HOWELL HUNTS DOWN LEAD IN BASSMASTER ELITE EVENT ON ST. JOHNS RIVER

Date: 03/20/2014
PALATKA, Fla. — Randy Howell, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic winner, often says that professional bass fishing is a humbling sport.

He ate a piece of that bitter pie last week at the Bassmaster Elite Series season opener in Georgia on Lake Seminole, where he finished close to the bottom of the field. But this week, after a hop to Florida for the next event, Howell “The Champ” shined through.

With 27 pounds, 3 ounces, Howell led the field Thursday in the first of four days of Elite competition on the St. Johns River. He was 3 pounds, 2 ounces ahead of Davy Hite and Marty Robinson, who tied for second place with 24-1.

Fourth place was marked at 22-6 by Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., following up in style on his Top 12 finish in Georgia. Fifth place at the St. Johns event was taken with the 22-1 bag brought in by Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas — another Top 12 finisher on Seminole.

The Elite pros are competing on the St. Johns for a first-place prize of $100,000 and an instant entry into the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

Howell credited his 27-3 to good decision making while sight fishing on Lake George, one of the river system’s most prolific and well-known bedding areas for largemouth bass.

“Late in the day in Florida, they always move up, and I’m usually the guy who leaves at the wrong time. And somebody catches them after I leave. Today I made the decision to stay,” said Howell, who is from Springville, Ala.

“At Seminole, I was boat 100, and I let that affect me mentally,” he said. “I gave up on all my sight fishing spots I’d practiced on because so many boats were there and went out looking for offshore fish and didn’t find them.

“That helped me this week. I know I still have to do the right stuff to put fish on the scale, still try to win. It made me be smarter, not take a lot of risks,” Howell said.

A 7-15 was Howell’s largest bass; a 2 1/2-pounder was his smallest of the day. He said he had tried to trade in the smallest so he could meet or exceed his final-day, take-me-to-the-trophy bag at the Classic of 29-2, his personal best.

Like Howell, Robinson was catching spawning bass on Lake George, but he didn’t start out that way.

“I tried to ‘go fishing’ this morning,” said the Lyman, S.C., pro, meaning he wasn’t targeting bass on beds. “I thought maybe I could catch a limit. It didn’t work out with the slick-water conditions this morning, so I went sight fishing.”

Hite also found success sight fishing on Lake George. The 1999 Classic champ and two-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year from Ninety Six, S.C., Hite got the day’s largest bass from the lake. It was a 10-2, setting the bar for the Carhartt Big Bass Award of the event.

Hite first threw a floating worm to the 10-2, and it hit, but he wasn’t able to connect. Another cast with a creature bait did the trick.

It was the magic kicker that all the Elite pros are trying to land to offset some of the smaller male largemouth they’re hooking into in spawning areas.

The full field of 108 pros will compete Friday. Takeoff is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. from Palatka’s Riverfront Park. The weigh-in, at the same location, will begin at 4 p.m.

The Bassmaster Elite Series Expo will open at noon Saturday and Sunday. The local host will present a full slate of fan fun, kicking off at 6 p.m. Friday with a street party, outdoor movies and food vendors.

There’s no admission charge to any Bassmaster event.

ESPN2 will air coverage of the St. Johns River event on The Bassmasters, Sunday, April 6, at 8 a.m. ET. A reair is scheduled for Sunday, April 13, also at 8 a.m. ET. Fans can catch the episode again on The Outdoor Channel on May 19.

