Douglas Lake, Tenn – As professional anglers Brent Chapman and Randy Howell set to fish the fourth event of the eight event Bassmaster Elite Series they sit in first and second in the angler of the year race. What’s different about Chapman and Howell is that the pair of good friends have teamed up to elevate each other to the top of the 2012 standings.
Both agree that their friendship has grown closer over the past few years, “We’ve been friends for a long time, but over the past few years we’ve gotten to be a lot closer,” explained Howell.
Chapman agrees, “Randy and I, as well as Alton (Jones), have gotten a lot closer over the past few years. All of our families camp in the same campgrounds and we have Sunday night bible studies together and I think that has helped all of us grow closer.”
“With such a strong friendship we can believe each other 100%. That’s the key to working together out here on tour. If you can’t believe the other person 100% then it just doesn’t work,” explained Chapman.
Howell agrees, “I know Brent’s going to tell me everything he knows and I’ll do the same for him, and I think he knows that. Without that it just wouldn’t work.”
By working together they have the ability to put together a pattern faster. “If one of us gets on a bite, we can help each other with the details. We fish very similar, we are both shallow water anglers so it works out well. If Brent finds something, I can usually use that information to adjust what I am doing. Likewise, if I find something, I can tell Brent and can adjust pretty easily as well,” Howell stated.
Chapman agreed, “We share everything from structure, cover and bank type to baits and color selection. It’s amazing how a small change can really effect the number of bites you get. Even though we share everything its rare we have to share water. Generally, we’ll find different areas and fish them with similar styles.”
They both agreed that even though they are neck and neck in an angler of the year battle nothing is going to change. “Nothing is going to change for us. We will continue to break down the water as we have all season and let the results fall where they may. Besides, it’s still way to early to start worrying about the angler of the year race. There are 99 great anglers out here and things can change fast,” explained Chapman.
“If Brent wins the angler of the year race, I’ll be as happy for him as he is for himself, but I am going to fish hard every event and I hope to win it. I think Brent will be just as happy for me if I win it. At this point it’s to early to even talk about the angler of the year. Right now I am just hoping to secure a spot in next years classic, ” Howell expressed.
One things for sure with three events down Chapman and Howell have found a system that is working for them. Both agree that there is a lot of fishing yet to do, but they are excited to be in position to have a shot at the anger of the year title. “To be honest, I am not even thinking about the angler of the year race, yet. It’s nice to be in the lead, but there is a lot of events left,” expressed Chapman.
Howell agrees, “It’s a goal of mine to win an angler of the year, but right now I am just worried about Douglas Lake, then Toledo Bend and if we are still first and second maybe we can start thinking about an angler of the year title for one of us. If it comes to that, we’ll both be happy if one of us can capture that title. Come talk to me in June and we’ll see where we are then.”
On a side note, both Howell and Chapman have T-shirts for sale with all proceeds going to charity. 100% of Howell’s t-shirt proceeds go to King’s Home of Alabama. King’s Home is a faith based facility that provides homes to children that have been neglected, abused and abandoned. Likewise, 100% of Chapman’s t-shirt proceeds go to charity. Chapman’s charity is the Tackle the Storm Foundation, founded by acclaimed writer Don Barone. Tackle the Storm provides fishing equipment to kids who have lost their ability to fish due to storms in Alabama, Kansas and other areas. To purchase either of these t-shirts visit their websites at RandyHowell.com or BrentChapmanFishing.com.