Howell and Martens next to each other in Flight 1

Randy Howell and Aaron Martens visited the B.A.S.S. headquarters office in Birmingham, Ala., today to participate in the Classic boat draw. When Howell's boat number was drawn (23rd), he reached in and drew the next name, which happened to be Martens, now boat #24.


"Going to the Classic is definitely a life-changing event for all of us as professional anglers," said Howell.


Martens agreed, adding, "We want -- and NEED -- to win the Classic. It's something you need as a veteran fisherman."


Howell laughed. "We're 'grizzled veterans,' I'm 39 and Aaron's 40."


"Yeah," said Martens. "Time's a-tickin'!"


The pair got a little more serious, and Howell reflected on the past year. "We're both good friends with Chris Lane, and we saw how it's impacted him for the last year being the reigning Classic champion," said Howell. "It made it so much more realistic and achievable for guys like us to be able to win."