Local Host: Putnam County Chamber of Commerce

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

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Media Contact: Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com, and Helen Northcutt, 205-936-2044,hnorthcutt@bassmaster.com.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series St. John River 3/20-3/23
St. Johns River, Palatka FL.
Standings Day 1
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts
1. Randy Howell Springville, AL 5 27-03 100
Day 1: 5 27-03
2. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 5 24-01 99
Day 1: 5 24-01
2. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 5 24-01 99
Day 1: 5 24-01
4. Andy Montgomery Blacksburg, SC 5 22-06 97
Day 1: 5 22-06
5. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 5 22-01 96
Day 1: 5 22-01
6. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 21-06 95
Day 1: 5 21-06
7. Mike Kernan Wylie, TX 5 20-14 94
Day 1: 5 20-14
8. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 5 20-13 93
Day 1: 5 20-13
9. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 5 20-09 92
Day 1: 5 20-09
10. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 5 20-05 91
Day 1: 5 20-05
11. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 5 20-02 90
Day 1: 5 20-02
12. Justin Lucas Guntersville, AL 5 19-12 89
Day 1: 5 19-12
13. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 5 19-05 88
Day 1: 5 19-05
14. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 5 18-15 87
Day 1: 5 18-15
15. Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 5 18-11 86
Day 1: 5 18-11
16. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 5 18-09 85
Day 1: 5 18-09
17. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 5 18-03 84
Day 1: 5 18-03
18. Randall Tharp Port Saint Joe, FL 5 18-02 83
Day 1: 5 18-02
19. Alton Jones Lorena, TX 5 18-01 82
Day 1: 5 18-01
20. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 5 17-15 81
Day 1: 5 17-15
21. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 5 17-14 80
Day 1: 5 17-14
22. Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 5 17-11 79
Day 1: 5 17-11
23. Jamie Horton Centerville, AL 5 17-09 78
Day 1: 5 17-09
24. Hank Cherry Jr Maiden, NC 5 17-02 77
Day 1: 5 17-02
25. Zell Rowland Montgomery, TX 5 17-00 76
Day 1: 5 17-00
26. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 5 16-15 75
Day 1: 5 16-15
27. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 5 16-12 74
Day 1: 5 16-12
28. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 5 16-10 73
Day 1: 5 16-10
29. Matt Herren Trussville, AL 5 16-03 72
Day 1: 5 16-03
30. Grant Goldbeck Boerne, TX 5 16-02 71
Day 1: 5 16-02
31. Keith Poche Pike Road, AL 5 15-12 70
Day 1: 5 15-12
32. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 5 15-06 69
Day 1: 5 15-06
33. Glenn Browne Ocala, FL 5 15-04 68
Day 1: 5 15-04
34. Jacob Powroznik Port Haywood, VA 5 15-01 67
Day 1: 5 15-01
35. David Smith Del City, OK 5 15-00 66
Day 1: 5 15-00
36. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 5 14-13 65
Day 1: 5 14-13
37. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 5 14-12 64
Day 1: 5 14-12
38. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 5 14-11 63
Day 1: 5 14-11
38. Jared Miller Norman, OK 5 14-11 63
Day 1: 5 14-11
38. Derek Remitz Grant, AL 5 14-11 63
Day 1: 5 14-11
41. Casey Scanlon Shawnee Mission, KS 5 14-09 60
Day 1: 5 14-09
42. David Walker Sevierville, TN 5 14-07 59
Day 1: 5 14-07
43. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 5 14-06 58
Day 1: 5 14-06
44. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 5 14-05 57
Day 1: 5 14-05
45. Chad Morgenthaler Coulterville, IL 5 14-03 56
Day 1: 5 14-03
46. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 5 14-01 55
Day 1: 5 14-01
47. Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, OK 5 13-14 54
Day 1: 5 13-14
47. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 5 13-14 54
Day 1: 5 13-14
49. Brett Hite Phoenix, AZ 5 13-13 52
Day 1: 5 13-13
49. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 5 13-13 52
Day 1: 5 13-13
51. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 5 13-06 50
Day 1: 5 13-06
