Should a western angler go back east to fish

bass fishing in the western united states

Winter 2022


t’s a decision many have faced. It’s one Miles

Howe faced. And all that lays in the balance

is everything you’ve ever known, risked for a dream. To stay or go.

To stay here in the West and try to commute

to the East – where the majority of the major bass

tournaments are held – in order to carve out a career

as a professional angler.

Or to go; move to the East in order to cut out the

commute and better learn the lakes, while uprooting

your life with no guarantee of success.

That’s what Howe faced earlier this year, and

what many western anglers before and after him

have and will face. It’s arguably the hardest decision

in the sport.


Skeet Reese has done it. So has Brent Ehrler… Cody Meyer... Ish Monroe… Dean Rojas.

These are some of the biggest names in the sport, and all of them started out West and continue to reside in the West. So obviously, it can be done.

So, when Howe decided to make the jump from the Toyota Series Western Division to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit back in 2017, he tried it, too. Afterall, his parking business is here. His family is here, including two young kids, residing happily in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

What he realized was it’s much harder than people think, for many reasons.

“It’s been such a challenge over the last few years,” said Howe. “The logistics and travel, alone, are such a challenge. I store my boat at another angler’s place in Georgia. So, after any event, I have to drive there, leave it, and then drive to the airport, which is a full day of travel in itself. It’s a lot, especially with a family and career.”

Howe admits many times the logistical nightmare has cost him in tournaments, as he’s had to sacrifice practice time due to travel time, be it practice prior to an event or being unable to pre-practice because he has to head home.

That’s rough on any pro, but especially one who is not used to fishing the style dominant out east.

“We have no hydrilla by me,” says Howe. “There’s not structure here like there is in the southeast. I fished a tournament on Sam Rayburn in 2020. I was fishing a drain in a shallow grass flat with a Carolina rig. I’d never seen anything like that prior to that tournament. That was wild.

“So not only is the travel tough, but so is the learning curve.”


Justin Lucas has done it. So has Mark Daniels Jr… Aaron Martens... John Murray.

These are some big names in the sport, and all of them started out West and eventually moved to the east. So obviously, that’s the other option.

After four years of moderate success on the Pro Circuit, Howe


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