UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tour Rookie: Miles Howe

Tour Rookie: Miles Howe
Miles Howe

His story lacked the likely course, but Miles Howe’s road to the FLW Tour proved that great things await those who A) recognize their passion and B) have the guts to pursue it.

The San Juan Capistrano, Calif., angler has established himself in Western competition, including this division of the Costa FLW Series, where he placed second in the 2003 points and eighth in 2017 and has never finished lower than 43rd in the season standings. Howe’s pleased with his success, including top 10s at Shasta Lake (2016) and the California Delta (2013), but he knew that accepting an invitation to fish the FLW Tour was the right move at the right time.

“I fished good this year; I cashed checks at five major Western tournaments, including the U.S. Open, the California Open and the Costa events at the Delta and Clear Lake,” Howe says. “I just fished a lot better this year. My confidence was high, and when you fish with confidence, it shows.”

Howe attributes this standout season to his new mindset: Play your own game.

“There are tournaments when you just want to cash a check, and I’ve come to realize you can’t fish like that,” he says. “You have to go out there and read the water, and I feel like I started reading the water a lot better this year.

“You can get stuck in listening to too many guys, and I just broke away from all of that. I did my own thing all year. I didn’t really network with a lot of guys, and that really helped me with the confidence thing. I’m zigging when I’m supposed to zig, and I’m zagging when I’m supposed to zag.”

 

Briny beginnings

Growing up in Laguna Beach, Howe found his earliest angling inspiration on California beaches and piers. He eventually learned of the bass opportunities in area lakes such as Lopez and Santa Margarita, but Howe says the majority of his early freshwater pursuits involved sneaking onto golf courses and farm ponds.

As he notes, bass fishing ranks pretty far below surfing in Southern California, but while others were hanging 10 and polishing their cutback, Howe was working on his pitching skills and dialing in his drop-shot game.

“I just fell in love with bass fishing,” Howe says. “It’s so much different than ocean fishing where you drop a line down. I got turned on to bass fishing because it was such a visual type of fishing – casting at laydowns and things that look super-fishy and catching topwater fish. Once I got hooked, I was completely hooked.”

Joining a local bass club expanded Howe’s knowledge and experience, but he wanted more. So, with the encouragement of fellow Western angler Manas Malikian, he signed up for the Costa FLW Series and took his early AOY runner-up achievement as evidence of his competitive ability.

“I knew that I was ready for it, and I never looked back,” Howe says.

Helpful in his competitive schedule is the southern California parking lot management company Howe owns. Setting his own hours and collecting a regular paycheck not only helps manage a young family (8-year-old son Liam and 6-year-old daughter Maliah), it also eases tournament fishing’s inherent economic pressures.

Notably, Howe received a Tour invite after his rookie Costa FLW Series season, but with two young children in the house, he declined. Now, he believes the timing is right for the big move.

“I have a super supportive wife [Tawny], and she’s the one that’s been pushing me to take it to the next level,” Howe says.

 

Miles Howe rolls through the wind-whipped water to his next spot.

Go “east” young man

Looking ahead to his rookie Tour season, Howe says he’s most excited about experiencing new fisheries and learning new techniques in the eastern U.S. He sampled some of that during his trips to the last three Costa FLW Series Championships (Kentucky Lake in 2017, Table Rock in 2016 and the Ohio River in 2015) and returned home with sharper skills and heightened passion.

“I’ve really enjoyed fishing those places; they’re new and challenging,” Howe says. “I think this sport is all about growth, and to get to where I want to be I have to take these steps. I have to challenge myself against the best fishermen out there.

“It’s a huge step, coming from the West Coast. That first trip to Florida is going to be a long trip. The biggest thing was the logistics. Making this step is a huge commitment, and I know I couldn’t do it without my family’s support.”

Howe’s long-term vision includes an eastward relocation, possibly to Tennessee, where he could remain close to the bass fishing heartland. He’s done it once before. In 2007, Howe moved to central Texas to pursue a real estate development job. Howe ultimately decided to go back west, but fishing Texas lakes every day after work and bagging his personal best – a 12-pound, 13-ounce toad – lit a fire to move east that has been smoldering ever since.

 

Miles Howe

Looking ahead

Howe believes the finesse skills he’s honed in Western fisheries will serve him well on the 2018 Tour, particularly in deep, clear fisheries like Lake Lanier and Smith Lake. His goals? Cashing checks, while certainly a fundamental objective, ranks behind nabbing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I really want that Rookie of the Year title. That would be a dream come true,” Howe says. “That would solidify where I need to be.”

Howe’s clear on the necessary changes to family life, and he’s quick to thank Tawny for her unwavering support and encouragement.

“This is a big step; it’s a career-changing step,” Howe says. “There’s a lot on my shoulders, but everyone has to start somewhere.

“My goal is to grow in this sport. I want new challenges. I want to become a better fisherman, and I think this is how I’m going to do it.”

Tags: david-a-brown  angler-features 

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Power-fishing tactics with spinnerbaits, jigs, Texas rigs and ChatterBaits on prespawn cover and structure dominated the top 10 at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in April. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

April is transition time in the Tennessee Valley, when bass make their push from prespawn staging areas toward spawning grounds. They set up on rocky banks, shallow points and any kind of wood cover near shore in areas adjacent to spawning pockets. As we saw at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, some of the best baits for catching bass this time of year are old-school springtime classics: spinnerbaits, jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and Texas rigs. Add in vibrating jigs and wobble-head jigs, and you have about all you need. READ MORE »

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

One fish is unlikely to win a three-day tournament, but the right one can help an angler dig out of a hole. Just ask co-angler Troy Bickers, who rebounded from the dreaded day-one goose egg to go worst-to-first in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake with a winning weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

With just two fish in the bag, Jake Morris was noticeably nervous at the final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need either one of them, as Morris caught enough the first two days to top the next closest finisher. Catching 5-12 today punctuated the wire-to-wire victory for Morris, who brought in 44-2 in three days. He caught almost every fish on a spinnerbait from one key stretch on Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Question marks are about the only certainty for day three of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, as the top 10 pros scattered and left us lean on details on a day where changing weather could see changing fortunes. After two dreary days of cloudy, dim conditions, the final round brought lots of the bright, sunny stuff that pushes fish tighter to cover and makes them easier to target. Also, considerably more warmth may very well put the giddy-up on seasonal progression. No one’s getting too crazy with visions of heavy bed-fishing, but accelerated prespawn movement is certainly possible. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and vibrating jigs fished on rocky staging areas has been the primary pattern for catching big prespawn largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lawrence. READ MORE »

Morris Still the Man on Top

Morris Still the Man on Top

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., didn’t have the outing he wanted today. The tournament leader at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake weighed in just three fish for 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Thankfully, his impressive 24-plus-pound day-one performance helped him hold off local ace Cole Floyd, who moved up a few spots to second. Morris leads Floyd by 7-6 going into the final round.  READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake has seen more cloudy skies and a slight rise in temperature. However, the lack of wind presents enough of a difference to fiddle with the power-fishing patterns that produced on day one. After weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces on day one, pro leader Jake Morris carried a lead of 4-9 into today’s competition. He might end up cherishing that big opening round, as the second morning was not as generous. Mostly throwing a spinnerbait, he boated a 5-pounder early, but a lost fish hurt him, and a lack of bites suggests his go-to area might be drying up. READ MORE »