Jimmy was kind enough to sigh a shirt for the boys at Stillhouse Hollow Farms. Pictured with the shirt from left to right are Carl Haley Jimmy Houston, Reggie Smith and Robert Huff.
This past week I had the pleasure of fishing with a good and long-
time friend, Jimmy Houston. Jimmy was in town on business and
took time to come out to our lakes here at Stillhouse Hollow farms.
Jimmy was his usual self—laughing and joking and being serious
about his fishing. Carl Haley was our host for the days ahead on
the water. Stillhouse Hollow belongs to Carl. He’s been kind
enough to allow me to help design the lakes on his property, and
I wanted to show them off to Jimmy.
The two days were perfect, a low-pressure area came in and the
fish turned on. Jimmy was looking forward to some top water
action in the first lake, but it was not to be. When the top water
lures failed to catch fish, Jimmy did something that only comes
from years of experience. As we moved down a bank and came
to some trees in the water, Jimmy had a big swirl just under the
top water bait. The fish, a very good sized largemouth never came close to the top of the water. Jimmy turned to me and said, “They don’t want this top water today.”
I agreed, and we changed to the Booyah spinner bait. Now when I say Jimmy’s years of experience came in, most fisherman would have seen that swirl as a sign of great things to come. Jimmy, on the other hand, was ready to switch grears immediately and change baits on the next cast. Usually, fish that only swirl under a top water bait have the desire to bite but not to the point of making a full pass completely to the surface. We elected to change to a bait that could be fished slightly deeper in an effort to draw those fish that were just a little too scared of the lake surface this day. On this day…wow! The Booyah spinner bait sure did the trick.
As our spinner bait offerings began to produce under the overcast sky, we knew we were in for a good day. With all the different ways to catch fish on this type of spinner bait, the one that worked on this day was to bring the bait just under the water—just high enough to make a ripple on the surface. This method drove them crazy, and the strikes were hard and numerous. There is no better fishing in the world than when spinner bait like the Booyah is being ripped by a big bass on nearly every cast.
Now I won’t go into a lot of detail about what we did in those two days as far as the fishing goes because you will be able to see what we did when it airs on Jimmy’s show. But, there are two things that I will discuss—one was the Booyah spinner bait we were using, and two—the new, and I mean *new*, U. S. Reels equipment we used.
Spinner bait first
I like to fish spinner baits, always have, but being a smallmouth bass fisherman and having just a touch of tunnel vision—my main baits were the fly and pork—and the top water bait and the grub. All have served me well in the years that I have been chasing smallmouth bass. The spinner bait was just something extra that I used in tournaments from time to time to get in a few more casts per hour.
Another use of the spinner bait was in my night fishing. If you have never pulled a half once spinner bait (black in color with a four inch black grub as a trailer) in twenty feet of water at night, you have to do it one time at least. There will never be a harder hit by a smallmouth bass than at night when it thumps a big black spinner bait with a Colorado blade on it … working the bottom. Freight train city. It was just as exciting that day on the water with Jimmy when we were tossing those 3/8 oz. Booyah. When I pulled that thing just under the water—rippling the surface just a little—easing in by some of the treetops in the lake. Wow! That bait would absolutely disappear in a huge swirl. Talk about exciting!
While we caught only largemouth these two days, the excitement was oozing from every direction. We had fish up to six pounds—and two, three and four pound fish by the numbers. The Booyah performed flawlessly. Jimmy offered to give me some baits when he had to leave the second day, but I figure that a bait that good gives me a good excuse to head to the tackle store! I’ll be heading out to Bass Pro to be exact. I’ll pick up a few—a few dozen as a matter of fact. You just can’t have too many baits! We fishermen know this fundamental rule!!!
Now I will admit that I did keep two of Jimmy’s Booyahs in the size and color that I was using. I don’t believe that Jimmy will mind. He should have watched me closer around his tackle box!
If you have not heard the name, you need to be looking on the web or your in your local tackle store. I was impressed and it takes a lot to impress this old guide with a reel. Jimmy has signed with U S reels, and he asked me if I would like to try one on that day. I am a spinning reel man, for the most part, even though the casting reel comes into play on many occasions. When the pattern turned to spinner baits on our little lake, I asked Jimmy to let me use the spinning reel. Spinner baits and spinning reels! Gosh, for me to fumble around with each at the same time? I think those reels deserved all the attention they are getting that day. Those machines just handle so nicely. Their smooth delivery and constant retrieve made a believer out of me. I really enjoyed using them.
The drag system on these reels was flawless and the oversize spool, you could call it, opened up some great possibilities with the smallmouth baits that I like to use (my mind somehow always evaluates new information with Smallmouth strategy ☺). There are many features that you will find on the reels that can be used by many different anglers in many different situations. I’m not necessarily qualified (yet!) to explain all their attributes. But I can tell you this … I am now the owner of a couple shiny new ones!
In my writings over the years, you have never heard me do too much “horn-tooting” with specific product names, but these two—the reels and the spinner bait—I just had to talk about, just a little. They’ve struck a chord in me.
For many years, I have had the pleasure of doing seminars at the same places where Jimmy was doing his talks. He has always combined his talks with humor and lots of valuable information for the crowds … and always, ALWAYS gives a professional and classy delivery. This man IS fishing and never fails to astound me with how he talks with his crowd. I would hate to make a guess at how many people Jimmy has helped to realize their dream of catching that big fish, or how much information he has given out over the years. We had two good days on the water … me and Jimmie … and I greatly appreciate his time and friendship.