07.May.2013 by Brett Carlson
James Watson isn’t a household name in professional bass fishing. At this point in his career, he’s OK with that. But if the fourth-year pro from Waynesville, Mo., continues his current track, that will soon change.
Watson, a 10-year Army veteran, is a relative newcomer to the sport. Upon completion of his military service, Watson began employment as a real estate sales agent. After thriving in that role, the 40-year-old opened his own Realty Executives franchise in central Missouri right outside Fort Leonard Wood. Once his business took off, Watson took to the water.
“I now spend over 200 days a year fishing,” he said. “Thankfully I have a manager that runs everything, even when I’m there in the office. I don’t have to worry about stuff when I’m gone, and that is so helpful. Could I make more money if I wasn’t always on the road? Sure, but it’s not all about the money, it’s really not. All I want to do now is fish.”
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Watson took his lumps his first few years on Tour. He’d catch a big bag one day only to return to the same area the next and strike out using similar tactics.
“I made a conscious effort this year not to get spun out and get upset at myself,” he explained. “That has allowed me to follow my gut. When you’re following your gut, you’re fishing by the seat of your pants. I’m going to every event now with an open mind and a good attitude. Over the last few years, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’d have one bad tournament and I’d be so mad I’d put even more pressure on myself to catch them at the next tournament. And the negativity would just snowball.”