Jimmy Houston gets hooked on Cayman

Jimmy Houston takes television viewers back to Cayman this week on his long-standing fishing programme. - Photos: Submitted

The man dubbed ‘America’s favourite fisherman’ is bringing Cayman’s waters back to the airwaves this week.

The second episode of ‘Jimmy Houston Outdoors’ shot in Grand Cayman will air throughout the week, starting Monday, 17 June, on Discovery Network, CBS Sports, World Fishing Network and Pursuit Channel, among other stations.

Co-host Misty Wells said the half-hour episode features a highly successful day reef fishing with Cayman Offshore Adventures and Captain Jacob McTaggart.

“We had a fantastic day with Jacob fishing, and [we] caught so many fish, that translated into one episode with just him,” Wells said.

“On our trip that’s coming out Monday, we decided to go reef fishing and that’s another beautiful thing about being in the Cayman Islands. If it’s a little rough offshore, there is still some really good inshore fishing.”

Wells said they caught species ranging from mutton snapper and jack fish to grouper and barracuda. All species were caught and released, she said, except for some mutton snapper that they filleted and prepared for dinner.

“Anytime the rod’s bending, it’s fun,” she said.

A previous episode of ‘Jimmy Houston Outdoors’ that aired in April was also shot in Cayman. On that episode, the crew went reef fishing, bone-fishing along the shore and searched for tarpon in the canals.

Filming for that episode in January 2018 was Wells’s first time to Cayman. At that time, Houston had not travelled to the island in decades.

As a resident of Tampa, Florida, Wells said the proximity and beauty of Cayman appealed to her.

Misty Wells is so captivated by Cayman that she is scouting locations to film another outdoors show.

“One thing I loved is that you can be here very quickly and it’s very easy,” she said.

“You can be in 12,000 feet of water and still see the beach. That’s very uncommon. Where I live, to even be in 100 feet of water, I’ve got to be 70 miles offshore.”

The accessibility of good fishing spots in Cayman means more time fishing and less time driving, she said.

Wells added that the kindness of the people in Cayman exceeded her expectations.

“Everybody’s so nice. Everybody really wants you here. The locals are fantastic. Everybody is so welcoming. You honestly feel appreciated coming as a tourist and someone who either wants to fish or dive or experience the island. Everybody is really glad you’re here,” she said.

She recalled one moment when Captain McTaggart went above and beyond during their fishing trip.

Jimmy Houston takes television viewers back to Cayman this week on his long-standing fishing programme. – Photos: Submitted

“There is one really cool part where there’s a fish on [the line] and the fish swims around a rock. We didn’t want to break the line, so Jacob, he’s so awesome, kicked off his shoes, takes his shirt off, dives in the water, grabs the fish, gets it out from the rock and we finish reeling it up,” she said.

“That’s pretty cool. That’s a real captain right there. He’s going to help you land that fish no matter what.”

Wells has been so impressed by Cayman that she is back on island this week scouting locations for another television programme, of which she will be the main host.

She plans to film two episodes of ‘Let’s Take it Outside’ in Cayman. This show will go beyond fishing and include other outdoors activities, like snorkelling and visiting caves. That show is scheduled to air on Fox Sports in the first part of 2020.

For Wells, fishing and the outdoors are escapes that she wants to share with others.

“The No. 1 thing I love about fishing is that really almost anyone can do it and you never know what’s going to happen. You never know what you’re going to reel up or what the experience is going to be like,” she said.

“I love whether you’re a beginner and you’ve never fished before or you’re an experienced angler, I know you’re going to have a good time and you’re going to catch fish.”

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