By Captain David M. Rieumont
As sure as the sun shines every morning for the last 30 years of my life, so does a true American Icon, “Jimmy Houston.” Jimmy Houston’s title of America’s Favorite Fisherman is definitely true. But his legend and bass-fishing accomplishments pale in comparison with Jimmy Houston the man. Much of the world already knows about Mr. Houston’s accomplishments, such as winning the Oklahoma State Championship as a college senior in 1966, or winning over a million dollars in bass tournaments.
The list goes on:
- He has been in 15 Bassmaster Classics.
- He won B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles in both 1976 and 1986.
- He was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Inducted in to the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2002.
- Inducted into the IGFA Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2008.
- He was named King of Sports for Fishing in 1989.
- In June of 2004, he won the Jim Thorpe Man of the Year award.
But Mr. Houston’s true champion colors come out in a different arena that most people never get to read about. I first learned about Mr. Houston’s fishing abilities and his gift to teach and touch others through fishing about 30 years ago when I was working as an undercover police officer, infiltrating and arresting really bad people who hurt children. I would come home from a late shift, and in my mind all I could think about was a dark and cruel world. I would flip on the TV and there he was in some boat on a body of water, with his jubilant smile and exhilarating laugh. His passion for fishing and educating others on how to fish came shining through. Without even knowing it, Mr. Houston took me away from that violence and horror, and gave me a strong abiding connection with God’s natural world. It took me back to a state of mind that I did not want to ever wander from. It’s called Peace. Thank you Mr. Houston! Read more…