Jimmy Houston could be retired, but who has time, with fishing shows to film for TV, events to attend and gospel to spread.
“I travel an awful lot. We do 39 TV shows, about 100 personal appearances, six FLW Series tournaments,” said Houston, a professional angler and TV host who will make a return visit to Durham on Aug. 1 for the Ridgecrest Baptist Church Outdoor Ministries Sportsmen’s Banquet.
He will be joined by fellow TV personality Roland Martin of Naples, Fla., who like Houston is a member of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.
Three days after serving as the honorary pace truck driver for the July 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, Houston traveled on Tuesday to the American Sportfishing Association’s huge International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades Conference and Exhibition, known as ICAST, July 15-17 in Orlando, Fla.
His schedule also includes 15 to 25 church events a year.
“At an outdoors event at the church, one of the really great things is we get men and boys there that might not ever go to a church otherwise,” Houston, who turns 71 on July 28, said. “… It might be the only chance they get to hear the gospel.”
Attendees also are educated and entertained.
“They’ll probably learn how to deliver bait to fish, cast better, time of day,” said Houston, a Cookson, Okla., resident, who delivers a “Catch of the Day” Bible verse and fishing tip on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JimmyHoustonOutdoors.
Event organizer and avid angler Rod King of Durham compares Houston to stock car racing royalty when it comes to interacting with fans.
“Richard Petty will stay there until the last person leaves,” King said. “… Jimmy loves the outdoors and loves sharing about it, and he’s a great teacher.”
The banquet, staffed by volunteers and supported by donations from area businesses, starts at 4 p.m. with a vendor tent at the church at 1104 Milton Road. Doors open at 6 for the chicken dinner. Bethesda Bluegrass Band will perform. Tickets cost $20, and group discounts are available. Call the church at 919-471-8662, or go to www.ridgecrest.com.
Volunteers needed: The Loose on the Neuse Clean-up will be held 8 a.m. until noon July 19 on the Neuse River at Anderson Point Park, followed by a noon to 5 p.m. festival. Food sales benefit Neuse Riverkeepers. To register, call the Orvis Raleigh store at 919-792-9200, or go to www.orvis.com/raleigh.
More volunteers needed: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Lake Gaston Association seek volunteers to help with an aquatic habitat enhancement project July 20-24 on Lake Gaston. Contact Wally Sayko at 434-636-5393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commission meeting: The Wildlife Resources Commission will meet at 9 a.m. July 16 at its headquarters, 1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh. Find a live audio webcast at www.ncwildlife.org under “Public Notices and Pending Rules.”
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