52. Michael Simonton Fremont, OH 4 13-04 49
Day 1: 4 13-04
53. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 5 12-15 48
Day 1: 5 12-15
54. Brandon Palaniuk Hayden, ID 5 12-12 47
Day 1: 5 12-12
55. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 5 12-11 46
Day 1: 5 12-11
56. Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 5 12-10 45
Day 1: 5 12-10
56. Shaw Grigsby Jr. Gainesville, FL 5 12-10 45
Day 1: 5 12-10
58. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 12-08 43
Day 1: 5 12-08
59. Tracy Adams Wilkesboro, NC 5 12-07 42
Day 1: 5 12-07
60. J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 5 12-05 41
Day 1: 5 12-05
61. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 5 12-04 40
Day 1: 5 12-04
62. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 12-03 39
Day 1: 5 12-03
63. Fletcher Shryock New Philadelphia, OH 5 11-15 38
Day 1: 5 11-15
64. Josh Bertrand Gilbert, AZ 4 11-15 37
Day 1: 4 11-15
65. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 11-14 36
Day 1: 5 11-14
66. Byron Velvick Boenre, TX 5 11-12 35
Day 1: 5 11-12
67. Nate Wellman Newaygo, MI 5 11-11 34
Day 1: 5 11-11
68. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 5 11-07 33
Day 1: 5 11-07
69. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 5 11-06 32
Day 1: 5 11-06
70. Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 5 11-02 31
Day 1: 5 11-02
71. Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 5 11-01 30
Day 1: 5 11-01
72. Joseph Sancho New Windsor, NY 5 11-00 29
Day 1: 5 11-00
73. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 5 11-00 28
Day 1: 5 11-00
74. Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 5 10-15 27
Day 1: 5 10-15
75. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 5 10-14 26
Day 1: 5 10-14
76. Boyd Duckett Guntersville, AL 3 10-13 25
Day 1: 3 10-13
77. Stephen Browning Hot Springs, AR 5 10-11 24
Day 1: 5 10-11
78. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 10-09 23
Day 1: 5 10-09
79. Pete Ponds Madison, MS 5 10-07 22
Day 1: 5 10-07
80. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 10-05 21
Day 1: 5 10-05
81. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 10-04 20
Day 1: 5 10-04
82. Kevin Hawk Guntersville, AL 5 10-01 19
Day 1: 5 10-01
83. Chris Zaldain San Jose, CA 5 09-14 18
Day 1: 5 09-14
84. Boo Woods Oneida, KY 5 09-13 17
Day 1: 5 09-13
85. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 5 09-10 16
Day 1: 5 09-10
85. Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 5 09-10 16
Day 1: 5 09-10
87. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 5 09-08 14
Day 1: 5 09-08
88. Chad Pipkens Holt, MI 5 09-07 13
Day 1: 5 09-07
89. Dennis Tietje Roanoke, LA 5 09-05 12
Day 1: 5 09-05
90. Morizo Shimizu Osaka JAPAN 5 09-00 11
Day 1: 5 09-00
91. Kurt Dove Del Rio, TX 5 08-15 10
Day 1: 5 08-15
92. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 08-12 9
Day 1: 5 08-12
93. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 4 08-12 8
Day 1: 4 08-12
94. Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 4 08-05 7
Day 1: 4 08-05
95. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 5 08-02 6
Day 1: 5 08-02
96. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 5 08-01 5
Day 1: 5 08-01
97. Kelly Jordon Palestine, TX 5 07-15 4
Day 1: 5 07-15
98. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 5 07-13 3
Day 1: 5 07-13
98. Jeremy Starks Scott Depot, WV 5 07-13 3
Day 1: 5 07-13
100. Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 4 07-12 1
Day 1: 4 07-12
101. Brandon Card Caryville, TN 5 07-04 0
Day 1: 5 07-04
102. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 07-01 0
Day 1: 5 07-01
103. BJ Haseotes Centerville, MA 4 06-07 0
Day 1: 4 06-07
104. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 3 05-15 0
Day 1: 3 05-15
105. James Elam Tulsa, OK 3 04-07 0
Day 1: 3 04-07
106. Trevor Romans Plano, TX 2 01-14 0
Day 1: 2 01-14
107. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 1 01-12 0
Day 1: 1 01-12
108. Joel Baker Talala, OK 5 01-08 0
Day 1: 5 01-08
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 97 521 1440-06
———————————-
97 521 1440-06

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