Howard Takes a Big W on the Big O

The FLW Series made its first stop of the year at Lake Okeechobee on January 14-16. Our friend Mark Howard fished hard for three days, totaling 26-06, bringing home the hardware. We interviewed him to find out how he did it. Check it out!

FTB: First off Mark, congratulations on the win! Tell us a little about your practice going into this event.

MH: I met a friend of mine from Michigan, Wayne Macklin, on Monday of that week for practice. We practiced for two days. I then met with another friend from South Carolina, Chris Heath, to fish our final day of practice. The first part of the week was tolerable, but as it went on, the fishing got worse as a cold front came in and turned off the fish. This led me to believe that finesse could come into play.

FTB: What were the weather conditions like throughout the course of this event?

MH: On the first day, we had cloud cover and colder temperatures. The next day, a bad thunderstorm came in around noon and turned the fishing off. On the final day, we had a long fog delay, but when we launched, the sun came out and changed the bite.

FTB: So who’d you get paired with during this event, and how were you catching them?

MH: On day 1 and 3, I was paired with Glenn Browne. I can’t thank him enough for being a great guy and putting me around fish. I was also lucky enough to get paired with Doug Iorio the second day. I used several baits throughout the event. The first day, a bladed jig really paid off. Glenn showed me how to punch on day 1, which was key to my success on day 2 with Doug. I used my Kistler KLX Bad Boy Stick and ripped some nice fish out from the thick vegetation. When things got tough, I pulled out finesse techniques to scrape out some hard-to-catch fish. Overall, I have to thank God for this win, as well as my great pairings throughout the event!

FTB: What advice would you have for Co-Anglers fishing a Florida event?

MH: Simply put, keep your mind open and don’t get caught in a rut! You will have to adapt multiple times throughout events, so don’t get caught up on one technique.

FTB: Thanks for the interview Mark. Good luck with the 2016 season!

Mark Howard

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