- Full Name Jimmy Houston
- Occupation Pro Angler and TV host
- Nationality American
- Birthplace San Marcos, Texas, United States
- Birth Date Jul 27, 1944
- Age 78 Years, 10 Months
- Did You Know? On 5 April 2021, Jimmy confirmed on Facebook that his wife had been suffering from a severe brain condition.
- Parents Jack Houston
- Zodiac Sign Leo
- Education Northeastern Oklahoma State University
- Relationship Status Married
- Wife Chris Houston
- Wedding Date 30-12-1963
- Net Worth $6 Million
- Children Sherri Houston, Jamie Houston
Jimmy Houston | BiographyTV Personality
Jimmy Houston is recognized as America’s most celebrated fisherman. After winning tournaments, he began filming television shows and doing several personal appearances, over the years.
Jimmy Houston is a pro angler and the host of his outdoor television show Jimmy Houston Outdoors. For the past 30 years, the show stands as one of the most-watched outdoor shows in America, with millions in viewership.
With several years of expertise in fishing, Houston has displayed his ability in many tournaments, including Bass Master tournaments. In this particular tournament, he won over $350,000.
Jimmy is recognized as America's most celebrated fisherman. He was born on 28 July 1944 in San Marcos, Texas, and was brought up by a single father.
Today, he is the host of the national television show Jimmy Houston Outdoors presented on NBC Sports Outdoors. He has also authored five books, including 'Catch of the Day,' which focuses on how his faith in God and love of fishing synchronized with one another.
He Began Fishing At A Very Young Age
Raised in Moore, Oklahoma, Houston developed a passion for the outdoors at a very young age. For this reason, he says his dad, uncles, and grandad would often take him fishing before "he could walk." With several ponds around his home, he used to go fishing almost every day after school.
"I distinctly remember catching a bass, six or seven pounds, out of the ponds. It stayed in one place, underneath a big tree. It wouldn't leave and I thought it was so stupid that it wouldn't swim off. I actually remember crawling out on a limb on a willow tree, shinnied out on that limb, right above that bass, dropped a grasshopper right down in front of that bass' nose, and caught the bass," Houston retrospects his early fishing experiences. "I remember when I brought it home, I told my grandma that I had caught the stupidest bass in the world. I had no idea it was on a (spawning)."
His family would also take him to Lake Tenkiller on many vacations. His father bought a resort in Tenkiller in 1960, and he would eventually move there at just the age of 16. He says his life changed after moving to the lake area as he had to adjust his lifestyle "from living in the city to living in the lake." He would fish every day and work as a guide to make money.
His Education At Northeastern Oklahoma State University Helped Him Further His Business
To forward his learning, Houston later began studying at the Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah. During his time at the university, he attempted to create earnings on the lake by acting as a guide and selling catfish. The income then helped him pay for his education at Northeastern. He majored in Political Science and Economics from the university in 1966.
"I think Northeastern is a great school. We [he and wife Chris] had a wonderful time during our four years there. Chris and I were actively involved in all the sports programs and we had great teachers," said Houston. "I think there's absolutely no way that we could have accomplished what we've accomplished in the business world without that education," he added.
"College is a special four years. It turns a person into a different one than if you just simply lived those four years of your life," said Houston. "That's one of the critical things that it gets you from 18 to 22. At 18 you think you're the smartest person in the world. Those four years get you to the point where at 22 you realize you're not."
His Early Fishing Experience And Fishing Tournaments Helped Him To Become A Professional Angler
In 1962, Houston took part in his first (fishing) tournament on Lake Tenkiller when he was still a teenager in his senior year of high school. It was only after winning the tournament that he wanted to engage in other tournaments in years to come. In 1966, his father bought him his first Ambassadeur casting reel for his first national tournament Oklahoma State Championship, which he would win. After winning the tournament, he started appearing on television shows and gradually rose to fame. He was also later awarded the 'Angler of the Year Crown' in 1976 and then in 1986 on the Bassmaster tour.
During his childhood, the fishing experiences he gained from living in Tenkiller and through participation in fishing tournaments during his high school and college years were most likely the defining periods of his early years. He would gather the experience in this period to become the professional angler that he is today.
