Can you picture James Watson as an Army drill sergeant? You should.
After graduating from high school, he took several jobs but he was “basically broke,” he said.
“I was tired of not doing anything with my life,” he said. “So I went to see an Army recruiter.
"Within a month, I was gone.”
Watson enjoyed the structure of Army life, and he quickly climbed the ranks. Before long, he was promoted to a sergeant first class drill instructor.
So, was he the stereotypical hard ass?
“I had a buddy who was a drill sergeant with me,” Watson explained. “We played ‘good cop, bad cop.’ They feared him more than me.
"But let’s just say there weren’t a lot of men who wanted to test me.”
Watson continued to fish on weekends during his time in the Army. He bought his first bass boat and fished when he was stationed in Kentucky and New York state.
He learned a lot by fishing in other parts of the country and was more dedicated than ever to making it big in professional fishing.
When he left the Army, he started a successful lawn-care business, then moved on to real estate. He was an immediate success. In his first week, he had six listings and he sold one of those houses.
He went on to purchase his own real-estate business and made the money he needed to embark on a pro fishing career.
When he teamed with Corey Eutsler to win an Anglers In Action team championship tournament, he knew it was time to go pro.
“It takes a lot of money to compete on that level,” Watson said. “You have to be on the road constantly, and that can get expensive.
"Once I started doing well financially, I knew could afford to fish fulltime.”