Community fishing activist and Bassmaster angler James “Jimmy” Johnson, 56, from Canado, Texas was killed on Sunday night at the Motel 6 at 7145 Interstate Hwy. 55 North in Jackson, Mississippi. In what is the worst tragedy in recent fishing memory, Johnson was staying at the motel with his wife while competing in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir this week.
Jackson police received the call at 7:48 p.m., only to find Johnson dead at the scene. Authorities are investigating this case as a homicide. Senior tournament director for Bassmaster Opens, Chris Bowes, says he received a call from Johnson’s friend saying that Johnson might have tried to stop someone who was burglarizing his boat. This was the final time anyone heard from Johnson.
The entire B.A.S.S. Nation is in mourning over the worst tragedy in fishing, and rallying behind his family with thoughts and prayers. Johnson was a fantastic competitor, ranking 11th in the Central Open Standings, only two events into the competition. He had also qualified for a few B.A.S.S. Nation Championships. Johnson loved the sport and volunteered his time for B.A.S.S whenever he could, giving back to the community that he was entirely passionate about.
Update: Last night, Jackson police arrested and charged 17-year old Shun Brown with capital murder. Brown “confessed to being responsible” for Johnson’s death. He was indeed burglarizing Johnson’s boat and shot Johnson in the face when he was confronted.
B.A.S.S. will be honoring Johnson at the Central Open tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday and are currently planning a memorial tournament in his name.
For more information about the Johnson Memorial, check bassmaster.com. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Johnson family.