"Dad carried me quail hunting when I could barely walk. I learned to kill quail 'flying' with a .22 rifle because I had shot at literally hundreds of quail with my Daisy BB gun. Dad would tell me I was hitting those birds with that BB gun and I thought I really was," Houston wrote. "My best childhood memories include all-night catfishing trips in a 14-foot aluminum boat on Lake Hefner, walking for miles during the hot summer along the Washita River in Murray County, fishing low water pools, and weeklong summer vacations on Lake Tenkiller."
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He Is The Host of 'Jimmy Houston Outdoors'
After frequently appearing in TV shows such as Joe Krieger's show and Don Wallace's show post his wing at the 1966's tournament held at Lake Tenkiller, he got the idea to create an outdoor show of his own. In this pursuit, he spent almost two years exploring and studying the ways of professional sports fishermen.
During the time, he fell under the influence of both Roland Martin and Bill Dance; their shows taught Houston the key to hosting a successful show. After learning the ropes, he eventually created his own show, Bass Fishing America, which would later be renamed Jimmy Houston Outdoors.
For the show, Houston would go to the USA's various locations for fishing and share his fishing tips and techniques with viewers.
"I studied their shows relentlessly. I looked at the things they were doing that I considered right and I wanted to emulate and looked at all of the things that made me want to throw up. I tried to avoid those. We hired a production company in Tulsa. I signed a contract for about $120,000 for them to produce, edit and syndicate the show and we started trying to sell sponsorships. We called in Bass Fishing America," Houston explained in an interview.
The show was aired on ESPN for 21 years and became one of the longest-running shows in the history of ESPN. The show was later switched to the Outdoor Life Network and several other media networks.
As per Jimmy Houston's official website, the show currently airs on numerous networks such as Discovery, World Fishing Network, WGN, My Family TV, and many other reputed networks and channels.
His other show, Jimmy Houston Adventures, aired on the likes of WGN, JHL TV, WGN, and Hunt TV.
Describing the whereabouts of his show Jimmy Houston Outdoors, Houston explained in an interview in 2008, "We shoot everything live. Our fishing show is the original reality show. We have never staged a fish in 31 years. We have never hooked a fish on and landed it for television. Not once. Now I have fished with my buddy Roland Martin, and he has taken some of my fish and hooked on for his show, or caught some of his twice. But Roland just believes that's OK and most of the guys do believe that's OK. Kissing fish and my stupid hair and my stupid laugh (are my trademarks)."
He Promotes His Videos On Social Media
In September 2009, Houston launched the YouTube channel of his show Jimmy Houston Outdoors to make his hard work count. However, he said his channel could not attract many people for a long time. During an interview in June 2020, Houston said that one of his colleagues, in February 2019, suggested posting videos regularly on YouTube. He further informed that his YouTube channel had 2,000 subscribers in February 2019, and after posting videos as per his friend's suggestion, the subscribers reached 40,000 in about 13 months. In 2020 alone, he pursued a goal to post 500 videos on Youtube.
"We work really really hard. I mean, we spent a lot of time doing a lot of things like 39 television shows and 500 videos for YouTube. We were six or seven tournaments a year, doing around 100 personal appearances. That's almost one every three days, a little bit more than one every three-four days." Houston said during an interview in 2020. "But it's we work hard at this game, so the start of the YouTube channel, obviously one of the reasons why we start to branch out, and the reason why you're on 11 networks."
He added, "I would imagine, is the same reason why we're on six networks is that the ratings on the television have just gone down and so we have guarantees that we need to you know that we made 10 years ago and the sponsors are expecting those kinds of numbers. So it's like you add another network and another network and another network and you get back to kind of the original viewing that what you once had on ESPN."
In addition to Jimmy Houston Outdoors, Houston also began creating daily devotional content through the title 'Catch of the Day on YouTube. He also keeps updating about his personal life as well as professional works on his social media. As of April 2022, his YouTube channel has 117 thousand subscribers. He also has a Facebook page of the same name with more than 371 thousand followers.
