice as the most unbelievable fish catching days we have ever had. It was prime time fishing in March with the water in the bushes and fish were everywhere!  We caught so many fish that by the 3rd day at lunchtime, we both had to quit because our sides were bruised from catching so many fish and our hands were completely torn to shreds! I ended up doing pretty well in the tournament, but the memory of those three practice days will be one we will never forget.