Friday, August 9, 2013

Oldest & Youngest in Forrest Wood Cup

Jimmy Houston
While looking over details about the Forrest Wood Cup, I couldn't help but notice that two of the anglers I'd most like to see enjoy success in this year's championship stand out as the oldest and youngest in the professional field. Jimmy Houston, 69, is the oldest. Jacob Wheeler, 23, is the youngest.

I can't deny that I'm pulling for Jimmy Houston above anyone else in the field. I started watching him catch bass and hearing that giggle when I was 12 years old, and his show undoubtedly played a part in my career choice, along with providing valuable early fishing lessons. I appreciate his work ethic, his smile, his love for his wife and most of all his eagerness to share God's love. Working with Jimmy on photos or a story is always a delight.

I'm also very impressed by Jimmy's place in the FLW Angler of the Year standings that earned him qualification, given the frantic schedule he runs, and I'd love to see him excel in the Cup -- which he might. Jimmy may be the most accurate and efficient caster I've ever been in the boat with, and he brings an extraordinary knowledge of bass behavior. He's also a spinnerbait specialist, and the Red River lends itself mighty nicely to tying on a BOOYAH spinnerbait and working it through a lot of thick stuff.

Jacob Wheeler - FLW Photo
I won't claim to know Rapala pro Jacob Wheeler, last year's FWC champion, very well. In fact, I met him in person for the first time last month at the ICAST show in Las Vegas. I've interviewed him for stories a few times, however, and can say that he's among the best in the business at helping with stories. He's quick to return calls and thorough with answers and seems to have a knack  for explaining why he does what he does. His helpfulness as a story source, similar to his fishing success, defies his young age and limited years as a pro. Jacob also has been a grand champion and would serve FLW well were he to bring it up another notch and become the first FWC champ to successfully defend the title and bring home another Cup.

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