He Has Received Multiple Awards and Honors
In the world of fishing, Houston is considered among the most experienced living anglers in history. He has taken part in more than 245 tournaments, finished 15 BASSMaster Classics, and won two' B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year title' (1976 and 1986). He was also named 'King of Sports for Fishing' in 1989.
For his contributions as a tournament angler, Houston was inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame' in 1990 and the 'Professional Hall of Fame in 2002'. In addition, in June 2004, the Jim Thorpe Association recognized Houston as the 'Jim Thorpe Man of the Year.'
In 2008, Houston was inducted into the 'IGFA Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame' and the 'Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame. In addition, he was recognized as the 2013's 'Distinguished Alumnus' of Northeastern State University. In 2016, he was inducted into the 'Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2017, he, Bill Dance, and Roland Martin won the 'National Lewis and Clark Conservation Award.' Furthermore, Houston received a 'Bass Pro Shop Angler of the Century Award the same year.'
He Is An Author
Houston also published five books, including a bestselling fishing book titled 'Caught Me a Big'un (1997)'.
In 1999, he released 'Hooked for Life,' a book that elaborates on fishing as the country's national pastime. He later published a fishing guide book 'The Reel Line: An Angler's Guide to the Ultimate Catch (2001).'
In 2005, he published Catch of The Day, which is about his faith in Christ and love for fishing. Later, the updated version of Catch of the Day was released in 2012. In 2020, he also participated in an MLF Legends team event at Table Rock Lake. He was paired with Bass Pro Tour angler Ott DeFoe. In 2016, he marked 50 years as a pro bass angler.
He Has An Online Merchandise And A Showroom
Houston sells outdoor merchandise such as rods, sunglasses, and gift tins on his official website.
He also has a 24-hour showroom at Park Hill, Oklahoma, called Jimmy Houston Marine & Kawasaki, from which he offers new and used boats of various brands such as Mercury, Tracker, Suntracker, Nitro, and Kawasaki.
He Is The Co-founder Of Th3 Legends
Along with his long-time colleagues and fellow fishermen Roland Martin and Bill Dance, Houston later founded the outdoor and fishing accessories company Th3 Legends to sell their signature products.
He Promotes Businesses Through Self Ethics
Houston is known to conduct promotional marketing through his self-ethics. He opts out of marketing such products that he regards as the opposite of his faith and ethics.
In an interview, Blakemore Lures' former owner, Joe Hall, said that Houston wouldn't sell all of its products despite selling millions of its Road Runner fishing lures. He commented, "Forget about the money. You are not buying Jimmy Houston off," Hall said. "If he doesn't like the product, he will not promote it, and people know that."
He Promised To Keep His Fishing Passion Alive Even After His Retirement
In 2020, Houston decided to take time off from participating in the tournaments — he said he wouldn't participate in the upcoming Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Pro Circuit. Instead, he promised to keep his fishing passion alive.
"I might not ever fish another national tournament, or I might fish another one next year. It's definitely not a retirement. People have been using that word, but not me," he said in an interview.
He also revealed that he took the decision in the year 2019 after a new rule was added to "line 6 of the FLW Pro Circuit Rules". The rule prohibited anyone accompanying a pro from providing a supporting hand. The rule reads: "Under no circumstance may a person accompanying a pro on tournament waters fish or assist with locating fish."
Because of the added rule, the pro angler couldn't carry on with his long-running custom of having practice sessions with his wife before the tournament. He also was on the brink of participating in the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2019 but dropped out from it due to a similar rule.
But the deciding point for the fishing expert was during the end of 2019's FLW Tour season. He got bored of attending the competition without his wife Chris and also finished 162nd because he lacked practice. Before attending the competition, he had participated in the Lake Champion season finale and got busy with the sponsor's obligation.
At present, Jimmy is actively taking part in sporting events as a guest or a judge. He has also been involved in promoting trade shows and sports stores. According to his website, he has been involved with various outdoor-related companies such as O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ranger Boats, High Seas Fishing Line, Mercury, Shell Rotella, Bass Pro Shop, and many others. He also gives inspirational speeches at many churches around the country.
