How ‘Team Howell’ began

Another interesting note about our early years that many people do not know is that I also fished professionally on the women’s circuit known as the Bass’N’Gals. I fished in 1996 and 1997. At that time, Randy’s schedule was not as busy as it has been the last decade. Therefore, we thought it would be good extra practice for him to prefish with me on the lakes I had tournaments on. I won Rookie of the Year in 1996 and I qualified to fish both of the Classics those two years. We both look back on those years with many fond memories. I think as far as our working relationship goes, it was good for both of us to be in the other’s position to experience the feelings each of us go through today. What I mean by that is that I know how a tournament day can feel as an angler and as a wife waiting back on shore. He also experienced the anxiety of waiting on shore and wondering how I was doing in the tournament. The old saying that you can’t understand unless you have walked in my shoes is very fitting for this situation. I think it made both of us have more of an idea about what the other one is feeling in this life we call tournament fishing.

And then came children. We had our first child, Laker, in 2001 and had our second child Oakley in 2005. I have homeschooled both of our boys since kindergarten, and have been very thankful that I persevered in college to get my teaching degree. It has definitely worked out beautifully for us. We both believe that as far as we are able, we will try to stay together as a family on the road. The boys are seeing and experiencing life that is much different from others their age. We are so thankful that this lifestyle has worked out for us and can’t see us doing it any differently.

Since Laker was 2 years old, we have traveled in either a motorhome or a fifth wheel. After 11 years of hotels and cabins, we chose the camping life so that they would have a familiar place to stay on the road when we were traveling. It has been the best choice we ever could have made for us. There are a few downsides to camping, like the double driving. I pull the boat and Randy pulls the fifth wheel, so we aren’t together when driving to each location. However, it is well worth it to have our own bed and our own “dirt” when we are at a tournament. Life is as close to normal as we can make it once we are in the campgrounds.

Hopefully this introduction has been thorough enough to give you a background on how we got to 2014 as a traveling Elite angler’s family. I am looking forward to telling you stories from the past as well as stories from the Elite tournaments from a wife’s perspective. I think you will really enjoy the story of how I became a “female boat backing pro”! There is a lesson in everything and in this story, you will learn that failure always leads to success. ‘Til next time, take care and SMILE, it can change the world around you!

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