Fishing Legend Billy Westmoreland
Bad news reached me regarding the death of my old friend and fishing legend Billy Westmoreland. Known as “Mister Smallmouth”, his southern style and easygoing personality were but a few of his traits.
From his home on Dale Hallow Lake at Celina, TN., Westmoreland started as a guide on the deep and clear water fishing hole. Then, in the infancy of tournament bass fishing he followed the trail and participated in the first few events when Ray Scott started the Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society.
Westmoreland quickly emerged as one of the top bass fishermen in the country. Sporting a big frame and a dark beard, he looked like a pro football player but he was a gentle giant.
He authored a book called “Them Old Brown Fish”, a take on the popularity of smallmouth and his ability to find and catch them. Later he hosted his own national television show known as “Billy Westmoreland’s Fishing Diary”.
I was fortunate to be a guest on his show a few times and we became good friends often sharing the stage at fishing seminars across the country during winter boat and sport shows. When I was just a young buck starting out on Kentucky Lake Westmoreland was one of many who help me along with words of experience and wisdom.
Like many others who knew him, I will miss his phone calls of cheer and encouragement. A fishing friendship that we all hope to revisit someday where winds are calm and the fish are biting.
Farewell old friend.
property of Parislanding.com