2021 & Beyond
In February 2021, Bass Pro Shops founder Jim Morris revealed that several fishing legends, including Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin, would be attending as the celebrity weighmasters in the upcoming (to be held on 11 September 2021) 'US. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships' organized by the company. He revealed that the tournament would have a prize purse of $4.3 million in total and a $1 million fund for improving fish habitats of the tournament location: Old Hickory Lake.
Since 2021, Houston has been growing his audience base on social media, especially Youtube, where he shares his personal life and fishing experience and talks about his devotion to Christianity.
He Has Been Married To His Wife For Nearly 60 Years
Jimmy is married to Chris Houston, whom he met during high school in 1961. Chris was his junior in high school. The two quickly started dating each other and ultimately married on 30 December 1963.
Jimmy encouraged Chris to participate in fishing competitions. The couple also participated in various fishing tournaments together and won multiple titles and honors. The couple has competed in Bassmaster Classics, FLW championships, and Bass N Gal Classics and bagged over a million dollars in prize money.
Jimmy has been married to his wife for over 50 years now. He lives with his family in Southern Oklahoma. He and his wife own a recreational ranch named Twin Eagles in Southern Oklahoma. The ranch, which they purchased in 2003, has grown into nearly 2000 acres of outdoor paradise. The couple's home in the Arbuckle Mountain Red River Valley offers some of the world-class fishing and habitat for deer, elk, hogs, and ducks.
His Wife Is Also A Professional Angler And The Bass Fishing Hall Of Fame Inductee
Jimmy's wife, Chris Houston, a.k.a. Christine is also an experienced fisherman like her husband. Northwestern Oklahoma-born Chris began fishing as a child on the banks of the Illinois River in Northwestern Oklahoma. She competed in several local fishing competitions before starting fishing professionally in the early 1960s, when the bass fishing tournament was in its formative years.
Chris competed in several bass fishing tournaments, winning multiple awards and honors. She finished third at the Oklahoma State Championship on Lake Tenkiller. In 1968, she won the Women's division at the World Series of Sport Fishing tournament on Lake Texoma.
Additionally, Jimmy's spouse helped form the first-ever all-women's bass club, The Tulsa Bass Belles, along with several other women from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1977. Women going out fishing on a boat was uncommon at the time. However, she won the 'Miss Bass Belle' award many times while fishing with the club.
Chris dominated the Bass'n Gal circuit for many years, winning the 'Bass'n Gall Angler of the year' title seven times. She also won the Bass'n Gal Classic three times. In 1987, Chris became the first woman to be inducted into the 'Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.'
In June 1989, Jimmy told The Oklahoman that his wife was a better fisherman than he was.
Furthermore, Chris competed in every Bass Pro Shops' Legend of Fishing tournament.
She retired from professional fishing after the Bass'n Gall discontinued their circuit. However, she continued to stay active in the fishery.
Jimmy Houston's Wife Was Hospitalized After Stroke
Chris, a professional angler like Jimmy, has regularly appeared on Houston's YouTube channel. Unfortunately, tragedy struck their life when Chris suffered a stroke. Jimmy confirmed on Facebook that his wife had had a stroke on Monday evening, 5 April 2021.
"My beautiful wife Chris had a brain aneurysm and a stroke and is not very well at all. She's not regained consciousness," Jimmy said. He further said that he had been away on his way to a fishing trip to Alabama when the stroke happened, just moments after he got off a call with her. "Last time I talked to her she was fine all day long," he said.
Jimmy later shared in a video that his wife's stroke was caused by high blood pressure. "She had a brain bleed, they call it, and a vessel burst, and it bled blood on her brain and destroyed a lot of a big part of the left side of her brain. 70 percent, which would be 35 percent of her entire brain. That's a lot," he described.
As per Jimmy's update on Facebook, his wife was hospitalized and went through surgery on 13 April. He further informed that they transferred to Tulsa on 17 April for the next step in Christ's treatment. In April 2021, he remarked that "it's a major battle right now" regarding his wife's condition and thanked everyone for their good wishes. He also said that he was planning a garden so that the pair would get fresh vegetables after Chris' return.
