ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) – Fishing runs in Jason Howland’s family.
“I’ve been fishing since I was a little kid. My dad is a fisherman. I’ve been competing in bass tournaments probably since my late teenage years. I started with team tournaments with my father and grown from there,” said Howland.
This past weekend, he navigated his way through semi-nationals in Wisconsin after qualifying via the state tournament at Lake Minnewaska. He now has the chance to compete against 47 other anglers at The Bass Federation’s national championship for a chance at the bass fishing pro tour.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time on the water is really what it takes,” Howland said. “Figuring out where the fish are, what lures they want to bite, it’s artificial lures only. Then just executing a game plan.”
While he enjoys the competition, the bass fisher says the most fun part is passing on his love of fishing to young anglers.
“I just love being able to share our passion of this sports because it’s a great sport,” said Howland. “You don’t have to be an Adam Thielen or Kirk Cousins to compete in pro bass fishing. You just have to be able to fish and do it well.”
As coach of the Albert Lea Anglers, he has helped high school students reach the national championships at their level. The angler says getting good at the sport requires experience and patience.
“Don’t get discouraged. A lot of times on the water you have bad days,” said Howland. “Be patient and stick with what you know.”
Howland is preparing for the national championship by honing his skills on Fountain Lake as well as participating in other tournaments.
“Basically it’s just getting out there and trying different depths, different lures, trying to figure out what the fish are doing,” Howland said. “Sometimes in practice they may be biting and in the tournament they don’t and you have to adjust. That’s probably the thing I love the most about this sport is figuring out the puzzle.”