Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Pictured above is "Captain" Harold Gunn and Bill Olson.

Recently, a friend of mine brought me his back issues from the last year or so of the Texas Outdoor Journal, a fishing and hunting magazine. I'd seen it and on occasion bought the random one at the grocery store, but for some reason never noticed the wealth of fishing information it contained. I think I wrongly assumed it was more oriented toward hunting, as the major magazines of my youth like Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and Sports Afield have become.

In the past years issues that I've been reading of the Texas Outdoor Journal, I've found a wealth of freshwater and saltwater fishing information. As El Fishing Musician, it has been said that I'd fish in a sink with 6" of water if I thought there were fish in there, and that was only half-jokingly.

I fish anywhere and everywhere in this great state. Salt and Fresh. I don't get to do enough deep water salt fishing these days but that hasn't always been the case. Likewise, these days I've been making up for lost time in the Hill Country, since a plethora of my fishing buddies have relocated and now populate this area, giving me the excuse to travel there as well as my local ready made buddies who have their home for me to stay, keeping travel costs low. Plus I get to see my friends, and one in particular.

Likewise, I've got a great friend, an old band buddy named El Bar. El Bar just recently bought a place in the Palestine-Tyler-Longview metroplex, and got a new fancy bass boat as well. He's been fishing all the lakes within about 50 miles of there, and there are plenty of great fishing lakes in that area. So going up there will be kinda regular to stay at his Farm (it'll be a farm until he gets some ranch critters and then it'll be a Ranch). He's built two ponds to lure me up there to fish, and I've volunteered to stock his tanks with some high end Florida strain bass.

My Fam and I also regularly spend between one and two weeks fishing at the coast, either bay or surf, anywhere from Port Aransas to Port Isabel. Again, my longtime Houston buddie Dougie and his bride recently bought a canal lot in Port Isabel and have ample space for visitors. In fact, their whole lower floor is set up for guests. You can fish off their back porch for a variety of fish, and his boat is only feet away available to lower into the water to head out on the bay.

Doug and his wife have now both retired, and she and Doug now travel to the Pacific Northwest in the summers with their uber-fine trailer to do some salmon and trout fishing and miss out on the Texas heat. So we'll be heading down there sometime in the next few months for an extended weekend visiting our friends, eating fine, and fishing lots and lots.

So the great thing about the Texas Outdoor Journal is that there are articles for all these areas and more. Regional fishing updates in every issue, with pretty good information about all of the areas I regularly fish and more. Cause when I'm not thinking about the places I'm getting to fish now, I'm daydreaming and scheming on fishing trips to places I have not fished.

I'm going to subscribe tomorow to this publication. Their website is at They also have the Texas Outdoors News radio network, broadcasting weekly shows. Their website has some of the shows available for listening online at

I'd note that one of my favorite local Houston childhood entertainers is a co-host of the radio show. Harold Gunn, once the host of the locally infamous Captain Harold's Theater of the Sky movie show on local tv. I think at one time he had a talk show, and apparently he appeared in a movie in 1980 called Hotwire.

Although he hasn't the foggiest idea who I am, over the years as a native Houstonian I have briefly met Captain Harold at numerous public gatherings, hunting and fishing shows and the like. I remember he attended one political fundraiser when I was in my young teens that I was also at, and I received a blue "suitable for framing" official membership into his Captain Harold's Air Force.

I think I still have that item in my childhood scrapbook over at my folk's house. It also contains my official fan club membership card and autographed photo from 1968 from the Banana Splits Fan Club. When I was in mid-elementary school, my friends and I thought the Banana Splits gave The Monkees a run for their money. But that's another story.

Captain Harold also writes and edits for the Texas Outdoor Journal. The Captain and Bill Olson, the Editor/Publisher of the Texas Outdoor Journal host the radio show.

It's all good, and as I said, I'll be subscribing this week.

In the past few hours of reading some of these magazines this evening, I've read good articles with very useful information on locations, guides, places to fish without guides, baits, lures and the like about rivers, creeks, lakes and all kinds of saltwater fishing. Plus all kinds of hunting articles.

So Captain Harold still rides. That makes me happy. If I'm not incorrect, I believe Bill Olson used to appear with the Captain Harold Air Force skits on (I believe, Channel 26) in the 70's and Channel 2 NBC in the 1980's. If so, that makes me happy that old friends are still hanging together.

One more Captain Harold story. Back in 1988, a band I was playing with used to regularly play Friday or Saturday nights at the now defunct but then infamous Red Lion Pub on Main Street. For a while, we were a popular local original act, with a fiery female singer and great guitar and bass players (the drummer, me, was just ok).

I can't recall if Captain Harold was dining or drinking there, but I recall the entire band was quite excited about his presence, and we dedicated some song to him that night before he left. He was, as usual, very nice and seemed a bit embarrassed at the attention. Nice fellow.

In any event, I'd be curious if any of the readers remembered Captain Harold and his Air Force. I can't recall the movies he played on his show, but I remember that they were the ones we were watching when I was old enough to stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays.

1 comment:

  1. I'm moving - pulled out old drawers & washing old t- shirts. I pulled a gem. Captain Harolds' Theater of the Sky was originaly on channel 11. For a very short short period (maybe a few months - no more than 6 if I remember). Then changed channels. I've got the original t-shirt I think is 1969 or 1970. But I'm a little fuzzy in my memory of the 1960s.