Updating his wife's recovery journey on 12 May 2021, Jimmy informed that he was at the Kaiser Rehabilitation Center at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He said his wife had been admitted there for about ten days, with the targeted discharge date of 21 May.
Jimmy said that day had been the most exciting day for him because his wife was able to move her leg a little bit after almost five weeks. He further informed that his wife had been going through various therapy sessions like speech therapy, arm therapy, and leg therapy.
He further said that Chris was learning how to dress by herself. "You know that sounds pretty easy. We all know how to dress herself, but when you've had a massive stroke, and there's a lot of other things that affect people who are dressing themselves a big deal," he said.
He said his wife was still having problems transferring words from her mind to say out of her mouth despite some improvement.
A week later, Jimmy shared in another video that his wife was working hard every day, and she was getting a little bit better every day. He said that Chris' speech was better, her right legs were moving, and she would be discharged soon.
On 5 October 2021, Jimmy gave a six-month update on his wife. He claimed that when his wife was hospitalized, doctors had told him that, more than likely, she would never leave the hospital, and if she did, she would never be able to use her right arm and right leg again. The doctors also said that she would never be able to talk, her speech was gone, and she would be in a nursing home for the rest of her life.
"So far he's right there she's not able to use her right arm," he said. "Her right arm is still just there. Her brain hasn't realized she's got a right arm but I'm going to tell you she's got one. I've been telling her brain that she's got a right arm. Start using it, start using it and she will," he added.
However, he mentioned that his wife made remarkable progress beyond the doctors' statement. He said his wife had started walking at the time. According to him, Chris could not feel her right leg, but she could move it and walk the parallels.
Jimmy even argued that the doctor who had made statements about his wife was "wrong" and that the diagnosis was "100 percent incorrect." He said his wife could talk pretty well and that it was getting better every day. He also said that his wife never had to see the inside of a nursing home and was staying at their daughter and her husband's house at the time.
How many Children does Jimmy Houston have?
The Houston pair together have two children, a daughter Sherri, born in 1964, and a son Jamie, born in 1983. Both Sherri and Jamie are also professional anglers like their parents. Houston's son helps him in a boat dealership, and his daughter handles his schedule and runs their travel agency and subway store.
Houston has mentioned on his official website that he and his wife have three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. However, his 2018 Facebook post suggests that his family had increased as he mentioned he and his wife had 13 "kids and grandkids."
Houston's Daughter Has Outgrown Her Parent's Shadow
As a daughter of professional anglers, Sherri grew up watching her parents fishing in a bass boat around Lake Tenkiller. She told The Oklahoman in June 1989 that her father started fishing professionally when she was four or five years old. However, she was not actively involved in fishing in her childhood. Her parents also did not push her to participate in fishing. "When I was a kid, I'd take coloring books or comics or read or sleep or whatever while they fished. If I'd concentrated more on fishing then, I might know a lot more now," she said.
Sherri attended Keys Public School. After completing elementary schooling in 1978, Sherri enrolled at Tahlequah High School in 1979 and graduated in 1982. She also studied Accounting, Marketing, and Management for six semesters from 1981 to 1983 at Northwestern State University before getting involved in professional bass tournaments.
Sherri began working in her family's businesses at age 14. She was still in high school when she started working at Jimmy Houston Outdoors in 1978, fulfilling television mail orders. She later started caring for more than 100 thousand catalog mail-outs and order fulfillment before selling the catalog part of their business to Bass Pro Shops. After that, Sherri began overseeing the billing for Jimmy Houston Outdoors and booking her father's appearances.
She later started managing Jimmy Houston Travel Agency after completing Travel Tech Travel Agent Training in 1990. In 2009, she started working in the accounting, marketing, and sales department of All-Day Energy and Extreme Energy. In 2010, she became a licensed realtor at Century 21 Wright Real Estate. Then in 2017, she became a Herbalife Distributor and opened a nutrition club called Tenkiller Nutrition in 2018. According to Sherri, she converted the club into a sandwich shop in 2019.
