College and pro football star Jerrell Jackson is passionate about fishing. (Photo by Mike Roux)

By: Mike Roux

“What is sweet-tater-pie?” That was the first question from my new fishing buddy on our first trip in my boat. Jerrell Jackson is a recognizable name in and around Columbia, MO.

After graduating from Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, TX, Jackson was recruited by the University of Missouri as a wide receiver. At Mizzou, he accumulated almost 1,500 receiving yards which included eight touchdowns.

After a great college football career, Jerrell entered the Canadian Football League and played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He later switched to the NFL with the Houston Texans, his hometown team. Jackson finished his pro football career as a Kansas City Chief.

Returning to Houston, Jackson became the sales manager at a local gym and began doing personal training for his clients. This athletic training caught the attention of Michael Egnew.

Egnew convinced Jackson to return to Columbia and join him in a business venture. The two of them opened API PROJECT FITNESS. Besides training athletes, API also offers full gym facilities that are open to the public.

But now, back to our original question. I found out Jackson was raised fishing with his dad in Texas. He loves to take his two boys fishing now, passing on a family tradition. His boys are passionate about fishing, as is their dad.

Jace Jackson is showing that he is excited to carry on the family tradition of fishing. Photo by Dad, Jerrell Jackson

Jerrell and I planned our first trip, and he asked me about my favorite bass bait. Hence, the sweet-tater-pie reference. I spent over two hours that morning mentoring my new friend in the art of fishing the “wacky-worm,” just like my friend Roger Lewis did for me.

We had an awesome first trip. Jerrell caught about 30 largemouth bass. He was so grateful for this experience that he thanked me a dozen times for showing him the wacky worm. He then switched to one of his “go to” baits and continued to hammer the bass.

During our time together, I showed him some panfish tips as well. This location is loaded with big, bull bluegill, as well as bass, crappie and catfish. In fact, I caught three channel catfish on my crappie jig that morning. It was lots of fun.

Part of our panfish lesson included me explaining the gear I use for crappie and bluegill. I showed Jackson my ACC CRAPPIESTIX rod and explained how Andy Lehman makes the best lightweight rods on the planet. I showed him the ACC line I use and the ACC jigs and jig heads. I am pretty sure there will be a panfish fry at the Jackson house soon.

Obviously, as we fished, we talked and got to know each other a bit better. I began to appreciate this young man, this husband, this father, this businessman, and most importantly, this young Christian. Jerrell Jackson is a very Godly man with his priorities in order.

I showed Jerrell the best brush piles and docks to find bass. We fished the riprap on the dam and the shallows in the coves. We were blessed and found fish all around the lake. My new fishing partner said he had a blast and we finished up by planning our next trip. Jerrell caught a 2-pounder on his last cast.

I am glad the Good Lord blessed me with meeting Jerrell Jackon. I feel like we have so much in common in fishing, in family and in Christ, that we are destined to become great friends. I am now planning a way to have Jerrell be a guest on an upcoming MID-MO REAPERS fishing episode.

I am pretty sure Jerrell Jackson and I, and our families will be seeing a lot of each other. You see, the Jackson’s have moved in right across the street from us. God is Good.

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