Ranger Pro James Watson Qualifies for Classic with Central Open Win
FLIPPIN, AR (October 6, 2015) Living just 30 miles away in Nixa, Mo., Ranger Pro James Watson has plenty of experience fishing Table Rock Lake. Drawing upon decades of tournament experience on the famed Ozark fishery, including a previous win under similar conditions, Watson weighed 46 pounds, 4 ounces over three days to win the B.A.S.S. Central Open and gain automatic entry into the 2016 Bassmaster Classic.
With the win, Watson added a $45,000 boat-and-motor prize package and $7,918 in cash and Ranger Cup bonus to go along with his entry into the 2016 Bassmaster Classic.
Watson relied on a topwater pattern he discovered during a previous Table Rock win in a 2013 Professional Angler Association (PAA) tournament to lead him to a lucrative payday and a Classic berth. Battling variable winds, Watson targeted banks with the large rocks, bringing his largest limit of the tournament - 16 pounds, 1 ounce - to the scales on the third and final day.
"I was struggling to get a bite before noon. It was the slowest morning I had but I just kept winging it," Watson said. "I followed the wind and looked for the right kind of rock and just kept plugging away."
Running a Ranger Z520C, Watson fished upwards of thirty spots a day en route to victory.
"I was running all over that lake," Watson said. "It can be a challenge on your equipment, but finding the right type of water was key. Having the confidence I do in my boat was a huge advantage. I knew I could count on it to perform regardless of conditions."
If fishing Table Rock Lake is akin to a homecourt advantage for Watson, then the upcoming Bassmaster Classic will be like fishing next door. The 2016 Bassmaster Classic will run March 4-6 on Oklahoma's Grand Lake - approximately 100 miles from Watson's hometown.
"It's so refreshing to see someone like James win this event and punch his card to the Classic. He's a rare blend of local talent who took the leap to the next level," said Ranger Boats Vice President of Sales Keith Daffron. "Other local anglers know this, but I'll make a prediction that he'll be a force on Grand Lake at next year's Classic and will undoubtedly be entertaining to watch."
About Ranger Boats
Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation's premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, which include series of bass, multi-species, fish 'n play, waterfowl utility and saltwater boats. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. For more information, go to RangerBoats.com.