Randy Howell is currently leading the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, and today, he let fans ask him anything in his first B.A.S.S. Twitter chat. At mid-season, the top pro said he's doing so well this year mainly because he's been blessed. As always, he said, he focuses on this top three priorities: faith, family and fishing.
Below is a transcript of the chat. The tweets have been lightly edited to improve clarity and fix spelling errors.
Keep up with Twitter chats, tournament news and bass fishing advice by following B.A.S.S. on Twitter at @BASS_Nation.
DonnieHelms How does the new AOY points system help or hurt you in the quest for AOY? Has it changed your approach in tournaments?
theRandyHowell It hasn't changed my approach, but it is the most accurate way to reward consistency. So I like it!
MK_Bassfishing What have you done differently than in past years that has allowed you to be on top of the AOY standings?
theRandyHowell There's nothing very specific that I can put my finger on. I always prepare and plan for every event the same. But this season, I've really been blessed to have everything fall into place correctly.
BhamJen What's your favorite lake to fish outside of Alabama?
theRandyHowell It's hard as a pro to visit other places, but probably Lake Amistad in Texas. It's a beautiful lake and I caught a 10-8 there.
MK_Bassfishing Do you know your general plan for the upcoming Elite Series at Toledo Bend? Or does that happen during practice?
MikeLambo2 What type of football head were you throwing that big Yamamoto worm on at Douglas?
kylewaynedavis What are your favorite baits for catching bass in Texas in the summertime?
theRandyHowell Texas has big bass, so I like big baits like the Yamamoto 10-inch cut tail worm in green pumpkin.
JustinSebass What kind of tournaments did you start fishing to grow your popularity once you realized you wanted to fish seriously?
theRandyHowell My route as a teenager was any local tournament I could afford, but now the B.A.S.S. Weekend Series would be best!
BASS_nation From fan Joe Riesing on Facebook: Are you glad there isn't a playoff at the end of the season?
theRandyHowell I like the changes that B.A.S.S. made last year, and now the current point system will be the best system we've had.
kylewaynedavis Did you have a fishing mentor? Is it important to have one if you're looking to be a pro angler in the future?
theRandyHowell It definitely helps to have someone to learn from, but with technology now you can learn almost everything online. My dad is a big fishing mentor as well as Bill Morgan who was my first lure sponsor. He taught me the mental side.
MK_Bassfishing With a long cast, my spool unravels sometimes. I make all the adjustments/thumb spool but it still happens. What am I doing wrong?
theRandyHowell It may depend on the type of rod/reel combo you are using. Try the Daiwa Zillion baitcast reels; they adjust best.
HoldemHook11 What city are you really from? I graduated from Springville in ‘86. Good luck and God bless.
theRandyHowell I'm from Lake Gaston, N.C. I moved to Alabama in 1998.
MK_Bassfishing With a creature bait rigged Texas style, I see it roll over with the gap of the hook facing down. Does this affect the hook up?
theRandyHowell My creature bait of choice is the Yamamoto Flappin' Hawg and it is very balanced on the fall. I have great hookups.
MK_Bassfishing Awesome, you can expect me to put you on my Fantasy Fishing roster! Especially the way you have been hammering them.
theRandyHowell Thank you, hope to help you win!
MK_Bassfishing Thanks for answering my questions! I wish you best of luck and continued success toward the goal of AOY.... I hope to say hello at Oneida this year as well as Grand Lake for the Bassmaster Classic as I am from NJ!
DonnieHelms What is the best down imaging/side imaging unit that us normal guys can afford?
ThePondPro How did growing up fishing small water help get you to where you are as a pro angler?
theRandyHowell Fishing small water helps you learn to catch fish and confidence is a big factor in success in fishing.
kylewaynedavis What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about a career as a pro bass fisherman?
theRandyHowell Spend as much time on the water as possible because there is no substitute for time on the water. Also, get involved in high school and college fishing.
TheBassBite Have you ever fished the Mississippi River at La Crosse? What do you expect to be the best techniques?
theRandyHowell I pre-scouted several weeks ago and I believe shallow cranking and flipping will be the techniques of choice.
thinkbass Randy, this is Ken Duke. Great to see you on top of AOY! You've absolutely got the talent to win it, and I'm rooting for you. What do you see as your biggest challenge for the second half of the season?
theRandyHowell Thanks so much Ken! My biggest challenge will be to stay focused on fish at a time, one day at a time!
BhamJen What do you like to do to relax, besides fishing?
theRandyHowell I like to spend time with my family, play basketball and fun fishing.
J_Po73 Randy, glass blank or graphite for deep crankin??
theRandyHowell I like graphite and stiffer rods for deep cranking. I use the Daiwa Steez 8-foot heavy-action for deep cranking techniques.
twreed How do you think you'll do on the mystery lake? Do you think you know where it is?
theRandyHowell All I know is that it will be in the north therefore it will be great fishing!
twreed If I could only put you on my Fantasy team for one tourney, which should I pick?
theRandyHowell Lake Oneida because I love the fishery and have had some success there, but I'm hoping the 3 before that will be just as good.
thinkbassThis has been your best run at AOY. What are you doing better than ever this season?
theRandyHowell Just fishing in the moment, one day at a time and enjoying the process of trying to figure out the bass. I'm very thankful things are going great!
kylewaynedavis Besides the competition, what is your biggest challenge being a pro?
theRandyHowell Just keeping all my priorities in order. Faith, family, fishing.
twreed Do you have any fishing superstitions?
theRandyHowell Nope, no superstitions. God is in control.
BhamJen What is your opinion of the Alabama Rig? Do you wish you could use it in the Elite Series?
theRandyHowell I do like the umbrella rigs and I think they have a good place for certain types of fishing I would like to use them more.
fishdub44 What is your most productive top water lure for post spawn and early summer fishing?
theRandyHowell It depends on the body of water and the size of the fish in the lake in which you're fishing, but any walking lures. The Molix Proteus 90 is a great small walking lure and the Paycheck Baits "The One" is my favorite big bait.
meredithmontgom I am (brand) new to fishing. What's your number 1 tip for us "newbies"? ha ha
theRandyHowell Read Bassmaster.com 3 times a day! And, keep it simple and just have fun!
TNBassFishing Your views on the strolling technique used on Douglas Lake here in TN? Trolling? Fair?
theRandyHowell Our rule states trolling as moving the bait w/ the boat, long-lining doesn't move the bait w/ the boat. So, it's a great way to present the lure to deeper fish that are hard to reach!
wheelsville What do you like throwing during post spawn?
theRandyHowell Yamamoto green pumpkin/watermelon 5-inch Senko.
thinkbass Randy, people should know you're one of the best big bass anglers in the Elites. Do you target them differently in tournaments?
theRandyHowell I don't do anything specific other than using bigger baits a lot, and I get lucky!
chadleton What was your first childhood fishing memory? In essence, what or who got you hooked!
theRandyHowell My dad started taking me at 2 years old, and after reeling his fish in I was hooked for life!