Sherri got married in the 1980s and welcomed her first son, Jeremy, in 1986. She also has another son named Kyle Combs. In an interview with Christian Women Living Magazine in 2021, she said that she has five grandchildren, namely Kutler, Merrick, Avarie, Brantley, and Carter.
On 3 December 2020, Sherri married her current husband, cardiologist Jack Casas, who also helped during the treatment of Chris after her stroke.
His Daughter Has Competed In Fishing Competitions With Her Mother
Sherri participated in her first fishing tournament at the age of 16. "I fished my first tournament a month after I turned 16. You have to be 16 to fish Bass'n Gal," she said. She later qualified for the Classic in 1987.
Sherri then competed with her mother, Chris, in various fishing tournaments. The mother-daughter duo faced each other for the first time in the Bass'n Gal Classic, the Women's bass fishing championship. The mother finished fifth and the daughter 17th in the tournament. Later in 1989, the mother finished 10th and the daughter 22nd in a shootout during the Lake Tenkiller Bass'n Gals tournament.
Sherri told the newspaper that even though they were competing against each other, they were not because they were always pulling for each other, helping each other out. By 1989, Sherri had finished ahead of her mother five or six times in four seasons on the Bass'n Gal circuit, but the two never fought for the same spot in the standings. That allowed them to cooperate without confrontation and help the one who had the best chance to finish high. After the Bass'n Gal discontinued their circuit, both daughter and mother started assisting Jimmy on his show and other business ventures.
Pet deer Lucy
In 2018, Houston's wife informed him about a just born orphaned deer on the ranch. After a few days, they realized the newborn baby deer was abandoned. Houston also found the little deer was about to die, so he picked the deer and raised the doe. The doe was later named Lucy. Despite being a free-range deer, Lucy eventually became a part of the Houston family.
What is Jimmy Houston's Net Worth?
Despite him being 77 years old, he does not intend on retiring anytime soon. Instead, he wants to become the oldest angler in history. He's determined to make more appearances on TV and perhaps even film a TV series. Availed by a number of achievements and a spirited personality, Jimmy Houston continues to be sought by his fans and viewers.
According to Celebritynetworth, the veteran fishing expert has a net worth of around $6 million.
- In an interview in 2008, Houston reminisced about his high-pitched definitive laugh and the time his wife had advised him to change it. "We were walking down the hallway in the studio and my wife, Chris, was with me. Three or four editing bays away we heard this ungodly laugh. Chris turned to me and said, 'I'm just going to give you some advice right now. You will never make it in this game if you don't change the way you laugh. They will run you off the television.' It's one of the few errors she has made in her life. People loved it. That was part of the magic."
- In 2003, Houston—who was hosting Jimmy Houston Outdoors under the ESPN2 banner and was a First Southern Baptist Church's deacon in the eastern Oklahoma town of Keys—declined to wear a Busch beer apparel patch and include a Busch decal to his boat in the particular events that were important for the qualification in the BASS Masters Classic tournament. With his exit from the competition, he also diminished his chances of attaining the 'Angler of the Year' prize worth $100,000.
- As the only pro bass angler out of 122 to refuse to don the Busch logos, Houston said he had to take such a decision because of "ethical, moral and scriptural reasons." He said he only found out later about the provision signed by BASS with the sponsor and deemed it "inappropriate with its family-friendly history."
- He is a fan of the American dancing reality show Dancing With the Stars.
- Houston, who also loves hunting, has been known for kissing a fish on television since forever.
- In an interview in 2018, he called Peacock Bass fishing "the most exciting freshwater fishing" and boasted that he "pioneered Peacock Bass (Pavon) fishing for Americans over 40 years ago, first in Colombia and then Venezuela, Brazil, etc."
- He has acted as Grand Marshal in popular racing events such as Talladega Raceway and Quaker State 400 NASCAR. He has also ridden the pace car at Kentucky Speedway for NASCAR.
- Houston grew up to be a Brooklyn Dodgers fan because he followed 50's baseman Charlie Neal. He has also been following the Oklahoma Sooners since his school days.