WTJB: Name and Hometown
JP: Jim Purtell – Born (1946-old codger) & raised in Brownfield. Spent 17+ years in San Angelo, 21 years near Tampa, Fl, back to San Angelo 3 years, then to Sanford, NC past year (wife's home town)
WTJB: Member of any bass clubs?
JP: Just fish for fun now. Was a member of San Angelo Bass Club, Concho Bass Club and GTE Bass Club when I lived there in the 70's-mid 80's.
WTJB: Favorite local lake?
JP: Fished Twin Buttes more than any others mainly because it was close and had water. Back in the 70's-80's I fished OC Fisher (North Concho then) and Spence pretty often.
Loved Amistad back when it was new. Also came back 2-3 times a year after moving to Fl and would fish Ivie & Alan Henry with my Dad on those trips
WTJB: Favorite techniques?
#1. Soft plastics
#2. More soft plastics
#3. Bandit crank baits
WTJB: 3 favorite lures?
#1. Green pumpkin tail dipped in chart die soft plastic. Lizards in the spring worms most all the other time.
#2. Chart Blue Back 300 Bandit
#3. Black & Silver Pico Pop on Amistad.
WTJB: Advice for local fishermen?
#1. Enjoy what you have in San Angelo. Not many places you can leave work, go home get your boat and be unloading in 30 min. Back in the 70's and 80's you could be unloading at any of 3 local lakes. Sort of ruined me when I moved to Tampa area, took 30-60 min to get home depending on traffic, then 30-90 min to get to a decent lake again depending on traffic. Reason I sold my boat soon after moving.
#2. Learn to fish what you can't see. Everyone fishes the “good looking” spots. My son & I caught lots of fish day and especially at night on the humps in the south part of the main body of water on Twin Buttes. They were about 15' deep back then and far from any banks/brush.
NOW is the time to scout and mark spots on the local lakes while they are so low ---- hopefully some day they will be under water again. There is an old railroad dump (my term for it) that runs across Twin Buttes just off Middle Concho channel, you can see the old trestle on Middle in Nasworthy. It was always good when Twin Buttes was full, find it now and mark it.
WTJB: What is your opinion of the condition of the local fishing?
JP: I really enjoyed my last 3 years back in San Angelo. Water is low and I primarily fished Twin Buttes, but caught lots of quality fish---not SAL's but your large fish today is larger than what it was back in the 70's & 80's. I attribute that to the TPWD introduction of Fl strain bass---it has definitely helped the fishery.
Plus with Ivie and Amistad as close as they are, San Angelo is in the middle of some great fishing withing 1-3 hours drive.
WTJB: Favorite TRUE fishing story?
JP: Too many to list. When you get to be 60+ and have fished most of your life with family & friends you accumulate lots of memories that make nice stories.
I remember the days when Amistad was new and Dad & I would catch 100+ 3# fish a day on top water. You would see a bass come completely out of the water and catch a dragon fly in mid air, cast a black & silver Pico Pop at the spot and he would nail it.
Also will never forget couple of years ago in the early spring when I was back in San Angelo, my son who now lives in NJ came down to fish. We made it to Ivie 1 day and in a 10 min span he boated his person best ever of 5-12 and I boated mine of 9-13.
Then there is the day about 3 years ago when I was back in San Angelo I took my Dad who is now 95 and living in Iowa to Alan Henry. He managed one 3+ fish that made a nice picture for our last of many many fishing trips.
WTJB: Catch and release? If not, favorite recipe?
JP: GOOD QUESTION. I keep a few fish to eat since we really enjoy fresh fish. Since I have been in NC been keeping/catching a lot fewer----miss San Angelo fishing.
On this subject though there was an article in Bass Times based on interviews with TPWD biologist that catch & release had gotten to the point it was detrimental to many of the fisheries. Too many fish and they were tending to get stunted. Really advocated keeping more not so much trophy bass but 2#-3# eating size fish.
WTJB: Personal Hero?
JP: Probably have to be my dad. Taught me how to work, taught me how to fish, taught me to enjoy life so I have managed a very enjoyable life to 64 young years. Not quite as industrious as in my younger days or as my father who farmed until he was 85. Today I tell people I fish 3-4 days a week, golf 3-4 days a week BUT I work all my FREE days.
WTJB: In your opinion, who are the 3 best local fishermen?
JP: Today I could not tell you since I didn't fish tournaments or hang out with people really that fished them while I was back there. Back in the 70's & 80's there were some really good fishermen I remember. Back then you had the big boaters (now bass boats) and you had the Lampro Kayak “dabblers”. From that period there was Russ & Barney Baumann, Junior Powell, Jimmy Mahaan that I recall that always could manage to catch fish. I am sure there are others but after 30 years I have forgotten many names.
A person that taught me a lot about San Angelo fishing and did a lot to support the Bass Clubs and fishing in San Angelo was Ken Wilson that had the Wilson Marine boat store on Arden Road. Ken was a little cantankerous at times, but he loved to fish. Taught me how to use a crank bait. Put on tournaments, built ramps when lakes got low, generally supported the clubs, had his monthly Big Bass jackpot. Always knew where to catch the next fish.
Big thanks for Jim taking the time to talk with me, even if it was by email. He is truly a gentleman and a great guy!
If you have any questions and want to bounce ideas off a knowledgeable guy, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have a blast with the time of year!!!!!!!!!