“We’re in the Cayman Islands. We’ve been catching some big mutton snappers – I mean some pretty good-sized ones, too,” fisherman Jimmy Houston says in front of a camera on Wednesday morning on board the 32-foot boat Killin’ Time.
Mr. Houston and his crew were filming for his long-running television show, “Jimmy Houston Outdoors,” which has run for more than 30 years on networks such as ESPN, CBS Sports, and the World Fishing Network.
Wednesday was the final day of the show’s filming, with the fishermen spending much of the day fishing for mutton snapper near the reef in the Rum Point area. The four-day trip also saw them bone-fishing off the shores, and searching for tarpon in the canals of Grand Cayman.
While Mr. Houston is a member of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and has won a number of other fishing-related awards, he left most of the fishing to other members of his team, including his daughter Sherri Houston and friend Misty Wells.
“I got the girls out here catching most of the fish, I’m just coaching. But I’m a really good coach, no doubt about it,” he said. “The girls lost a lot early, but now they’re catching every single one of them, and we’re going to have them for dinner tonight.”
The reef near Rum Point yielded a hefty haul on Wednesday morning, including two barracudas weighing around 10 pounds a piece, several mutton snappers and some lizard fish. At one point, a four-foot nurse shark also bit on one of the lines, though it escaped with the bait minutes later.
Killin’ Time captain Jacob McTaggart said the windy conditions made it perfect for fishing in that area.
“It’s pretty windy, so you would not want to be deep-sea fishing. But the good news is that the North Sound is really getting stirred up because it’s so windy, and a lot of the silt on the bottom is rising up and making the water murky. A lot of the snappers are moving toward the reef because of that,” he explained.
For Mr. McTaggart, the owner of Cayman Offshore Adventures, taking out Mr. Houston on his boat was an opportunity to rub elbows with an angler that influenced him as a child.
“I’ve been watching Jimmy since I was a kid,” Mr. McTaggart said. “Even though we don’t have any freshwater down here to fish for bass, I was a professional bass fisherman just by watching him and learning his tricks.”
“Jimmy Houston Outdoors” runs 26 episodes per year, and has filmed in other Caribbean locations including the British Virgin Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.
Ms. Wells said the team decided to come to Cayman after she had Slackem Fishing Charters owner Jon Arch on her radio show in the U.S.
She said the easy process of getting permission to film in Cayman, the great fishing and the accommodations – the crew stayed at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa – made the trip here one of her favorites.
“Out of all the places we’ve gone and filmed, this is number one,” she said.
Ms. Wells added that she is in discussions with the Cayman Islands Film Commission about shooting an episode here of her own show, “Let’s Take it Outside,” which she said would entail her exploring Cayman’s caves, going on dives, visiting Stingray City, and going “in search of the great blue iguana.”
The Cayman episode of “Jimmy Houston Outdoors” will likely air in the second quarter of 2019, according to show producer Pat Turner.