The 15-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier has the opportunity to compete for more than $11 million in the 2006 tournament series, the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, the Bassmaster Majors, the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year program and other contingencies. And he won’t have to be away from the camera for long, as same-day coverage of the Bassmaster Majors’ final day will air on ESPN2 and other tournament coverage will be featured on the show CITGO Bassmasters.
Though Houston juggles his fishing career with television and personal appearances, the extra work hasn’t hurt his reputation or skills: He has two BASS wins, an astounding 35 top-10 BASS finishes and one of the most popular and longest-running outdoors shows on ESPN2.
“My life is pretty crazy right now with all of the commitments,” Houston said, while taking a short break from filming a television show. “Now, more than ever in my life, I have a lot going on.”
At 61 years old, Houston’s competitive spirit and never-ending energy is admirable. He’s one of the most seasoned Elite Series anglers (behind 65-year-old Guy Eaker) and is still a force to be reckoned with in tournaments. “I expect to be real competitive,” the Oklahoman said. “I wouldn’t play the game if I still didn’t have that feeling.”
Houston spent his off-season taping his television show, Jimmy Houston Outdoors, which airs Saturdays on ESPN2 at 7:30 a.m. EST. He’s also finalizing sponsors for his boat wrap, where he wants to feature four major companies.
His current sponsors include Chevrolet, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats, Minn Kota trolling motors, fishfinder brand Humminbird Electronics, Japanese tackle company Shimano, Inc., Terminator Lures, TTI Companies, camouflage pattern company Mothwing Camo Technologies, Inc. and the Excalibur lure brand of Pradco Fishing.
“The things BASS is doing right now are revolutionary,” Houston said. “I have to hand it to them. Five years ago, I would have never been approached by some of the companies I have spoken with.”
The complete 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series schedule is:
The Southern Sprint #1 March 9-12 Battle on the Border - Lake Amistad, Del Rio, Texas #2 March 16-19 Lone Star Shootout - Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Jasper, Texas #3 March 30 – April 2 Santee-Cooper Showdown - Santee-Cooper, Manning, S.C. #4 April 20-23 Southern Challenge - Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Ala. #5 May 4-7 Pride of Augusta - Clarks Hill Reservoir, Columbia County, Ga.
The Turn #6 June 1-4 Sooner Run - Grand Lake, Grove, Okla. #7 June 15-18 Bluegrass Brawl - Kentucky Lake, Kentucky Dam Village, Ky.
The Northern Swing #8 July 6-9 Empire Chase – Oneida Lake, Syracuse, N.Y. #9 July 13-16 Champion’s Choice - Lake Champlain, Plattsburg, N.Y.
The Final Charge #10 Aug. 10-13 Capitol Clash - Potomac River, Charles County, Md. #11 Sep. 14-17 The Rock - Table Rock Lake, Kimberling City, Mo.
The 2006 Bassmaster Majors schedule is:
May 18-21 Bassmaster Memorial on Eagle Mountain Lake, Fort Worth, Texas July 27-30 Bassmaster American on Lake Wylie, Charlotte, N.C. Aug. 24-27 Bassmaster Legends on the Arkansas River, Little Rock, Ark.
BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.
BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com.