It was a tragedy that shocked the fishing
community to its core. Professional Bass fisherman Jimmy Johnson
of Gando, TX was murdered while at a fishing tournament in Jackson, MS six Sundays ago.
Authorities have since arrested and
charged 17-year-old Shaun Brown with capital murder. Police say Johnson was shot and killed
when he confronted someone burglarizing his boat in the Motel 6 parking lot
where he and his wife were staying.
Since his death
fishermen from all over have been organizing tournaments in Johnson's memory
including East Texans.
"As anglers we all have to look out for each other and when one hurts, we
all hurt," said Scott Burns who hosted the tournament.
And nothing hurt the fishing community
more than learning that one of their own, professional Bass fisherman, Jimmy Johnson was shot and killed while fishing
The news tangled the fishing line that
connects all fishermen and since the brutal murder more than six weeks ago, men,
women and children who love fishing have cast a line for Jimmy.
"I guess if we
have to tell Mr. Johnson's story I think this is a great way to tell it," said Burns.
Burns and president
of the Nacogdoches Bass Club, Ron Jones hosted the "Jimmy Johnson Memorial Championship" this weekend on Sam Rayburn.
"It turned out to be exactly what we hoped it would you know just a
fellowship of anglers coming out and just fishing for the cause," said Burns.
"It's nice to know that anglers care enough to do this," said Jones. "We compete
fiercely and we rag on each other but at the end of the day we support each
Neither Burns nor Jones knew Johnson
personally but he was an angler and thus part of the family.
Burns said he hopes their efforts will show the Johnson family how much they care, "Well I hope if anything they
know that they're not alone in this. There is a lot of us out there that know
and feel what they're going through and that's why we did this. We want them to
know that their support is not just local. It's worldwide."
The tournament was put together in just 3
weeks but in that short amount of time boat and industry sponsors stepped up to
show their support.
Owner of Legend Boats, Randy Qualls knew Johnson said spoke about him at the tournament, "It was my pleasure about 10 years ago to meet Jimmy. He won a honey-hole
tournament here at Sam Rayburn and I awarded him a 21 foot bass boat and that
was the start of my knowing. He was a great gentleman. Had my pleasure to go to
dinner with him and visit with him on numerous occasions. It was a great loss
In the end, 31 boats hit the water and the
fishermen raised more than $4,000 for the Johnson family.
Police say Brown reportedly confessed to
the brutal killing but at his preliminary court hearing on November 4th, Brown
told reporters that he was not at the motel.