All Hail Howell
Howell was 9 pounds back and sitting in 11th heading into the final day. Frankly, none of the pundits spoke about him having a shot to win the coveted Classic title. However, Howell was the hot hand of the day bringing in a limit weighing 29 pounds 2 ounces for a three-day total of 67 pounds 8 ounces. Certainly one of the most epic comebacks in pro bass fishing.
Rounding out the Top 5 are B.A.S.S. Nation angler Paul Mueller finishing in second with 66 pounds 8 ounces, Nitro Boats pro Edwin Evers took third with 65 pounds 11 ounces, in fourth was Orca pro Ott DeFoe with 63 pounds 6 ounces and landing in fifth was Randall Tharp with 62 pounds 12 ounces.
Howell had heavenly help.
"I'll tell you what, this was the best day of fishing I've ever had," said Howell. "In 21 years of professional fishing, this was the biggest stringer of bass I've ever caught. I've fished from California to Florida to New York, but Guntersville is where it came from.
"I was crying driving back to the weigh-in with my wife. I didn't know if I could get it all out. This was the best day of fishing I've ever had. I never thought I had a chance to win starting the day today.
"When I was running up the lake following my plan this morning, I had an urge to turn into Spring Creek. I wasn't planning to start there today. Yesterday I could see big ones there on my Lowrance.
I believe the Lord was leading me to go there. I was catching them on every cast, every cast. In no time, there were hundreds of people lined up along the banks watching me fish. The camera boat pulled up after I had about 22 pounds. I dumped out a box of crankbaits Livingston Lures gave me on media day. I found the only crawfish-colored medium diver in there.
They commenced to eating. It was a magical day. Words can't describe. God is good.
"I've had this dream so many times I can't believe it. God is so good. It's amazing for me to go from 11th to become the Bassmaster Classic Champion on the final day. When it is God's will to make it happen, it will happen."