Jimmy Houston spins yarns with the best, and he offered up one after the passing of fishing icons Forrest Wood and Jerry McKinnis.
A run-in at the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk had the two-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year relating a humorous encounter about the two legends, who passed three months apart over the winter.
“Jerry was always kidding me about something,” said Houston, admiring McKinnis’ property on Arkansas’ White River while on a video shoot years ago. “He said, ‘Ya know Jimmy, Forrest and I own 21 miles of river along here.’”
Houston said he was amazed, simply blown away, before The Hammer laid down the punchline: “Forrest owns 20 miles — I own a mile.”
Houston was drawn in even though he uses a similar joke about the 18 AOY titles between himself, wife Chris and Roland Martin — “Roland has nine, Chris has seven, and I have two.”
He did get serious about the type of men that the industry, and the world, lost in Wood and McKinnis.
“They left an amazing mark,” he said. “The industry is what it is because of individuals like Forrest and Jerry. More than what they did from an actual fishing standpoint, a manufacturing standpoint, they were just exemplary type individuals, the type a father would like his daughter to marry, the kind you’d want to come in and run your company, the kind of individual you’d want as your neighbor. That’s what these guys were like.
“I know it’s an old, worn-out saying — they’re the salt-of-the-earth type people. The world needs more Forrest Woods and Jerry McKinnises.”