Vinton Retiring from SportsRadio 610 Outdoor Show, Eastman Assuming the Helm

Capt. Wayne Vinton, host of the SportsRadio 610 Outdoor Show in Houston, will air his final program on KILT this weekend, Sunday, October 21. Following Vinton at the mic will be veteran Galveston Bay System fishing guide Capt. Mickey Eastman of Baytown.
 Eastman, 53, kicked off his guiding career in 1979. I was an outdoor writer for the Houston Post at the time, and shared more than a few days on the bay with Mickey as we both worked virtually night and day to get our careers on track. As my old buddy Capt. Wayne retires from the show (and he has done one heck of a job with it in the past three years and eight months) I look forward to spending some much-anticipated time with him both on the water and in the field. Wayne and I have long awaited the day when we could avail ourselves of just a small percentage of the trout trips and deer hunts we’ve discussed, and we intend to take full advantage of his newly-found free time.
 Meanwhile, I’m gratified to know that someone as knowledgeable and all-around likeable as Mickey Eastman is going to take the helm of the nation’s longest-running outdoor show. The late Bob Stephenson, Sr. and Bob, Jr., were they alive to witness it today, would no doubt be gratified as well.
I hosted the show on two occasions, a brief co-hosting stint with Bob Jr. in fall and winter of 2001 and a subsequent year-and-a-half run as host until February of 2003. It was an incredible experience, one that I will never forget, and one that I know will fit Eastman as well as his favorite trout rod handle. I spoke with him about the new position earlier today, and as with everything else, my old fishing buddy and comrade is ready to tackle the challenge with all gears in motion.
“The opportunity came up a little early,” Eastman told me. “I still have a lot of good guiding years in me. I wasn’t getting burned out; if anything, lately I’ve been harder at it than ever.
His tournament record speaks for itself. In June of last year, Eastman and his son, 26-year-old Mickey Ray, Jr., won the Texas Marine Tournament in Galveston. Mickey Ray took home a new Ranger Boat as a reward … a healthy payout that his dad had already collected only three months earlier by winning the first IFA Redfish Tour event of 2006.
“This year I finished eleventh overall in the Redfish Cup, my first full year to fish it with my partner Wayne Webb,” Eastman said.  “We took second in Galveston and eleventh in Sabine, fishing against a Western Division representing well over 300 teams.”
Nonetheless, Eastman noted that the tournament victory he’s most proud of is the capture of the Texas Redfish Series. “Talk about a serious field of fishermen,” he said with his hearty trademark laugh. “Capt. Everett Johnson and I fished the event out of Kemah, Texas, and landed first place out of 128 boats.”
As for working in the media, Eastman said he has always wanted to be involved in television or radio broadcasting. “The opportunity came; I interviewed, and I apparently said something right,” he told me. “I credit a lot of this to guys like you and Doug Pike, writers and photographers who went fishing with me and allowed me to prove my talents to the coastal fishermen. I kept my head down and fished hard. Again,” he added, “I actually fish harder now than ever, primarily because fishing is tougher. Everyone needs to get back to the camaraderie of the sport. A lot of us are taking it way too seriously. We need to appreciate Nature, to enjoy the sunrises and respect the resource. That’s what I hope I can do with this show,” Eastman emphasized, “to show people how to be ethical and do it right among a brotherhood of folks who stay on speaking terms, especially professional guides.”
In any business, media-oriented or not, there is always going to be a heavy dose of competition. However, if Capt. Mickey Eastman’s record as a professional fishing guide and tournament competitor is any indicator, he is going to more than handle his own.
For the record, Eastman is committed to continue guiding on a selective basis as his days-off scenario will allow. The SportsRadio 610 Outdoor Show, based in Houston on KILT SportsRadio 610AM, airs Thursday and Friday mornings from 4:00 – 6:00 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 4:00 – 7:00 a.m. To call in to the show and visit with Eastman on-air, call 713-572-4610.
To book a day on the water with the personable pro, call 281-383-2032.

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