Howell Heard Voice Calling
Classic champ alters plans to claim bass fishing's biggest title
From home base of Birmingham, where the anglers stayed and the fish were weighed, the anglers traveled more than an hour to Lake Guntersville to fish. Here they are lined up for the Day 1 takeoff. (James Overstreet photo)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Bassmaster Classic is bass fishing’s biggest event. Every year, the field of anglers meets in pursuit of a title that will change one angler’s life.
They converge on the lake a week before the actual competition begins, going through three days of practice, have an off day then official registration. After a final day of practice, a day set aside for meeting the media and two evenings of banquets celebrating the sport, the anglers finally get to fish.
Only the one who puts all the distractions aside and cobbles a plan that brings in the heaviest bass is crowned champion. It’s always been a second-is-still-last deal.
Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., was this year’s champion. He came from 9 pounds back on the final day to win the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro. He had 29 pounds, 2 ounces to vault 10 anglers with a winning total of 67-8.
He had told his wife, Robin, on Sunday that he would start by fishing Mill Creek, then altered that plan.
"A voice in my head said, 'Do you want to be good, or do you want to be great?'" Howell said. "I know it sounds weird."
Weird was sort of the norm at this Classic.
Click the image to see a selection of photos from the event.