Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Monday, 10 May 2010 02:00

Bill "Heywood" Howard

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Mention the name Heywood and many of you may think of the comedian Heywood Banks and his “Toast” routine.  Say the Name Heywood in West Central Florida and you’ll probably get a different reaction.  You wouldn’t get asked if you saw his last stand up routine; but if you saw how he beat out all those power boats in that one tournament.   Bill Howard aka Heywood is an Outdoors writer, Sponsored Tournament Angler, Photographer, YakAngler Regional Editor, and retired Air Force Veteran.   I recently had a chance to talk to Bill and ask him a few questions; this is what he had to say.

Mark Watanabe (YA) Hello Bill thanks for doing a Facebook interview with me.

Bill “Heywood” Howard (BH) Hey Mark


(YA) So first off... What do you do for your 9-5 do you have a "real" job?

(BH) I'm a service tech for a company called AMJ equipment. That involves doing flow studies / verifications startups on chemical feed pumps systems. I have an instrumentation back ground.

(YA) Ahh... so just like the rest of us then.

(BH) Yep. Retired air force, 1980-2000 aircraft mechanic.

(YA) yeah I'll let the Air force thing slide, you should have joined the navy.

(YA) If I asked you what was your favorite fish to catch from a kayak what would it be and why?

(BH) That’s a tough one; I really like sight fishing for redfish. I can go all day and if I just catch one, sight fishing, and my day is made. I like the stalk, watching them eat the lure and nothing fights like a redfish. There are other fish, but redfish are far my favorite.

(YA) Cool, how long have you been kayak fishing?

(BH) Since 2003. Long story, I had a flats boat, but when my dad died I had to sell it. I met some guys one day at my local park, I joined their club and the rest is as they say history.

(YA) And now you’re a sponsored YakAngler! What companies sponsor you?

(BH) Malibu Kayaks and Columbia Sportswear.


(YA) Your trip around Tampa Bay what made you do it?

(BH) Well, I saw a reality show with Ewan McGregor where he and his friend Charlie rode motorcycles across Europe. I was really inspired, so sitting in my office one day I decided I better do something before I get too old. One thing led to another and off I went.

(YA) Was there a cause?

(BH) Yeah, I raised money for the American Heart Association. Wilderness donated a T160 and I raffled it off at the end. Raised nearly 4000 dollars.

(YA) That’s awesome!

(BH)  Some more info about that is in that article "Paddle Around The Bay" I wrote.

Do you think you will do another trip like that again, maybe bring Drew?

(BH) We have talked about it. He did join me on one leg of that trip. Just not sure if I should do the same thing again, or something new. I would really like to do an Everglades trip.

(YA) Cool; I'd jump in with you if I still lived in St. Pete.

(BH) It was a lot of fun.

(YA) Tell me about your tournaments, rumor is you have fished in your yak against power boats, is this true?

(BH) Yep, The Florida Sportsman, west Central forum holds a yearly tournament called "The Superlure" You can only use one style of lure all day. Myself and partner Todd won it against teams of mostly boaters. I've finished in the top 10 in 4 others. All in my yak.

(YA) wow how satisfying is that!

(BH) It was pretty sweet; we caught some nice fish that day. Besides, it was nice to beat the flats boat / skiff crowd in a piece of plastic.


(YA) Sweet sanctification!  What was the "Superlure" of choice?

(BH) I used a 1/4oz Silver Johnson spoon. I used one lure all day. The very next weekend I won another tournament using the same exact lure. It now has a place of honor on my dresser.

(YA) hmmm... sounds like Johnson Spoon needs to look into a sponsorship!

(BH) Yeah, I wrote them to tell them my story but they never got back to me.

(YA) Well their loss.......Back to the tournaments, do you have a specific win your extremely proud of?

(BH) The superlure ranks up there. But the one I remember the most was my first Paddle-Fishing.com win. That was a complete slam, Snook, redfish, trout and against my kayaking peers. Great anglers that compete in those tournaments, so I was really proud to win that one.

(YA) Cool, that is the same group that you just recently had the memorial paddle/meeting with down in Tampa?

(BH) Yes.

(YA) Besides the typical kayak fishing gear anything you don't leave home without that most people wouldn't think of?

(BH) Good question let me think…… I can’t think of anything. I keep some 80 lb leader on hand to remove hooks from myself if I need too. LOL I do have a thing about my hat and shirts. If I don’t catch anything while wearing a certain shirt, it goes out of the rotation. Used to be all I would wear was a blue shirt. Same thing with hats.

(YA) Yeah I'm superstitious as well. Your chance for a free product plug, any specific product you would use regardless of sponsorship?

(BH) Yeah, I really like Quantum Inshore rods. The Cabo or Boca are ready made for kayak fisherman. They have a shorter butt so the rod doesn’t poke you in the gut all day long. I also love exude soft plastics.

(YA) Great article on the exude by the way.

(BH) Thank you. It took a long time to do.


(YA) How do you get such great photos? Do you always fish with a buddy?

(BH) I try too. Right now, I seem to concentrate more on capturing the action than I do fishing. I really enjoy trying to get that right shot.

(YA) How awesome is it being a member of YakAngler Staff?

(BH) It’s great. I really appreciate the fact someone wants to read what I have to write about. I don’t try to pretend that I'm some great writer; I just enjoy it and like to pass along what I have picked up over the years. That people like my photography is a great honor as well.


(YA) Ok I'm going to fire some quick ones at you...

(BH) Go

(YA) Ram or Scotty?

(BH) Scotty

(YA) Lure or Bait?

(BH) lure

(YA) Fly or Conventional/spinning?

(BH) spinning

(YA) Peddle or Paddle?

(BH) paddle

(YA) Ocean Kayak or Native Watercraft "I didn't ask Malibu because of the sponsorship"

(BH) native

(YA) Humminbird or Eagle?

(BH) don’t use them much, hummingbird

(YA) Bass Pro or Cabalas?

(BH) Bass Pro. (It’s close by)

(YA) Tarpon or Snook?

(BH) tarpon

(YA) Mahi or Kingfish?

(BH) kingfish

(YA) Bonefish or Permit?

(BH) permit

(YA) East Coast or West Coast?

(BH) west coast is the best coast

(YA) and finally.......  Country or Rock and Roll?

(BH) rock and roll


(YA) Hey thanks Bill for talking to us tonight, sorry we took almost an hour!

(BH) No Problem. Thanks for asking me and letting me do my thing on Yakangler.

(YA) Thanks again bro!

(BH) anytime, take it easy

YakAngler.com would like to thank Heywood for letting us talk to him and also for supporting our site!

To keep up with Heywood you can follow him here on YakAngler.com

Last modified on Sunday, 09 May 2010 19:41
Mark Watanabe

Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com, "He built this site!". He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of a ton of little sushis (Air Quotes) and everyday tech ninja.

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