You've just gotta root for Randy Howell, one of the nicest and most consistent anglers in the Elite Series. Howell has won just one B.A.S.S. tournament in his career, the very first Bassmaster Elite 50 (Lake Dardanelle, 2004). Because of the way that series was set up (prize money was deferred and mostly paid at the end of the season to points leaders), Howell earned just $5,500 for that victory. A win at Oneida would be worth almost 20 times that!
Randy Howell's self-described "most exciting moment of the season" occurred yesterday, and it's is a big reason why he's leading going into the final day of the Bassmaster Elite Series Ramada Championship. Around noon Saturday, Howell made a 15-mile run to the opposite end of Oneida Lake. He'd shook off what felt like some good fish there in practice Wednesday, but hadn't been back during the tournament.
Randy Howell just got on the scoreboard with his first fish of the day. The smallmouth looks like a 3-pounder but that's hard to tell — these bronzebacks are so chunky and thick, it might weigh a tad more or less. Howell, the leader among the 12 finalists in the Ramada Championship today, appears to be fishing a jerkbait. Whatever he's using, he's working it with violent motions. I'm sure it takes a lot of action to stir up the fish and get their attention in today's conditions.
The wind made us a little late getting Boyd Duckett this morning. By the time we got here, he was sitting on the deck re-tying. In his first few casts with a swimbait, he had caught a 4 1/2-pound largemouth. He called the fish a bonus. He's been catching mostly smallmouth early on the swimbait, then moving shallower to flip out the largemouth.
As the sun rises over Oneida Lake, the Top 12 anglers prepare for their final day of the Ramada Championship. Today's competition will determine who wins the last tournament of the 2012 Elite Series. Can Randy Howell hang on to the lead, as he has the past two days?
The Elites weigh in, and Brent Chapman gets a big award
Day Three is in the books- here's what happened
Randy Howell held lead in the Ramada Championship for another day, while his good friend won the Angler of the Year award.